One would think that in this day and age, with technological ‘conveniences’ and endless forms of 24-hour entertainment quite literally at our fingertips, it would virtually be impossible that one could ever experience ennui. A fancy French word for boredom (pronounced ahn-wee), it affects untold numbers of individuals to some degree within their lifespan. For some, it can be brought on by inactivity, or deprivation of internal or external stimuli; while others become saturated by the frenzy. Of course, there’s the chronic variety connected with clinical depression but for the purposes of this piece, we’ll bypass the latter and focus on the former roots of the matter.
Although some folks are immune to bouts of soul-numbing boredom, those who’ve been in its grips know the despair and despondence it can bring. Folks get bored behind all types of things: The job you’re overqualified for, the partner you’re a tad more evolved than (ahem), a lifestyle or overall outlook that fails to stimulate you in some significant way. Some find the monotony of their daily routine dreadfully dull. If you’re confined by the silent, suffocating grip of dullness, the following tips may bring you much needed relief:
• Change your outlook/attitude – Naturally this would have to be the first step towards making any real change in life. If you don’t think you can become un-bored, then more than likely, you’ll be destined for a life of tedium. Staying open to the possibility of excitement and fulfillment are key. Maintaining a spirit of spontaneity wouldn’t hurt either.
• Change your routine – It’s not hard to imagine the boredom derived from practicing a daily routine that leaves you feeling more like a robot on the conveyor belt of life than a lively human destined for success and excitement. God love the man or woman who is content with a daily routine one can set their watch to, but for many it’s a one-way road to ennui-ville. Some may not have the luxury of (or be inclined to) making radical changes in their schedule. Keep things simple. Maybe one day you take a new route home from work, or read that book your friend suggested to you after dinner, rather than turning on the TV to watch your usual prime time line-up.
• Rediscover/uncover a hobby – Authentic & meaningful stimuli are not only known to cure the blah’s but can actually prevent them. Choose your pleasurable pursuit(s) with care. Hobbies can nourish the soul. They should be extensions of your desires, and provide you with a sense of satisfaction as well as fulfillment.
• Take on a challenging project – Boredom has been described as a perception that one’s environment is dull, tedious and lacking in stimulation.* If you resonate with any part of that definition perhaps it’s time to step up your productivity. Are there any projects that have been simmering on the backburner for far too long? Let the dull pangs of boredom propel you to ‘make ish happen.’ Whether it’s painting/redecorating your home, reorganizing your workspace or developing a project that encompasses your passions with your profession, you’re bound to feel gratified and even more confident knowing that you took care of business.