Boredom is an emotion characterized by a sense of emptiness and uselessness often associated with immobility and procrastination. If it were a color, boredom would be gray. The bored person experiences a state of psychological suspension that limits his perception of himself, of others and of the world to a life of permanent dissatisfaction. In his eyes, things, people and time alternate meaningless and veil themselves with sadness. The other emotions orbit around boredom as muffled, steady, without vital drive. The central idea of the bored is to have nothing to do, and at the same time, the heavy certainty that doing something will be too tiring and too disappointing to justify the effort to take action in some direction.
Boredom a sentinel emotion
The feeling of boredom probably emerges when the context of life and the relationships of a person stop responding to his emotional needs and repeat rigidly routines that previously were instead satisfactory. In this sense, boredom can be considered a sentinel-emotion that alerts us to the need to make a change in the way we relate to things. But not always bored captures this important psychological alarm and tends to fill the anxiety by taking refuge in the repetitiveness of everyday life and continuously using sources of external gratification: TV, social networks, video games, food, cigarettes, alcohol, hashish substances in general . And easily, what served to alleviate frustration, will aggravate boredom and require compulsive doses of the same “distractions”, up to the emotional paralysis of addiction.
Boredom in psychotherapy
Not surprisingly, boredom is a recurring theme in psychotherapy, and in some cases, it is revealed once that phobic, hypochondriac, depressive, eating disorders or addictions are significantly alleviated or disappear. It may happen that, once the chain of psychopathology has been interrupted, the person discovers that he does not know what to do with himself once the patient’s habit has been discarded, and must thus face a feeling of inadequacy and emptiness for a time very close to the original boredom. The gray anxiety that follows enthusiasm for the reduction or cancellation of psychological suffering always requires a reflection aimed at breaking patterns of interactions prior to the problem: low self-esteem, submission to rigid and intransigent family models, fear of failure and to be alone.
Boredom and loneliness
Personally, I connect boredom with the terror of being alone. The bored conforms to a psychological and relational context that is not his own, to people and situations that, even if only indirectly, clash with his nature, in order to avoid loneliness and isolation, in the belief that every attempt at self-expression in the family, couple or society would make him alien, different and abandoned. I mean that people get bored so as not to challenge and actively change outside beliefs, therefore not ours, but mothers and fathers, friends, acquaintances consistent with values that do not belong to us; I want to say that you get bored when you don’t pay attention to your emotional needs but you are subjected to their constant frustration and avoid breaking those patterns that overwhelm us and make us sick while they keep us company.
Before fighting boredom you need to understand it.
What do you do while you entertain yourself with boredom?
How do they try to placate you?
Who or what, aggravates or alleviates this imprecise and fluctuating feeling?
Who or what, could produce a variation, even slight, in the continuous gray plane of boredom?
Change is the key word
To undertake a sporting activity, to deliberately change the path that leads us to work, to vary the diet, to change, starting from the simplest habits, the bored cycle of the typical day. But, above all, it can be helpful to experience a more authentic and more empathetic listening of oneself and rediscover, by corroborating it, the need for freedom that, through various vicissitudes, we have suppressed in the folds of the family routine of friends or couple, thus deluding ourselves of feel less alone.
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