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Humans have always experienced boredom and loneliness and a need for acceptance. The feel of feelings is the same as it has always been.
However, how we describe those feelings has changed. For example, boredom and loneliness were once seen as part of life. Now they are described as problems that need to be solved.
The word "boredom" did not even exist until the mid-the 1800s. When people were not mentally stimulated, they did not take it as a sign to find something to engage the mind.
Boredom does not have to be an affliction. It can be a gift of mental calmness to be filled with a richer interior life.
While digital technologies have helped us connect and stay connected, our emotional tolerance for being alone has dropped. In relabelling the feeling of being alone, we changed the actual emotions that go with aloneness.
But we can reverse it again. We can accept aloneness as part of life, perhaps even as an opportunity.
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Boredom is a disconnection to everything we can offer the world and vice versa. It's not influenced by external simulation, it's actually an indicator of how you engage with the world.
Ages ago, when people were busy trying to survive, boredom wasn’t a choice. They spent all their time securing food or shelter.
We are now overstimulated — easy access to infinite entertainment options is feeding boredom rather than discouraging it.
People embrace busyness because they are having a hard time being alone and enjoying it.
Being busy is a tricky form of entertainment however — we don’t feel the boredom, but it isn’t fun either.
Being alone and, therefore, forced to face our own thoughts, can prove rather disturbing. People need other people to feel well: being sociable is not anymore just a skill to develop, it is a mere ...
The current pandemic has us facing one of our biggest fears: staying alone, dealing with our own emotions and thoughts. However, this situation has also a great deal of advantages. While in self-isolation, we can use this time to improve ourselves by discovering new hobbies or just developing skills we have already gathered, cultivating our mind through reading. In fewer words, we finally have the time to learn how to deal with ourselves. And this is always a good thing.
As difficult as it may seem, self-isolation has its benefits. When spending your time alone, the key to handle this situation is to find a purpose in your suffering. In other words, focus on why your suffering is doing good to others as well as to yourself. Furthermore, the fact that you stick to a certain routine or that
everybody is doing the same thing provides you not only with a meaning, but also with a sense of belonging.
Use plain language. The more fluent you are with real emotional language, the more clearly you will be able to think about how you’re feeling.
Get used to the idea of emotional complexity. When we feel upset, we're not feeling one single emotion. We are usually experiencing a blend of many emotions.
Training ourselves to look for and see this emotional complexity is key to better understanding ourselves when we’re upset and moving on in a healthy way.