Doing Life Together

ID-100246870I can remember so many times when my kids would say to me, “I’m bored!” And they didn’t like my response, “That’s a good thing. Maybe you can listen to your thoughts or think creatively.”

Truth is, most of us don’t like to be bored. At least not in this wired age. Our typical boredom trainers are gone thanks to the cell phone. You don’t have to be bored waiting in line at the grocery store–pull out your phone. What about that hour of down time after dinner? Get on your IPAD! How about being a passenger  in the car and simply watching the scenery flash by? Nope, looking down at my phone!

Being wired 24/7 means we don’t have to be bored,… ever! And here’s a little shocker to support this idea.

Researchers were interested in studying how well people do when alone with their thoughts. You know, the archaic idea that you can actually sit with no phone, book or anything to distract you. Just you and your thoughts for 6-15 minutes.

In one of 11 experiments, the researchers gave the subjects the option to sit alone with their thoughts or shock themselves. Boredom versus pain.

Yep, you guessed it. 67% of the men and 25% of the women chose pain rather than sit alone and think! In terms of the gender difference, the researchers are guessing that men are more sensation focused than women, thus more easily bored. The researchers concluded that men especially, prefer doing to thinking. An unpleasant experience to a boring one won the day.

Hey, and if you are reading this, it might be because you don’t want to be bored!

Or maybe you have trouble controlling your thoughts. One idea is to direct your disengaged mind to pleasant thoughts and/or practice mindfulness. Mindfulness helps you stay present focused and can reduce stress. So try it. Put down your phone and meditate a moment. In my opinion, watching the sunset and appreciating the beauty of the moment beats the heck out of shocking myself to create pain!



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