What is Your Boredom Trying to Tell You?

That of which I will speak is not a fleeting mood that we all experience from time to time, neither is it depression … yet! If not examined, reflected upon with determined intention to resolve, it can become complicated and intertwined with depression. I liken it to having a common cold that is progressing into pneumonia.

What is Boredom?

Boredom is a state that we find ourselves in without desire, meaning, or passion. Feeling inadequate, powerless, and fatigued, we find ourselves bored, gloomy, and sad with a pervasive despair, with an overall lack of being able to be stimulated. In order to have a full life it is necessary that one face boredom.

Life’s Illusions:
I have frequently encountered people having a difficult time shaking boredom due to the fact they bought an illusion about life.

The illusion was that if they did all the right things, they would be happy and somehow escape life’s struggles. When we spend time checking off the right boxes, at some point we become vulnerable to boredom. When one fills the squares, often fulfilling the
expectations of others, our desires and dreams are frequently forgotten, or buried. Development and growth become restricted if we don’t have new desires and experiences.

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Walden (Thoreau, 1854)

What do you see?

What do you see when you stop to reflect on your life? Is it safe and restricted with a certain sameness that occurs from week to week? I have had clients tell me that every day, week, month, year is the same old, same old. Some say, “I am bored with my life,” and as we explore, it becomes evident that life for that person is safe, secure, small, full of tight little ‘shoulds’, empty rules, and customs.

Do you go through six thousand days creatively or do you go through the same day six thousand times?

Look at your life. Is it a tedious repetition, day in and day out, of roles, habits, routines, and self-talk? Examine your signature ways of going through the days!

Take some time to reflect on your situation, really stop the busyness and the chatter in your life. When you do this, do not reject yourself as you become aware of how you habitually see, feel and behave in your life. You may find you are stuck in a groove that is boring or, heavens forbid, you are a ‘bore.’

What to do?

Do nothing: above all do not get busy, just reflect and get reacquainted with yourself once again or for the first time. Just by getting still, breathing, and reflecting, you will be able to see more clearly.

In going through this practice, which is simple but difficult to do, take time to journal and see yourself not as your ideal, but start from where you are. Be curious and accept yourself and in doing so you allow your frame of reference to become larger.

Someday I will…
There are bound to be times when the ruts of old habits are deep, when we are weighed down by inertia and do the same monotonous things. We go through our routines without enthusiasm, and boredom is an equal opportunity employer. I have heard about boredom from military men, corporate executives, career women, stay-at-home soccer moms, and teenagers.

Countless times a client has said, “Someday I would love to…” Resistance to action takes over and no change takes place. Fill in the ‘someday’ blanks for yourself, put it on paper, take it out of the vapors, and allow it to become more concrete, even a possibility.
When we are living passionately, we are happy and fully engaged, no matter what we are doing.

Are you predictable?
Do you fear stepping outside of your comfort level? Have you awakened on a Monday morning with a day, or a week stretching ahead with no excitement in you that pushes you to jump out of bed? There are no burning desires, hopes, joys, or laughter. There may be no pain or anger there either, as everything seems to be on automatic, a paint-by-numbers kind of life. Where is your pulsating vitality, as you sit dull and fatigued on the edge of your bed?

In your life story, several things could have blocked your passions. There may be health problems, marital issues, unemployment, or a job that drains your energy. However, it could be that there was no defining issue that brought you here and still be bored.

“For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, I have measured out my life with coffee spoons; …”
T.S. Eliot (Eliot, 1920)

We cannot pick and choose!

When we attempt to push away the bad feelings, we are pushing away all feelings, especially the good ones we try to cling to.

We cannot selectively choose. When we muzzle, we muzzle allowing space for the gray fog to seep in.

Do you complicate how you feel when enveloped by the gray fog of boredom, by having shame, or ignoring the condition, hoping it will go away? There are equally non-productive ways to cope, winding oneself into busyness, trying either to feel or not feel something.

This is a time fraught with patterns of behavior that further complicate life if we do not stop and contemplate the best course of action. Men become vulnerable to the midlife affair, divorce, or starting a new business. Women more often succumb to depression, resignation, drinking, or an affair. Both sexes want more passion in their lives. There is fear however of stopping and of the inward reflection needed to open up an awareness of how to create a richer life.

No one is exempt:

In my practice, I have seen hundreds of people bored and depressed with their lives. If statistics are reliable, about half of us will experience the “emptiness,” “something is missing and I don’t know what it is,” syndrome at some time in our lives, maybe at multiple junctures.

If you find yourself in such a state, be careful of well-intentioned people offering the illusion that getting yourself busy will solve the problem. Well-meaning “fixers” may suggest you go shopping, take a class, or start a new hobby. You know the drill. Believe me, from my personal and clinical experience, this is not wise advice. It is not the doing that is needed here, but a willingness to stop and reflect in order to know oneself.

Busyness may distract for a while but inside, the feelings or a lack of feelings stay the same.

“If you want to find the meaning, stop chasing after so many things.” Ryokan (Chodron, 1997)

First Step out!

You must stop, The stopping allows for a new energy to enter into the situation. As you face the boredom and accept what is, right now you can address the state with energy of intention. The reflective state opens a doorway to clarity with an awareness of what to do. This is the first step out of boredom. Acceptance does not mean that you like what you are feeling or doing, however it is a starting place that can lead to a significant shift. It is inside work.

Have you shut doorways into new beginnings? Have you suppressed yearnings of yesteryear that were not encouraged by family, teachers, or perhaps stopped by your own fears? If you find yourself bored, find meaning in it. Your soul is nudging you towards a bigger life, a chance to live out loud. Examine the possibility of passion and with full intention move towards it again. I say again because you have had such moments before, search and find them, no matter how fleeting they were.

What do you love, love, love?

Time Travel Helps:

If you are not sure, travel back in time. What did you love as a child before the conditioning of ‘the shoulds’ took hold? Do you remember how it felt to have your heart leap with joy or to have an overwhelming peace come upon you? Even if you did not pursue such loves, they are still a part of your essence.

If you are having a difficult time defining your life passions, look at what stirs you emotionally. What we respond to informs us may be latent and begging for creative development.

What does the longing within mean?

Do something that you have longed to do. The more you invest in yourself, the more you get back. When you do whatever, you do, love whomever you love, and choose whatever you choose with commitment only then can work, relationships, and choices be infused with passion.



 Your Journal can be your Powerful Ally here.

Get still… above all else
Write your Story about being Bored,
Write your dreams.
Write down your fears.
It is never too late to make a “Course Correction” and have a Passionate, Creative Life.


Blessings, Laura 

Thank you for your feedback, suggestions, and requests. Know that it gets my full attention. What do you want me to focus on or what do you want to have a better understanding of? Today’s Blog about understanding the purpose of Boredom was requested. A question about the need to fully grieve our losses will be coming up soon, I will continue to share and help you in any way that I can.

If you find value in my Blogs for Women, please consider letting me know what you need as we go forward.

With gratitude,


Laura B Young

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