Summer boredom no joke, requires creativity

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Extension specialist: Trying new things can help

When the sun is shining, and the weather is nice, one wonders, how anyone could be bored?

It is a question that that seems like fantasy to some, but all too real to others, said Renette Wardlow, a human development specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

"We become bored when our everyday lives become dull or monotonous. We can also be bored when there is plenty to do, but we don't have the energy or motivation to do it," Wardlow said.

Feeling bored from time to time is common, according to Wardlow. The important thing is to be creative and innovative enough to help ourselves through the low points in our lives.

"People who say they are never bored are simply not in touch with their feelings, or they are unwilling to give in to them," Wardlow said.

As humans grow older, they tend to have decreased physical and mental energy which may lead to boredom. People begin to think that they can no longer do some of the things that they have loved to do all our lives. As a result, Wardlow said aging increases vulnerability to boredom.

"Advanced age brings people into situations that risk both emotional and social isolation," Wardlow said. "Social activity does not necessarily relieve boredom. Boredom is not simply a desire for company."

Wardlow said to prevent extreme boredom in your life, try to be creative and try new things, or put prior experiences together with something new.

"The experience of being involved in creative activity satisfies people in ways that nothing else can, and the ability to be creative reflects and fosters emotional health. The act of creation enhances feelings of self-esteem and self-worth," Wardlow said.

A person can test the validity of the above statement by recalling the last time you produced something original perhaps something as simple as a Christmas decoration or making a set of bookshelves, and then recalling how you felt when it was accomplished.

"There is something about creating a unique product or idea that leaves people feeling good about themselves," Wardlow said. "Besides enhancing self-esteem, creative experiences offer opportunities to express emotions and to come to terms with them."

Most people probably know someone who faces each day as though it were a deadening burden or an oppression to be struggled through. What if we want to relish our activities, to find deep rewards in accomplishment, and to anticipate each day with at least a mild pleasure because of the interest our daily activity holds for us? Wardlow said we must not fall into the trap of assuming that our lives should consist only of doing what we don't like or don't want to do.

"Life, happiness, and accomplishment are not exclusive possessions of the young," Wardlow said. "Aging and remaining active and interested can be a rewarding experience and prevent us from becoming bored with life. Living from day to day should be an enjoyable natural process with a variety of activities rather than an affliction with nothing to do."

In viewing your life and level of satisfaction, consider the following points:

Balance physical and mental capabilities. Both types of activity should be stimulating and without much stress.

Be willing to change. Activities and interest of necessity may change over time. Adapt new ideas to replace those no longer appropriate.

Set goals, they provide meaning for life. Goals should be attainable to allow for the feeling of satisfaction gained. Failure weighs heavy!

Maximize time because time is a precious commodity. Never waste a day, an hour, or a minute.

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