Bored vs distracted
It might be good to feel bored. The bored mind is seeking. Now, there is a difference between bored and distracted. The distracted mind feels overwhelmed.
When I am distracted, there are too many stimuli. I might get distracted by my phone or think about the movie I watched last night. Being distracted means that I’ve surrendered control of my thoughts to external prompts. I might have decided to dedicate my time to certain activity, but my mind is not there. I feel anxious. I might be thinking about the meeting I need to hurry for. Or about getting a certain project done. Or about news. I can never detach from the parasite thought, it distracts me from whatever I do. I’m neither effective, not efficient at what I’m doing.
When I feel bored, my mind is free of stimuli. There is nothing interesting, so I need to make my own interesting stuff. Often this isn’t hard. I might perceive beautiful nature, or I might be pondering on existential questions. Pondering prompts creativity. What I do to keep me entertained might not be the greatest invention, but I’m certain that it will be dear to me. Good or bad, it will be my own. And that’s an end of itself.
Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten bored for a while. I’ve been busy. It feels impossible to get bored when I’m busy. I’ve fallen in a trap, called “always-busy”. I’ve got work, I’ve got personal life, I have hobbies and chores to tend to.
I’ve been curbing distractions. I haven’t made enough free time to get bored. Yet. I’m still in a withdrawal from distractions. And looking forward to getting bored again.