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We all have different boredom thresholds: some of us get bored a lot quicker and a lot easier. Here’s a fun little three minute quiz to figure out where you feature.
But when that mid-afternoon slump of energy does descend, it’s worth experimenting with boredom, embracing it even just once to see what happens.
Sit for a while with a notepad, letting the mind run free with thoughts, or explore daydreaming topics. Or begin a sentence, ‘What if…’, exploring weird and wonderful scenarios.
Mental games, challenges & riddles are fun for some, e.g. trying to recall all the UK counties, or all the countries in Europe. A good one is trying to recall all the countries with only one vowel. There are five of them – no googling, no cheating, and no abbreviations.
Boredom can also be found through repetitive mindless activity: like cooking, cleaning, ironing, or driving. Activities completed automatically let your mind drift.
Yet some people, rather than viewing chores as dull, find the time invaluable for finding solutions to their problems. By occupying the body, it can reduce the stress of facing a problem. Jeff Bezos still does his own washing up, for example.
But these ideas aside, embracing boredom may not be easy for the cancer survivor. For us particularly, boredom and a free mind might only result in worry and anxiety. Boredom promotes self-reflection, a positive occupation for most, but for the survivor, limitless self-reflection can make us dwell on negative thoughts.
Perhaps we need distraction from our boredom much more than others.
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