THE GOOD SIDE OF BOREDOM

Hay algunos que prefieren tirarse al sofá con un libro y otros que se entregan a un maratón de Netflix después de la jornada de trabajo. Sin embargo, te apuesto a que más de una vez durante tus horas de descanso has sentido ese impulso de revisar tu mail o de atender un asunto de trabajo necesario para resolver los problemas del mundo. Aunado a esto hace algunas semanas leí un artículo donde se lanzó una pregunta que me hizo replantearme algunas prioridades: ¿cuándo fue la última vez que te sentiste realmente aburrido y en la que no hiciste nada para combatir eso?/ Some people like to lay on the couch with a book and others prefer to devour a Netflix show after a hard workday. However, I bet that more than once during your rest hours you’ve felt that impulse to answer a mail that is necessary to solve one of the main problems of the world. I’m telling you this, because a few weeks ago I read an article where a question made me rethink some of my current priorities: when was the last time you felt boredom? did you solved it or you just let it pass?

A partir de eso me puse a pensar en todas las veces en las que para evadir el aburrimiento recurrí a mi teléfono: en el parque en un picnic o mientras esperaba para ser atendido en “inserte aquí su trámite burocrático más odiado”. Pareciera que el espacio para encontrar en el aburrimiento una pausa para hacer absolutamente NADA y permanecer en ese estado por un tiempo que nos permita recuperar energía es algo que se castiga con las etiquetas de OCIO e INUTILIDAD y tal vez por eso es que siempre estamos en la búsqueda de añadir una nueva tarea que nos mantenga “ocupados” todo el tiempo./ I started to think about all the times I used my phone to avoid boredom: in the park while doing a picnic or while waiting in the line of “insert here your most hated bureaucratic process”. It seems that the space to find in boredom a pause to do absolutely NOTHING and remain in that state for a time that allows us to recover energy is something that is punished with the labels of LAZINESS and INUTILITY and maybe that’s why we’re always in the search to add a new task that can keep us “busy” all the time.

Y esto es algo que, al menos en la cultura occidental se nos enseña desde que somos pequeños. “Hay que distraerse, ponte a limpiar” me decía siempre mi abuela cuando yo admitía con descaro que el aburrimiento se estaba apoderando de mí. Porque no hacer nada nunca estuvo bien visto y supongo ahora tiene una peor reputación, sobretodo en la era de la productividad y los estímulos externos (llámese anuncio publicitario, Candy Crush o una vorágine de historias de Instagram) donde el acto de aburrirse se ve incluso como un síntoma alejado del bienestar./ And this is something that, at least in Western culture, we are taught since we are kids. “You have to do something, boredom is not healthy, go and clean the table” my grandmother would always tell me when I admitted with imprudence that boredom was taking over me. Because doing nothing is something that has a label of bad reputation and i guess the situation is worse now, especially in the era of productivity and external stimuli (call it publicity, Candy Crush or a storm of Instagram stories) where the act of getting bored is even seen as a symptom that has nothing to do with well-being.

No me malinterpreten, una cosa es el aburrimiento como indicio de molestia (todos hemos sufrido un semestre alguna clase de Física o Química) y otra verlo como una pausa o un espacio necesario para hacer absolutamente NADA, un tiempo para escapar y una invitación para alimentar ideas frescas y recibir nuevos estímulos y sobretodo para recargar energía./ But don’t get me wrong, one this is boredom as a sign of annoyance (we’ve all suffered a math class in school) and another is to find in boredom a necessary pause to do absolutely NOTHING, a time to escape reality and an invitation to feed fresh ideas and receive new stimuli and above all to recharge energy.

Algunos psicólogos (más aquí) dicen que en momentos de aburrimiento, es mejor alejarse de los estímulos externos y dejar que nuestro cerebro se alimente de nuestras propias reflexiones. Algunos incluso recomiendan que tampoco está mal huir de los snacks de entretenimiento (tecnología, por decir algo) que en lugar de sacarnos de nuestro aburrimiento, nos dejarán ansiosos por seguir consumiendo contenido, y hable ahora o calle para siempre aquel que ha aceptado una invitación a algún lugar que ni le apetecía todo por no quedarse en soledad durante un fin de semana./ Some psychologists (more here) say that in times of boredom, it is better to get away from external stimuli and feed our brains with our own thoughts. Some people even recommend that it is not wrong to avoid entertainment snacks (let’s say technology, the obvious one) that instead of taking us out of our boredom, will leave us anxious and eager to continue consuming content, and I bet that more than once you have accepted an invitation to an event you didn’t even want to go just for not staying alone during a weekend.

No aferrarse a pensamientos, tareas futuras o a ese mood glorificado de estar siempre ocupado me parece una tarea tan difícil, pero de vez en cuando intento reclamar mi derecho legítimo a estar tumbado viendo las grietas del techo o las hojas de un árbol según el escenario, a aburrirme en paz y a tener ese pequeño oasis personal que me pueda ayudar a estar presente en el aquí y ahora y es que últimamente mi atención es similar a la de un lemur. ¿Y tú, reclamas tu derecho a sentir aburrimiento aunque sea de vez en mes?/ Not clinging to thoughts, future tasks or to that glorified mood of being always busy seems a difficult task for me, but from time to time I try to claim my legitimate right to lie down watching the cracks in my roof or the leaves of a tree according to the scenario, to find a minute of peace in boredom and to have that little personal oasis that can help me be present in the present. And what about you… do you claim your right to feel bored even once a month?

“Boredom is a powerful tool that invites you to rethink your relationship with the world” – Gustavo Razzetti

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  • This is a great article! For the longest time, I’ve been trying to keep myself occupied all the time, seizing every possible moment to learn something new, to keep reading, to keep working on new projects…and I can tell you that all this effort put into being occupied every single moment had a negative influence on my creative energy. Most of all, because I was often acting out of fear, afraid that I’ll be ‘missing out’ if I don’t stay busy all the time. I think this fear is something we can all relate to in these modern times. After I read a few articles about the importance of boredom, I started to realize how counterproductive being ‘very busy’ can be.

    We all need time for ourselves. Time to allow our brain to rest. Time to recharge our creative batteries. Time to shut down the phone, turn down the TV and return to the ‘more simple’ way of life. You’ve pointed that out perfectly in this post. We don’t have to see it as boredom, we can call it relaxation or resting. The Italian have an expression for that dolce fare niente- it’s sweet to do nothing. It seems to me that we should learn from the Italians.

  • No lo hago del todo, pero me encantaría. Creo que no estamos acostumbrados a dejarnos llevar y ver qué nos dice nuestra mente, el poder encontrar o no respuestas frusta. Una vez más un post genial cariño, te mando un fuerte abrazo

    Caritrini.blogspot.com

  • Hey Fungi, how are you? Hope everyting’s great for you! 🙂
    This is a very interesting question….
    Well, really i am that kind of “hyperactive” girl that is almost never bored, since, having tons of hobbies and interests, I’ve always have something to do. Not forcefully to fill every moment of my life, but in that natural way that when I have nothing to do, I found something interesting and nice to do, no rush no mandatory, no stress, just enjoying your time.
    Really these moments when I free to do what I want are precious to me and I try to carve out moments for me every day.
    So I can say that I’ve almost never really felt bored in my life, except of when i have to wait, like to the dentist, on a line or in the traffic and so on: in those cases, if i can, I read an ebook on my phone or check my socials or play a game, but even if I cant use my smartphone it’s ok for me, just stay and thinking or observing things and people around me is enough to do not make me bored.
    I think that what we really need is not very much time to get bored but time to enjoy at your own pace and will.
    XO
    S
    https://s-fashion-avenue.blogspot.com

  • ¡No sabes cuánto me ha hecho reflexionar tu post, madre mía! Es que yo me pongo a pensar y la verdad es que jamás he tenido aburrimiento en sí porque, como tú dices, siempre lo estamos matando con algo… ¡Si no es con el móvil, es con la tele! Nunca he mirado a las musarañas porque sí :3

    Lo que te decía tu abuela, también se repetía (y se repite) en mi casa… ¡Si te aburres, a limpiar! Porque, claro, aburrirse fue, es y será lo peor del mundo mundial en nuestra cultura jajaja.

    Como pequeña conclusión: un artículo de 10, me ha encantado leerte 🙂

    Un besito Pablo ❤
    Melania | mimalditadulzura.com

  • So thought-provoking! I was thinking that I have not been bored in a long time, but it’s only because I resort to phone whenever I get a chance. I cannot imagine being without my phone for a long period of time, but after reading this, I think I will have to try it out. Lol. I hope you enjoy the rest of your week! ♥

    PerlaGiselle | iamperlita.com

    Say hello and let’s follow each other <3
    instagram.com/iamperlita

  • Hey Fungi!

    Such a great topic to cover. I definitely feel like we’re not allowed to feel bored or many of us feel guilty for not constantly doing something, but I do think we need this break to just be present and not think of what we’re supposed to do next. I’ve added an hour of boredom to my day where I just lay on the couch and close my eyes with no cellphone allowed. It’s working pretty great! haha

    http://www.fashionradi.com

  • Hey Fungi!

    Your illustrations are wonderful, and they express your opinion!
    I felt boredom in a train yesterday, so I watched the Topgun movie on Netflix.
    It was the first time I watched it.

    I really love your sentence, ”Boredom is an invitation”.
    After I broke up with ex-boyfriend this spring, I had more boredom time.
    My health got better, but my room is messy, hahaha.

    I invite only messy friends at home.
    When I meet tidy friend, we choose beautiful restaurant!

    Have a lovely day, Fungi!
    Enjoy boredom!

    akiko