by Christine on July 13th, 2016
Yesterday I was tracking my food, and I noticed that I was eating a LOT in the afternoon, because I was bored at work. Uninspired work-wise. Feeling a little down emotionally. And so I was eating to fill that void. An interesting article in physchologytoday.com suggests that there are two types of boredom: the garden variety-needing a pleasure fix, and something called anhedonia, which is a reduced sensitivity to pleasurable experiences. And the article suggests that trying to fix the garden variety version can cause you to develop anhedonia. Awesome. For me, boredom looks like ennui, but lethargy and tiredness also. And depression.
I was reading up about boredom as it relates to Buddhism, to see if there might be a healthier way to approach boredom. One author linked boredom to craving: your cravings and wants are immediate, and they are always changing. “Craving is never faithful to its object. It always wants something else…that is why you get bored with anything and everything. It doesn’t matter how interesting or fascinating it is, you will get bored with it.” The author suggests that craving is an addiction, and that a solution is to control the mind and attitude so that the immediate moment isn’t so “boring.” Hm.
At any rate, here’s some suggestions for myself to stop eating to relieve the feelings of boredom while I’m at work:
- Throw away the junk in the office. Replace with healthier options. (Duh)
- Mandatory water-chugging breaks on the hour. Set alarm on my phone if necessary.
- Get up and stretch/exercise next to my desk and/or a short walk outside.
- Embrace the boredom and meditate it. Instead of trying to remedy it, savor it and explore it.
- Create more variety and interest in other ways, like creating more enjoyable projects to work on, or learn something new on the job.
If you have other suggestions, let me know!!!
A good resource: http://www.katinkahesselink.net/tibet/boring.html
The PsychologyToday article: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/shrink/201206/i-am-bored-therefore-i-eat