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The Uncurated Life Podcast

Release Date: 03/07/2022


The Uncurated Life Podcast

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The Uncurated Life Podcast

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164 | RAGE show art 164 | RAGE

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160 | I'M A SHITTY BOSS show art 160 | I'M A SHITTY BOSS

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More Episodes
I never thought I'd hear myself say this, but holy crap, I would love to be BORED.
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Under the Influence Podcast -
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Hello, my name is Cindy Guentert-Baldo, and I need to be. Welcome to the uncurated life podcast, or we talk about life both on and off of the internet. If this is your first time here, I am so excited that you're here. And if this is not your first time here, thanks for coming back today. We are talking about boredom and why I need to be bored and why I somehow cannot manage to be okay with being bored.
It's a thing that I am coming to terms with. I just got off of a three-day weekend and I had some moments where I got bored and immediately turned to candy crush. I'm actually going to be talking a little, you'll be hearing a lot about candy crush over the next few episodes, but like, it was like, I couldn't just sit and be bored.
And I realized that this like constant busy-ness in my mind. Is one of the things that is contributing to my massive sense of overwhelm. It occurred to me that maybe I need to embrace boredom just a little bit. So let's talk about being bored. Why is being bored? A good thing, because it sounds like a bad thing, right?
Like when you're a kid being bored is like the worst possible thing ever, you know, like, oh my God, mom, I remember my kids being like, what can I do? What can I do? What can I do? And I'm like, you can fuck off. I didn't say that, but I wanted to.
One of the reasons I think being bored really can frustrate a lot of us is because when you're bored, it's like time moves slower because you're not constantly busy, constantly. Everything else shit starts to drag. And then as soon as you get wrapped up in something and suddenly it's flying by. But I realized with as quickly as like February has flown by for me, uh, maybe being bored and having that time going slow could be a good thing.
There's an article. I have a link and the articles I talk about in the show notes, this one is from psychology today. It's by a Dr. . He wrote an article called the benefit five benefits of boredom. And so I'm just going to read through them really quick. The first benefit of boredom is that boredom can improve our mental health.
So according to the article, It says that in this age of information, our brains are overloaded with information and distractions. The wealth of information means a scarcity of attention. Attention uses one's limited cognitive resources for productive activities. So taking a break can be a valuable opportunity to help our overloaded brains relax and alleviate stress.
It is beneficial to step away from social media and other stressors long enough to feel bored and quote. So right here is something that I think is a distinction between. What I'm doing and what I might maybe should be doing. I'm okay. With stepping away from social media and from other things, I can do that for a few minutes.
I don't think I do it long enough to get bored, because I think the moment I'm starting to even brush against the idea of boredom I'm right back on my phone or I'm right back in my book or I'm right back, whatever. So there's a podcast. I'm sure you've heard of it. If you haven't. It's awesome. It's called under the influence.
One of the things they're talking about in the newest season is in the fall having a day where women exit social media for a day to show the power that women hold over social media, it doesn't really talk about non-binary or other people, which is something that I've actually been curious about. And I want to message them, but the idea here is to step off for an entire day.
And I was listening to her talking about, and I'm like, that's a great idea. And then I was like, do I think it's a great idea because I want to show the power that women have over the internet and like the internet economy, or is it that the idea of just not being on social media is. Refreshing. I don't know, but this idea of stepping away from it long enough to be bored.
So not just stepping away from it, but step away to actually our board. It's not something I'm including in my March goals, but it might be something I start to think about. Come. The second benefit to being bored. According to the article, boredom can increase creativity and can provide an opportunity to turn inward and use the time for thought and reflection.
Boredom can enable creativity and problem-solving by allowing the mind to wander and daydream. People were in one study, people were made to do boring tasks like reading reports or attending tedious meetings, the boring tasks encourage their minds to wander, which led to creative ways of thinking. The study showed that with mundane activities, we discover useful ideas in the app.
External stimulation. We use our imagination and think in different ways and quote, this was kind of where the boredom came from. For me, the idea this, this particular benefit was the one that was at top of my mind when I was thinking about wanting to be board, was that one of the things I want to do this year is more hobbies and really stimulate my creativity outside of work so that it can like benefit my whole life.
And I'm just not bored enough. I don't think to really let some of those newer ideas start from. One thought process I had when looking at this article was like thinking about being in high school and being in a class that, or a college middle school, whatever, being in a class that I really wasn't into.
And I was a nerd. I was into most of my classes, but there were classes I wasn't into. And so I would start doodling and I'm a child of the nineties. So often those doodles were like the Stussi S that special S or drawing Tweety bird, or Marvin, the Martian. If you are a child with it, like if you were a teenager in the nineties, you know exactly what I'm talking about, the cover of my trapper keeper and so on and so forth.
But I was, I would do some of my most fun doodles when I was that bored. So this makes a lot of sense. The third benefit to boredom, uh, from the article, boredom motivates a search for novelty without boredom. Humans would not have the taste for adventure and novelty seeking that makes us who we are intelligent, curious, and constantly seeking out.
The next thing, novelty seeking implies dissatisfaction with the status quo and a willingness to challenge established ideas and practices. Great achievements are facilitated with dissatisfaction with the status quo. And I'll tell you right now, this is when I read this benefit. I was like, oh fuck. Yeah, because I am both an very intense creature of habit.
Like I get stressed out if my routines and my habits are funny. But I also do get frustrated when I'm doing the same old, same old for too long, in certain aspects of my life, especially creative aspects of my life. I've always been somebody who kind of bounces like a hummingbird from hobby to hobby. And I think that this idea of novelty and seeking out new and interesting experiences is something that I am really trying to lean into this year.
But it's kind of fighting against my nature. I want these things, but my nature is to stick, be a homebody stick to the things I know through teens. I know the status quo is comfortable for me. And so stepping outside of that is difficult. And I'm thinking if I can get bored enough, that might motivate me to do it in a way that just saying, I want these things.
Does that make sense? I wonder if it does, it's making sense to me, at least from the article, the fourth benefit of boredom is that boredom motivates the pursuit of new goals. Boredom is an emotional signal that we are not doing what we want to be doing. Being bored means we are currently engaged, not only.
Uninteresting or challenging situation, but also in a situation that fails to meet our expectations and desires, boredom encourages us to shift to goals and projects that are more fulfilling than the ones we're currently pursuing. And here I think is maybe the crux of why it's so hard for me to be.
Generally speaking, I am not in an uninteresting or unchallenging situation with my life. We moved to Denver that in and of itself is challenging. Right. But I, my family has some challenging health problems right now, but I'm relatively happy with the state of my life, with the things I'm doing with whatever.
I don't feel very. Dissatisfied with my life. What does she say in the breakfast club? My home life is unsatisfying or my home life is satisfying. And I recognize what a privilege that is, but maybe that's part of why I don't tend to gravitate towards boredom aside from the fact that I've always been someone who just can't manage to not be busy.
I also am someone who is relatively content with the state of my life. And so maybe that is one of the reasons why I don't have that, like, kind of wanderlusty achy feeling. And the fifth benefit of boredom, according to the article is boredom and self-control skills boredom affects the ability to focus and pay attention because the interest is lost among students boredom results in disengagement, from class and poor performance, they can feel bored when they lack the cognitive resources to focus.
The ability to focus and self-regulate is correlated with the ability to handle boredom, learning, to endure boredom at a young age. Great preparation for developing self-control skills, like regulating one's thoughts, emotions and actions. Yeah, man, like that makes sense. I have always been someone who feels like their brain is moving at a million miles per hour, often faster than I probably want it to.
And boredom has always been really stressful for me. And so trying that maybe that's why meditating has never really worked for me. Cause I get fucking bored and I'm like, no, I don't want to do this. I want to do something else. And so I'm thinking by facilitating some boredom in my life, maybe that will help me a little bit when it comes to focus issues I have in other areas, maybe I don't know.
Anyway, so I. I was doing some more research into the idea of boredom, right? Like, cause I was like, I know I want to be bored. I know that being bored is something that's almost like aspirational to me. I've joked a lot about when Jesse and I finally go on our honeymoon, even though we've been married for fucking what, like eight years now, I don't even know.
He, he knows I'm not good at remembering these things, uh, by seven had a honeymoon yet. But my goal honeymoon is to go somewhere, maybe tropical, where I can like lay by. Like in a pool, be in a pool where the water is filtered, but be in sight of the beach where there's no wifi, so I can be bored, but that's my dream honeymoon.
And. I wonder sometimes if I might hate it when I actually do it, because I'd be like, fuck, I'm so bored, you know? But this idea of being bored to me just feels right. It feels like if I can just manage to get to a point where I'm like, fuck dude, I am so bored that it might help me kind of rocket ship off into more interesting or new to me, experiences and things.
So I was like, okay, well, if I really want to be bored, and if being bored is something that I've actively pushed against my whole life, then how do I get there? You know, that's, that's easier said than done, but one of the things I came across was another article that was on Zapier, which I think is an app that lets you like connect things to get out of whatever the article is, what I'm here for by Emily Esposito.
And it's about the art of being bored, how to be more productive by doing nothing. And the specific thing I zeroed in on where the types of boredom, because if I can identify with the type of boredom I want, maybe that will help me get there. So the five types of boredom that she talks about were developed by a team of German.
Researchers led by Thomas guts. They wanted to dive deeper into the types of boredom. And so they did a bunch of research. They studied high school students and college students asked them to answer questions over the course of a couple of weeks. And. They identified five different types with unique characteristics.
These types are in, I'm going to read from the article number one in different perhaps than most neutral of the five people with indifferent boredom are calm and withdrawn from the world. They use the words, relaxation and cheerful fatigue to describe. Number two is calibrating boredom, which refers to wandering thoughts and not knowing what to do.
You want to change your environment or behavior, but aren't actively finding alternatives. This type of boredom is common when. Performing repetitive tasks. Number three is searching boredom, which is defined by a sense of unpleasant restlessness and an active search for ways to minimize that boredom using two, usually turning to activities and thoughts about hobbies, leisure interests in school.
Number four is reactant boredom, which is characterized by feelings of aggression, reacted, boredom, motivates people to leave the boring situation and avoid those responsible for it. People experiencing this type of boredom have persistent thoughts about specific, more, highly valued alternative situations.
And finally, there's apathetic. This type of boredom operates at a different level than the previous four. It's a deeper, more negative state of mind that can be linked to feelings of helplessness and depression as well as destructive behaviors. So when I'm looking at these five, I would say that when I am bored, I tend to be in the world of.
Calibrating boredom where the wandering thoughts and not knowing what to do and apathetic boredom, which is where I go when I'm in a really not great place. And that is, um, that tends to trigger some of my anxiety and depression. So I think what I want is to bring into my world more of the calibrating board.
Which is the board and the happens with repetitive tasks and the indifferent boredom where I'm bored, but I'm okay with it. Like I'm just, I'm, I'm, I'm relaxed and I can just be bored and be okay with it. So that's what I think I want to really search for. They offer in this article, a couple of ideas of how to do it.
And the first one is about choosing activities, right? So there's a bunch of mundane tasks we have to do on a daily basis, whether they're work-related or house related or whatever the case may be. And the point that the article makes. And I super agree with this is that there are some tasks that. Feel mundane and repetitive, but you still have to focus.
The example they bring up in the article is building a pivot table and analyzing data. It's boring and it's tedious, but you have to focus on it. You can't like. You can't let your mind wander right now for me, a task like that would be, uh, prepping vegetables. Now I find chopping vegetables to be kind of relaxing.
However, I could also get easily bored by it if I'm just not in the right spot, but I have to pay attention to what I'm doing. I can't let my mind wander or I'll chop my finger off. You see what I'm saying? The other thing the article brings up is that there are tasks that. Are relaxing. That can be confused with boredom.
I brought up earlier that meditation makes me bored, but they say that meditation is actually meant to promote tranquility. The idea is to remove the distractions and rid your mind of stimulation. Whereas boredom is when you're trying to find the stimulation and you can't find it. I don't know. I'm still pretty bored by meditation, but the point is, is that might not be the way to find it a.
A task that they bring up. That would be a really great example of a way to bring up that like boredom of doing what is the calibrating boredom of doing repetitive tasks is like stuffing envelopes for something like, if you're doing wedding invitations or we were doing life campaign with their, my church to send out things for donations or whatever, stuffing envelopes, definitely a boredom inducing situations.
So coming up with ideas, like for that, for me coming up with like a boredom list, I'm going to maybe put that in my bullet journal in March makeup of board and list. I'm gonna write that down. I'm gonna write down a boredom list of activities that I can do that will kind of take the stimulation out to.
But give me something to keep me occupied so that my hands are working, but my brain can wander. The second thing they suggest is to banish distractions, which is the one we were already talking about with removing your smartphones. One of the people referenced in the article is Sandy Mann, who is a psychology lecturer at the university of central Lancashire.
And she said, That we're trying to swipe and scroll the boredom away. But in doing that, we're actually making ourselves more prone to boredom because every time we get our phone out, we're not allowing our mind to wander and to solve our own boredom problems. So the suggestion is, is to take your, don't take your phone out when you're standing, waiting for something like I do this all the time.
I was standing, waiting around. I bust out my phone and I play a little candy crush. The idea here is to. To not to start getting the habit, whether you have to put an app on your phone or something else of not whipping your phone out in those little Mormon moments where you could be bored. So that's something to work on.
I might turn that into a habit for April as well. I don't know. And then the other situation, the other idea they bring up, and this is one that I need to take to heart, and that is to stop overbooking yourself. You know, don't accept. Meeting. Don't always be going out strategically block off boredom time in your calendar.
You know, some people would say leave white space in your calendar, but this idea of like making sure various time for you to get bored. It says here in this article, uh, for some, uh, minutiae Zomorodi in a GQ article said that being bored is like the stuff that feels super uncomfortable. If you're not used to it, like going to the gym, it really hurts at first.
But then you start going maybe three or four times a week and it gets a little easier and maybe you get a little hot, a little exercise high in the sweat starts to feel good and it suddenly becomes part of your life. So the idea is to. Treat boredom like a muscle and train it so you don't lose it. And then you can go find your boredom, find your time, spend that time being bored and make it a habit.
Making boredom a habit. That's also a good idea. I should write that down. I'm going to make myself a little list. I'm going to make myself a little list. I want to make a boredom list and I want to do boredom habit. I better write those down. Those will not be in my March video. Cause I already filmed it.
You probably already seen it at this point. However, I will be talking about that more come April. I think, I think that is going to be a focus because like I said, in the title of this, I want to be bored. Now what about you? Do you want to be bored? Are you going to try some of these things? Are you going to seek out the boredom in your life?
I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. Go to instant. Tag me at @llamaletters in your story. And tell me your ideas, the things that help stimulate your boredom. Are you trying to be bored? Do you think I am losing my shit for wanting to be bored? Let me know. I'd love to hear about it. This episode was brought to you by my patrons.
They're fucking amazing. If you want to know about Patreon, go to www.patreon.com/cindyguentertbaldo to find out more. And in the meantime, my friends, I hope you find some time this week to get a little bored. I'm hoping I can too. I, I don't know if I'm going to be able to or not, because this week is, you know, a busy week for me, but we shall see wish me luck.
I'm wishing you. Well, And until next time, peace out.