BEING WITH BOREDOM
According to Healthline, meditation has been scientifically proven to reduce stress, control anxiety, promote emotional health, enhance self awareness, lengthen ones attention span, reduce age related memory loss, generate kindness, help fight addiction, improve sleep, control pain and decrease blood pressure.
However, have you ever sat down to meditate and felt just plain bored? In honor of national anti-boredom month, FitPros wanted to shine some light on what that 'boredom' might actually be, so we asked expert FitPro Nkechi Deanna Njaka what her thoughts on the subject were.
WARNING: After reading this article you may be inclined to begin meditating. Curious as how to start? FitPros provides onsite mindfulness practices for employees and tenants all over the United States see how to enquire below.
IS MEDITATION BORING?
bore·dom | \ ˈbȯr-dəm \
Definition of boredom: the state of being weary and restless through lack of interest
For anyone who has sat in any sort of meditation practice, we know that while we may come to our practice seeking inner peace, lower anxiety, and to increase our understanding of self, we may find that when we stop and bring ourselves into stillness, a few disconcerting things happen.
We notice that we are uncomfortable.
Our arm itches.
Our foot falls asleep.
We discover we are really tired.
We don’t have dinner plans yet.
We find that it is hard to stop the endless loop of tedious thoughts.
Those moments of wishing we were anywhere else than our practice is the moment we might ask ourselves “AM I BORED?”
And that answer might be yes. Meditation MIGHT actually be boring. Especially in our world of busy-ness and technology and stacked schedules.
Why do we equate stillness with boredom and what can the practice teach us about being bored?
BOREDOM COMES FROM LACK OF ATTENTION. WITH IT WE ALSO FIND RESTLESSNESS, DISCOURAGEMENT, AND JUDGMENT. WE GET BORED BECAUSE WE DON’T LIKE WHAT IS HAPPENING OR BECAUSE WE FEEL EMPTY OR LOST. IN NAMING IT, WE CAN ACKNOWLEDGE BOREDOM AND LET IT BE A STATE TO EXPLORE. —JACK KORNFIELD
Mindfulness meditation is a practice that is ultimately inviting us to be present with everything that is arising. Assuming that this includes our boredom, our practice is an invitation for us to experience our boredom with a lens of curiosity and openness.
What if we decided not to reject our “boredom” but rather we sought to understand and even allow it to exist?
What can it tell us about us?
Does being bored mean you are boring? I do not think so. The fact that we’ve noticed our boredom is a beautiful opportunity to ask ourselves what we notice, what we need and what may need to change? Becoming more interested in what it is, allows what is to becoming to be more interesting and YOU become more interesting too!
::: A QUICK MEDITATION :::
If you are finding yourself feeling bored, try this practice and try working with this simple meditation.
Set your timer for three minutes and do the following:
On the inhale, recite: I am making space to be more curious, now, and I am trusting it will lead me towards deeper awareness of myself.
On the exhale, recite: What am I most aware of in this moment?
FitPro Nkechi Deanna Njaka is a creative content director/ founder of NDN Integrated Lifestyle Studio, a meditation teacher as well as the co-founder of Sitting Matters, a mindful + creative lifestyle brand. She is also a 2017-2018 YBCA Artist Fellow. Nkechi majored in neuroscience and dance at Scripps College and went on to complete an MSc in Neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh. With a background in neuroscience and dance, she has spent the majority of her life investigating the relationship between the brain and the body, and has always felt the significance of their integration.
For several years, Nkechi worked as a neuroscientist as well as a professional modern dancer and choreographer. Through this work, she discovered that mindfulness and creativity are crucial for sustaining individual and global well-being.
When not exploring mindfulness and other wellness practices, Nkechi spends her time discovering ways to participate more fully in the arts and travel. She currently lives in SF.
You can find her here: IG: @ndnlifestylist
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