5 Simple Tips To Handle Boredom and Anxiety

1. How to handle boredom?

First and foremost, boredom can be your friend or enemy. Boredom is often looked at as the bad guy, but in reality, it’s telling you to get-up and get painting, call friends and family, complete crossword puzzles, unfinished projects, read a book, do 10 jumping jacks, laundry, take out the trash, play board games, talk to one another…fill in the blank!

A word of caution with boredom: it does not like frivolous, meaningless, distractive, escape, or busy tasks like watching TV, being on your smartphone device for long periods of time.

Make boredom work for you, not against you.

2. How to handle anxiety?

The most important thing to know about anxiety is the feeling that drives it…worry! Anxiety in itself is the effect of worrying.

Imagine an iceberg above the water (Anxiety) and below (Worry). You can see the effects on top of the iceberg (Anxiety), but beneath (WORRY) is where the magic happens…the stirring-up of the ocean.

The idea is to reduce worry, not squash, or resist it because the more you do the more powerful it gets. Worry’s message is…

”You haven’t acknowledged or validated me yet so I’m going to make you anxious and stir things up. To stop me from being anxious, do one or more of these tasks:”

  • Acknowledge me.
  • Take a deep slow diaphragm breath through your nose, and exhale slowly through your mouth.
  • I like to look around the room and see how often the same color shows up in different forms.
  • If you look me straight in the eye I will help you calm down.
  • I like to worry between 3-4 pm to help me feel better.
  • If I make a worry list between 3-4 pm I tend to feel better.

Related: What to Do When You Worry Too Much

3. Be a visionary, tap into your imagination

Have you ever had a dream that was so vivid and real you thought you were there?

I know I have. As a matter of fact, one night I woke up from three dreams! I was so involved with my initial dream that it led me to two other dreams.

The strange thing was I woke up from each dream individually just as something dramatic was about to happen; beginning with 3, then 2, then 1 then I awoke for real! Freaky!

This exercise is unlike meditation where you focus on your breathing and silently chant a mantra in a quiet and calm place. This vision exercise takes meditation to a whole new level because you are active in your vision busy creating and using your imagination. One of my favorite quotes from Albert Einstein, “Imagination is life’s coming attraction.”

There are 23 steps to this Vision Program. Each step is mastered one by one in sequence as the steps build on the previous skill. Once mastered, you will be able to tap into your imagination in real-time with your eyes open. It’s not daydreaming!

Here’s step one and practice as often as you can for a week then determine if you’re ready for step two. As a word of caution, do not rush through these steps, rather take each step seriously with authenticity and genuineness, and only proceed when you’re ready. It’s not a race against yourself!

Thoughts Roaming Exercise

  • Make sure you have a timer set and start it when you’re ready.
  • Sit quietly in a chair for 5-10 minutes without fidgeting or moving and let your thoughts roam, breathe normally.
  • Stop at the first sign of fidgeting or moving and note the time.
  • Do it again right after or wait a while and do it again.
  • Go longer tomorrow and proceed in this manner until you reach 10 minutes without fidgeting or moving.
  • Move to step 2.

Why this exercise first? It is designed to help you let go of those thoughts/feelings that are roaming in your conscious and subconscious minds.

We tend to try and control 60,000 thoughts/feelings a day which is a tremendous amount of work and energy drain. Most of those 60,000 thoughts/feelings are subconscious. The second reason is to quiet the noise so you can see the mountain through the trees.

Imagine you are a hurricane and the eye is the calm. Feeling part and outside the eye is chaos, tumultuous, and dangerous. The eye is stuck in the middle of all this chaos trying to escape but cannot do so. On the outside of the eye, the feeling of satisfaction is trying to reach the eye but is unsuccessful because there is too much chaos blocking the way in.

The idea is not to calm the eye but the storm outside the eye instead. This is what step one teaches you to do. If your personal hurricane is super tumultuous, chaotic, and dangerous it will take you longer to calm the storm, get through this step. Keep going!

4. Exercise your body for 30 seconds to 1 minute as often as necessary

Do you know that we have 650 muscles and 206 bones in our body that need movement every day?

We know that physical exercise helps us be alert, get our blood and heart pumping, keeps blood vessels in shape, improves lung capacity, strengthens bones, reduce cardiac disease, improves stamina and muscle strength.

On the mental side, it helps by reducing stress, anxiety, worry, releasing endorphins to help us feel better, improve alertness, clarity, and thinking. All it takes is less than 1 minute to do one simple total body exercise, the infamous “jumping jack.” It just about works the whole body.

How did “jumping jack” get its name? It was originally a toy-cross between a paper doll and puppet developed in ancient Egypt that arms went up and legs went out to form a “V-Shape”.

Fast forward to the 1800s, it was further developed by adding two strings, one above the head and one below the torso. When the top string was pulled the arms went up, and when the torso string was pulled the legs went out. When both strings were pulled at the same time the toy appeared to do jumping jacks.

Then came along General John Jack “Black” Pershing who’s known to have invented the exercise around 1902 by taking the idea from the puppet toy to train his cavalry and to use jumping jacks to haze new cadets to get them into shape and fitness, and so “jumping jack” was born.

Jumping Jack
By John Leechhttp://posner.library.cmu.edu/Posner/books/book.cgi?call=937_A138C_1850, Public Domain, Link

It’s an exercise that just about uses the whole body to participate including shoulders, neck, chest, back, abs; legs…front, back and inside; glutes, lower legs, and calves, heart and cardiovascular system…and a few I didn’t mention!

There are several variations so please do what keeps you safe, keep it gentle, go slowly, and work within your limitations. Always consult a physician or healthcare provider before performing strenuous exercise.

Jumping Jacks

5. Watch your spending

When we are bored, we tend to spend more money to release emotional energy and stress. It is so subconscious that we are not aware we are doing it. Next thing you know, your bank account is low on funds.

The small things (Leaks) you buy are subtle and slowly dripping out of your bank account. One of my favorite quotes from good ole Benny Franklin, “A small leak will sink a great ship.” Mind your ship (bank account) because if you don’t, it will sink before you reach the pier and leave you gasping for air!

So the next time you pull out your credit or debit card from your wallet or purse ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” If you’re second-guessing then don’t do it! Save your money for something more important the next time around.

In summary, if you don’t initially handle boredom then you will begin to feel more anxious which leads to spending more money, less exercise, and shutting down your imagination.

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Website: B-posi+ive

As a Counselor-Advanced Life Coach, Giuseppe has helped 1,000's people over the last 30 years with career change, health and wellness, relationships, New Year's resolution, habit change, anxiety, and stress relief.

Giuseppe is a Counselor-Advanced Life Coach, level one CBT therapist with the Feeling Good Institute, and the inventor of the life-changing mind-body-sync B-posi+ive app.

He is also the author of Mind, Body and Inner-self and Secrets of a Trim Mind.