Today I’ve been thinking a lot about the emotions of boredom and loneliness. While these are perfectly valid emotions, they seem like they can also be time wasters. When we are feeling these emotions, we are wanting something to be different. We are wanting the boredom to go away by having something different happen. We think we need to do something exciting to change our emotion when in reality we really just need to focus our attention and learn how to change our emotional state.
Then for loneliness, we are wanting the feeling of loneliness go away because we want someone around us to not feel loneliness. We believe that we must have someone come into our lives, whether it be a friend, family, or a partner to take away this feeling of loneliness. But is this true? Can we learn to change this emotion without the external force to change it for us?
Of course we can, we can change any of our emotions at any point in time. It’s an internal game, not an external one. We have everything we need living inside of us to change our emotional state. We can dance, we can breath, we can focus, and we can change our language to change our internal emotional state. Unfortunately we don’t always feel like it’s going to “work” which is why we don’t do it. But what if we practice this for a bit, what if it DOES work!
The paradox is that by wanting this emotion to be released by an external force, we are keeping ourselves from taking any real action to change it ourselves. When we stay in that emotion, we feel disempowered and like it won’t change. If we transmute the energy to joy or excitement, we then get the energy to move forward.
While I do believe Instagram is an incredible tool to make friends, build your network, and find clients and customers. It’s possible that Instagram is also one of the worst things we can put our attention on to keep us in this “wanting” state. When we open Instagram, we are looking for things outside of us that we don’t currently have from other people’s lives. Then we think to ourselves, “oh I wish I had that in my life right now.”
And we continue to do it for everyone. We “want” what someone else is doing, and they “want” what we are doing. How screwed up is that. I’ll give you an example. I’m currently in Miami Beach right now as I type this. I was just able to spend the last hour on the beach. Which is incredible.
But then I’m seeing posts from friends that are skiing in California and Colorado. So I’m also wanting to be there. I’m seeing myself say “I wish I could be doing that today” but when I do that I take myself out of the present moment and put myself wishing I was there. But we often forget and don’t take into consideration what it means to be there.
For the skiing example, it means that then I have to deal with cold weather. It means I need cold weather clothes. It means I will be spending more money and exhausted at the end of the day. And it means I won’t have time to sit and write blog posts.
So instead! It’s better to learn to appreciate the present moment. I mean being in Miami isn’t bad! I’m relaxing next to a pool with my laptop. It’s about 70 degrees. The ocean is right there, and I’m with friends. Life is great! So why am I wanting to be somewhere else? Or be doing something else? Because our brains are programmed it seems to think that the grass is always greener on the other side.
But if we can learn to stay here. Learn to appreciate the present moment and utilize the energy we have available to us right now. We can then best use that energy so that we then create more resources and energy to have that experience in the future.
It takes a lot of awareness about yourself and your emotions to make this happen. Because we constantly have to be checking in with how we “feel.” In the moment ask yourself, how am I feeling? And if I’m feeling an emotion such as boredom or loneliness. If so, what actions am I taking in the moment. Such as am I checking instagram searching for some piece of content that will “fix” the emotion?
Well instead then say to yourself okay “I’m feeling bored, so what can I do about it?” I can focus on writing, I can focus on writing code, I can focus on building my social media profile. Instead of going to the pre-programmed response of saying “oh I need to check Instagram right now” to fix this for me.
Then once you gain conscious control over your actions because of the emotions, you then take control of your life. You become the warrior of your life. And the paradox again is that once are now taking action, you will start to shift the emotion away from where it was to a more desirable emotion.
Maybe because your new actions actually create a desired result, or because your new actions start to put you in a new state of flow. When we enter a flow state, we start to release all of the pleasure chemicals. And if we enter this flow state, we start to feel better, we start to get more energy. And with that energy we again create actions that work us towards the desired result. So either way we win if we become more aware of our emotions and our actions that result from those emotions.