One of the issues I see in the youth I work with is a need for constant entertainment. It makes sense; all the entertainment in the world exists on that small screen we carry around in our pocket. We have lost the ability to tolerate boredom.
This is a problem because an idle mind is the fertile ground that ideas grow in. In my life I’ve seen the truth of the old saying that creative ideas come while you’re in bed, in the bath, or on the bus. (For me it’s more like while mowing the lawn, driving, or swimming, but the premise is the same.) If we don’t give your mind input it’s amazing what it will create on its own.
But this inability to deal with boredom is deeper than just a habit of looking at our phones. If we don’t spend time alone with our mind we start to feel uncomfortable when we’re “alone with ourselves.” Introspection and pondering are skills that need to be developed.
Meditation is a great way to start getting comfortable with our own mind. If you’ve never tried meditation a good place to start is the free Oak Meditation app. Most meditation apps seem to feel you need a monthly subscription to be mindful. Oak is not one of those.
However you do it, spend more time alone with your mind. Go for a walk without your phone or headphones, sit calmly and think about your day, or try doing the dishing while going over problem in your mind. It will lower the stress in your life. You’ll also discover that you’re a pretty great person to spend time alone with.
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