Boredom. Lying on the couch and channel surfing

Boredom

I’m soooo bored. . .

What a weird thing to say.

With such an interesting world to live in and so many avenues to capture our attention, how can any of us be bored?

Some might say that boredom is not high up on the list of issues we have to address as a society. But consider that boredom can be related to obesity, drug and alcohol abuse, smoking, laziness, bad posture, and, worst of all, failure to be in the moment.

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Worry. A worried man.

Worry

Everyone, from Alfred E. Newman on, seems to offer advice about how to handle worry. But at some point or another, we all do it.

Nobody makes a conscious choice to worry. It’s a very unpleasant feeling, and it generally doesn’t fix the problem. It can also rob us of our peace of mind.

Everyone worries, but by recognizing it for what it is and acknowledging the effect it has on us, we can minimize those effects. In my experience, once I recognize and accept a negative feeling, it brings it out into the light of day, and this somehow makes it less scary.

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Turning negativity into something positive

Negativity

What do we do when negativity rears its ugly head?

We can try to always be positive and optimistic, but we can’t control it when others are negative.

However, by categorizing others’ words or actions as negative, we necessarily attach our own judgments to them and actually contribute to those words or actions being negative. We feed their negativity.

But what about inconsiderate drivers, rude retail clerks, catty relatives, surly teenagers, arrogant coworkers (I could go on all day)? Aren’t these people’s words and actions inherently negative? Maybe, but it’s not that simple.

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Accomplishments. Rock climber rappelling.

Accomplishments

What are you most proud of?

How much do you think about it?

There can be a tendency, especially as we get older, to believe that we’ve done our best work: We’ve run our fastest race; we’ve written our symphony; we’ve painted our masterpiece. We might go so far as to base our identities on our past accomplishments rather than on our current lives.

It is interesting to think of the periods in our lives when we were (or will be) on fire. When is our heyday? If we think it was in the past or will be well into the future, that’s a sign we’re not living our lives the way we could. Why can’t our heyday be right now?

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Clutter. Cup coffee and sunny trees background

Clutter

“Why do we have all this junk?!”

It’s a question I ask myself quite often.

We have a small house, and it doesn’t take much to make it look and feel cluttered.

Don’t get me wrong, I love our small house. It’s cozy. It has plenty of space to work and live. It promotes “togetherness” as a family. But, as I tell my overly generous mother-in-law, our house is “full.” It has “exceeded capacity.” It is, in a word, cluttered.

It’s not that we’re disorganized. It’s not that we have a bunch of stuff lying around that needs to be put away. Everything is away, there’s just too much of it.

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