Whenever we have some down time or free time, our hand picks up the smart phone and we get involved in different activities like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, News or Games. We have so many options that we can actually spend the entire day without getting bored for a minute. If we are working and if that work is not interesting, then we will pick up our phone. This happens throughout the day, no matter what we are doing. Whether it be spending time with family, reading, or even relaxing. Some people even get bored with sleep and then phone accompanies them. We see our smart phone as a savior to kill the boredom and that is very dangerous.
I am not an exception to above. Even if it is just for 2 minutes when I am waiting for the lift or stuck in the traffic, I would take out my smart phone. It all seems so normal because every other person is doing the same. Today’s technology has advanced to a great level and we have been given so many new applications that we get involved first and then we become addicted to it. The surprising thing is that if you ask someone that “Are you addicted to your smart phone?” and he will say “I am not. I just check it whenever I get time”. I have done that many times, but deep inside I am aware that this is an addiction which does not allow me to concentrate on what I am doing and it is taking away the pleasure of mindfulness.
I tried to observe my thoughts whenever I got the urge to pick up the phone to check something and one of the main reason I found was the boredom. If I am watching some show and if there is a break or if there is nothing interesting, then I get bored and will pick up the phone. It happens whenever I am doing boring household chores. If I am talking to someone and that talk is not very interesting, then I do the same again without thinking much about what other person might feel. Then, I tried to find why are we getting bored so easily and why we take the smart phone as a support.
I found that our thought is making us feel bored and asking us to do something interesting. Imagine that you are in a very important meeting and suddenly your mind says “Oh, this is a very boring meeting. Instead, I should check some jokes on WhatsApp or I should check if someone has posted any interesting posts on Facebook.” And then we oblige to our mind. Mind is looking for the stimulus it got few times while checking the social media or using any App. There is a new trend of escaping the situation of taking selfies. It tells you that the current situation is not interesting and let us escape it to the world of technologies and social network.
Boredom is nothing, but a situation where we do not like thoughts that we are having in mind. It is all about your own thoughts. We say that we would like to escape the routines of life and use the phone, but we do not understand that using the phone has become routine itself. Let us look at some of the disastrous effects of it.
1) We have stopped spending time with our own self. We hardly address what is going inside our mind. We fear of being alone and hence use the phone.
2) We are suppressing our imagination and creativity. We no more get involved in the daydreaming. How many times you must have sat idle, doing nothing and just getting lost in your imaginative thoughts?
3) We are losing the real connection with people. We would like to see what is happening in the life of hundreds of people, but we hardly try to have any eye to eye conversation with the person sitting opposite to us.
There are many more to it, but today we will focus on how to kill this boredom so that we can get rid of our addiction.
Accepting ourself – We need to start accepting our thoughts and ultimately ourself. The denial of what is going inside leads you to the boredom and then we try to find the escape route. We are not just this physical beings, but much more than that. We are also not our thoughts only. We can change thoughts whenever we want, but for that we need to first accept it and for that first we need to observe it. Whenever you have a free or silent time instead of finding something external stay with your mind. Calmly observe what thoughts are coming.
Become a third person and just look at the thought waves you are getting in the mind. It can be of some troublesome past or worry about the future. Stay with it as if you just observe, then it will go away. If you try to resist them, then they will get the power over you. If you practice regularly, then you slowly you will be able to change the thoughts easily. You can replace the negative thoughts with the positive ones. Once you start thinking positive thoughts, you will start enjoying your own company.
Mindfulness – It is nothing, but being in the present moment. In the first step you change your thoughts to pleasant one and after that, you try not to think anything else, but observe what is going around you. It might sound like a very saint concept, but it is the way life should be. We miss so many beautiful creations around us and we never realize it unless someone brought that to our notice. Whenever you start getting the thoughts of boredom and want to pick up the phone for escape, just take 3 deep breaths. Observe the inhalation and exhalation of the air. Your mind will come to the present moment.
Reflection – This is such a great exercise and most of the great people world has and had practiced this regularly. Reflection is about observing as how your life is going. It is about taking inventory of what you have achieved till now and analyze whether it is in line with what do you want from your life. Normally this need some good amount of time and a silent place, but you can practice it in parts. Like looking at your current situation and reflecting if this is where you want to be. Timely analysis of our life helps us in being focused and allow us to achieve our goals.
Imagination – In the words of the great Einstein “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you EVERYWHERE.” On this entire planet only human being got this gift of imagination. All the invention first occurred in the inventor’s mind and then became reality. It is very sad that an average person does not use it to a great extent. We can anytime take control of our thoughts and can get lost in the world of imagination. We are all one and yet we are different. We can look at the world from our own imagination. There is no limit or any prescription as how you should see or imagine.
Please do not get into the world of imagination when you are walking on the road because you might start imagine that you are under an ocean and lots of beautiful fish are swimming around you. The water is clean blue and everything is very colorful and beautiful. Didn’t you just imagine that? Did you like it? You don’t need to practice this, just enjoy this.
Life is very beautiful and do not limit your world within that small piece of metal. However smart your phone can be, it will never be able to replace the world created by God.