Moreover, there are three kinds of life, and it is a stock question which of the three is the best: the first is devoted to pleasure, the second to contemplation, the third to action. First, let us lay aside all disputatiousness and bitterness of feeling, which, as we have stated, causes those whose paths in life are different to hate one another beyond all hope of reconciliation, and let us see whether all these three do not come to the same thing, although under different names: for neither he who decides for pleasure is without contemplation, nor is he who gives himself up to contemplation without pleasure: nor yet is he, whose life is devoted to action, without contemplation. “It makes,” you say, “all the difference in the world, whether a thing is one’s main object in life, or whether it be merely an appendage to some other object.” I admit that the difference is considerable, nevertheless the one does not exist apart from the other: the one man cannot live in contemplation without action, nor can the other act without contemplation: and even the third, of whom we all agree in having a bad opinion, does not approve of passive pleasure, but of that which he establishes for himself by means of reason: even this pleasure-seeking sect itself, therefore, practises action also. Of course it does, since Epicurus himself says that at times he would abandon pleasure and actually seek for pain, if he became likely to be surfeited with pleasure, or if he thought that by enduring a slight pain he might avoid a greater one. With what purpose do I state this? To prove that all men are fond of contemplation. Some make it the object of their lives: to us it is an anchorage, but not a harbour. Seneca Of Leisure Ch 7
It is so common to get stressed these days due to unpleasant experiences and situations. From time to time, everyone feels stressed as it is a common reaction to pressure. You can get stressed when you are unable to cope up with the demands put up by your colleagues, friends, and family members or due to your goals, money and work. Everyone is aware of how it feels like to have stress in life. If you don’t care about it, even small things can damage your health. When stress affects the functioning of day-to-day life, an individual can become unhealthy and unproductive.
Stress is natural to human being but not all stressors deserve to drain your mental as well as physical energy. There are many factors on which the amount of stress that you feel depends on. You can get stressed thinking about past experiences or thinking about how much experience you have in dealing with specific pressure. Each individual is different, so a situation or an experience that cause you stress may don’t bother someone else at all. For instance, if you enjoy marketing and meeting new people, you will feel confident and have fun while doing that. But if you don’t like to talk to strangers or don’t want to garner attention, you might experience stress.
An individual can also get stressed due to boredom. Yes, many of you are not aware but boredom has a link to stress more than the surroundings or circumstances. Many people feel that they are doing the job of multiple people. This is because they go to the office, they are on call for most of the time, and they also take their children to tutor, tournaments, etc. They are having too much of work in a single day and the stress caused by this is draining them mentally as well as physically. But stress is not only caused by doing too much work. According to research, being underworked can also be challenging.
When you are underworked, you get bored and this leads to stress. Boredom is when an individual is motivated to engage with the circumstances but all their attempts to engage with the satisfying activity fail. When there is nothing for the brain to focus on, the brain will constantly remind you about worries, negative thoughts and all the things that you want to do. This can make an individual anxious, restless and stressed. And, when an individual is stressed, it is very difficult for him to focus on a specific task. Boredom is responsible for causing stress in the following five ways.
Lack of Mental Stimulation
People can easily get bored due to a lack of mental stimulation. Many of us think boredom as being lazy or lack of interest in performing tasks, but it is not. People don’t get bored by the amount of work that they have to do, but by the type of work. For example, a person in his younger days used to work in an assembling unit. The type of work was constant but it was very tedious. In the end, he left the job within three months. He was very busy with the job as he had a lot of work to do. But still, he was bored.
Some people easily get bored due to lack of inactivity and they are always eager to do something. So, they find pleasure in doing short term things such as playing video games, spending time on seeing other people’s profile on social network sites, etc. instead of reading books and gaining knowledge to better themselves. After a few hours, when they realize that they have wasted a lot of time, they get stressed as they have not focused their attention on what is important for them. We have multiple responsibilities such as paying bills, getting financial stability, family, etc. But because of lack of stimulation, people get bored and do not attend to these responsibilities like they are supposed to.
Lack of Control in Actions
There are plenty of things in life that cannot be controlled by us. We need to understand that we can control only our actions. However, many people do not realize this fact and keep thinking about the things that happened in the past or those that will happen in future. Boredom does occur when negative thoughts occupy our minds. When people feel limited in what they can or cannot do, they can easily get bored. People, who feel that they have no control over their actions, are more likely to get the stress-related illness.
Everyone dreams to have the latest electronic gadget, to go on a vacation every year and wear branded clothes. But it is not possible for each one of them to achieve their dreams because it requires a lot of money and this might stress them. Some people also get stressed because they have a partner, who takes away all the control of what they can do. They don’t have any decision-power in their relationship. As they feel that they have no control in their own life, they become stressed and anxious, harming their mental health.
Poor Use of Time
We all have heard that “Time is Money”, “Time is precious” or “Time and Tide waits for none”. How many of us have actually realized it and worked on it? Only a few of us have. Many people feel that they have a lot of time left in their hands, but when they realize that is not the case, it becomes too late. Many of the stressful events that you face are the result of poor use of time. You need to use some time management skills if you want to overcome stress and anxiety.
When you waste your time on useless activities, it can lead to a rise in stress levels. This can happen especially if that has dire consequences like overshooting project deadlines. Also, surfing the web aimlessly for hours or checking social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat constantly without any purpose, is just a waste of time. Once you realize that you have wasted time, you will feel stressed. This can degrade your performance and make you unproductive.
Lack of Purpose
A sense of purpose is very important if you want to have better physical and mental health. But some people feel that they do not have any purpose in general to live a life. There are many factors that contribute to this. Some people occasionally feel they lack a purpose and this feeling may accompany other feelings of low mood. So when the mood changes, the feeling of lack of purpose vanish. But if it lasts for a longer period, there are many factors for it. If you don’t have meaningful daily activity, you can feel a lack of purpose. Loneliness, negative relationships, lack of spirituality, bad childhood experiences and psychological trauma can all lead to the feelings of lack of meaning and purpose. People feel that they just go through the motion without feeling a sense of accomplishment.
The purpose of living is related to feelings of mastery and control. The lack of purpose is the common contributor to the stress, anxiety and depression. It causes stress when feelings of self-doubt creep in and there is no motivation to do anything.
Fear of Mistakes
The fear of making mistakes is one of the major reasons for stress in society. Many people are so afraid of failure that they don’t try to do a specific thing in their life. They undermine their efforts for avoiding the possibility of failure. The fear of mistakes is immobilizing and hence, it prevents us from moving forward. When you allow the fear to stop you from progressing in life, you are actually missing many opportunities in your life.
There are various reasons why an individual is afraid of making mistakes. This can be because of unsupportive parents or unpleasant experience in the past. This may also come from an underlying fear that mistakes will happen and the individual will do something wrong. Nonetheless, the lack of inertia is responsible for boredom and this leads to stress. When a person gets stuck in its comfort zone and is too paralyzed or afraid, he can easily get stressed. Due to this, he does not grab the opportunities, leaving him behind schedule in achieving his goals.
These are some of the ways by which boredom causes stress in an individual. If these things are recognized, it may help in reducing stress due to boredom. Boredom is stressful and allows the brain to get occupied with fears and negative thoughts. Repetitive tasks at work can also make you really bored. There might be continuous work but it may be repetitive and hence, boring. Boredom can also occur if there is no mental stimulation. In any case, boredom is stressful and it needs to be addressed if you are looking for good physical and mental health.