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Tip at a Glance: One of the biggest triggers for mindlessly scrolling on your phone is simply just being bored. It’s natural to fear boredom, but it’s actually healthy to be bored sometimes. Meditation can help you become comfortable with boredom, and stop reaching for your phone every time you feel like you have nothing else to do.
One of the biggest reasons we’re addicted to our phones is because we’ve been conditioned to fear boredom.
In 2023, we’re constantly overstimulated everywhere we turn. Whether it be watching Netflix, listening to Spotify, or scrolling through social media, we can get a dopamine hit from anywhere. Whenever, wherever.
If you think about it, I bet one of the most common triggers for mindlessly scrolling is that you’re simply just bored and want something to do. Since our phones are attached to our hips, we never “need” to be bored again. Just scroll TikTok instead!
On the surface, the death of boredom may seem like a good outcome of the modern era. But it’s really not. Being bored sometimes is actually healthy. It helps stimulate creativity, encourages self-reflection, and can even boost productivity.
And even though now is the worst it’s ever been, the fear of boredom is far from a modern problem - in the 17th century, French philosopher Blaise Pascal famously said that “All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
But even much older is the ancient practice of meditation. Practiced in many different forms for millennia in religions like Hinduism and Buddhism, meditation is one of the oldest ways humans have been able to accept boredom and all the anxiety that comes with it.
Simply put, meditation is the art of doing nothing. It may seem difficult at first, and maybe even impossible, but over time a meditation practice will condition you to be okay with just sitting there, and you’ll stop craving that sweet hit of Instagram whenever you are bored.
I started meditating a few years ago with the help of Headspace and it seriously changed my life. But there are countless other guided meditations for free out there that you can try for yourself.
Sometimes, it’s okay to just do nothing. Start meditating regularly and I bet you’ll stop reaching for your phone every time you feel the slightest degree of boredom.