Beat The Boredom & Start Enjoying Things More Again:

Do you ever find yourself feeling like you are in a bit of a rut, doing the same things in the same old way and no longer enjoying things like you used to? If so, new research has suggested a way to break through that boredom and rediscover that sense of enjoyment.

One thing I often talk to clients about is how we are all very much creatures of habit and pattern. Most of us do things in the same way that we always do in most situations, which is usually by doing things like we did the time before. We get up in the morning and follow our usual routine that gets us out of the door on time, we eat the same foods, watch the same TV programmes and travel the same routes.  

And often that's pretty useful isn't it? We can get stuff done while running a bit on auto-pilot and thinking of other stuff. However, on the flip side, it can lead to a bit of boredom and that feeling of going through the motions like a hamster on a wheel. And when the things we usually enjoy start to become a bit boring and mundane that our sense of fulfilment and joy can start to diminish, often this impacts on our mental health that reverberate in other aspects of our lives.

It's no secret to anyone reading these blogs that I love exercising and that it's one of the three key pillars of my life. Yet I can think back on times when running the same old routes became a bit boring and the buzz of exercising started to dim. There were certainly periods when it all became a bit routine and mundane. I think one of the main reasons I now enjoy bootcamp so much is because every session is different (yet also demanding!) and I never quite know what is in store before I get there.

Recharge Your Enjoyment Levels

So if you could do with rediscovering your enjoyment of the things you usually like to do then this latest research probably holds the answer for you. It may be easier than you think to recharge your sense of enjoyment rather than suffering boredom or packing something in altogether.

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In their research, 'Unconventional Consumption Methods and Enjoying Things Consumed: Recapturing the “First-Time” Experience', the authors suggest that consuming familiar things in new ways can disrupt adaptation and revitalize enjoyment. That is, by doing the things that you usually do in new and unfamiliar ways, you may very well find that your enjoyment levels increase.

During the research, the researchers found that participants enjoyed the same food more when they experienced eating it in a different way (in this case eating popcorn with chopsticks rather than by hand). Similar results were found with participants enjoying drinking water more when done in a novel way, such as in a different glass or lapping it up rather than drinking it in the ordinary way. They also found the same result when participants watched a video clip through 'hand goggles' - those who did this reported more enjoyment than those who just watched conventionally.

As the authors conclude, "This occurs because unconventional methods invite an immersive “first-time” perspective on the consumption objects...Before abandoning once-enjoyable entities, knowing to consume old things in new ways (vs. attaining new things altogether) might temporarily restore enjoyment and postpone wasteful replacement."

So what does this mean for the rest of us (who haven't stopped enjoying popcorn or drinking water!)?

What this research suggests is that rather than ditching everything or plodding along in a fog of routine and the mundane, if we want to enjoy things more we should do things a bit differently.  It's something I often talk to people about, especially when they want to change patterns such as overeating or quitting smoking. And its equally true when it comes to overcoming anxiety and worry or simply feeling happier and more satisfied in life. If you keep doing the same stuff in the same way you'll very likely end up with the same result.

So have a think about what you could do differently to reignite that sense of enjoyment. If you are into exercise, a different class or location or a new goal may hit the mark. If you want to lose weight then sit at the table and switch off those screens so you focus on your food. If you feel like a hamster in a wheel every day then take a different route to your destination, walk more, listen to a different radio station, try a podcast. The list is pretty much endless. 

As the research suggests, doing things differently doesn't have to be onerous and, in fact, if you make your changes too disruptive then you probably won't get the sought after boost.  

Yet by doing regular things in a different way you can regain that sense of enjoyment and beat the boredom. 

Right, I'm off to get ready for bootcamp where I have no idea what I'll be faced with, although I think if the heat wave could change into something a bit cooler then I definitely would enjoy it even more!

To your happiness,

Dan Regan

Hypnotherapy in Ely & Newmarket

Looking to gain a sense of happiness, enjoyment and motivation? Book your complimentary consultation and let's make it happen!

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Reference: Unconventional Consumption Methods and Enjoying Things Consumed: Recapturing the “First-Time” Experience, Ed O’Brien and Robert W. Smith, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, First Published June 17, 2018