Are you 20-something-year-old and do you often feel bored? Psychology says you are not alone.
Turning 20 marks the beginning of your life as an official adult. By this time, most people expect to know exactly what it is that you want out of life, and by that time most people still don’t know.
By your 20s, you have an incredible amount of freedom that has been bestowed on you by moving out of the family home, going away to college, and getting yourself a real job. But it also incredibly daunting to think that you need to find the answers to life’s biggest questions.
There is a sort of paradoxical effect in that we are completely free but also paralysed in finding what we want to do.
Being trapped and unable to answer life’s important questions gets boring. We still have to maintain our lives, paying bills, buying groceries, and maintaining the important relationships in our lives. All whilst waiting for some kind of epiphany as to what we’re going to aim to achieve with the rest of our lives. All of this waiting can make you feel bored, really bored; but you are not alone.
Psychologist Carl Pickhrdt, Ph.D., describes two different kinds of boredom. The first is the typical “entrapment in disliked or disinteresting activities”, whereas the second is an “emptiness of purpose and not knowing what one would like to do with oneself”, and this is the 20s boredom that many young people face.
There are certain dangers with this 20s boredom. It can cause young people to consistently watch mindless television shows, but it can also push people towards drinking, or drugs, in search of some kind of feeling other than boredom.
If you feel yourself in a rut of 20s boredom, there are ways that you can address it, and combat it whilst you wait for your epiphany:
Get some perspective
As tiresome the day in and day out activities are that you seem to be endlessly repeating, they are also valuable life experience. The chances are that once you find your purpose, your life is not going to be sunshine and rainbows every single day. You are still going to need to pay bills, buy groceries, and maintain relationships. So, as boring as they are, they’re important, and changing your mindset and your attitudes towards the menial things will really help you in the future.
Get a hobby
Hobbies are a great way of breaking up the cyclical daily routine and give you some time to yourself doing something that you really enjoy. Pick up a paintbrush, throw on your running shoes, or learn an instrument. Achieving milestones in a hobby can give you the sense of achievement that your life has been currently lacking.
Set little goals
Smaller goals give you a sense of achievement that you need to put an end to the boredom. You don’t have to be working towards an ultimate goal, but these smaller goals can give you some valuable insight into what you might want to do with your life. Not only can things like charity work, learning languages or new skills be valuable in the future, but also help you figure out what your purpose is.
You are not the only one to feel bored; and you can be proactive about it, rather than letting yourself wallow in it.
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