Why being bored and uncomfortable is good for your health
A book review of The Comfort Crisis: Embrace Discomfort to Reclaim Your Wild, Happy, Healthy Self by Michael Easter and what I learned from it.
The Comfort Crisis: Embrace Discomfort to Reclaim Your Wild, Happy, Healthy Self by Michael Easter is a travel book about how we, as a society, are too comfortable and the impact that has on our wellbeing.
From Goodreads.com, "In many ways, we're more comfortable than ever before. But could our sheltered, temperature-controlled, overfed, underchallenged lives actually be the leading cause of many our most urgent physical and mental health issues? In this gripping investigation, award-winning journalist Michael Easter seeks out off-the-grid visionaries, disruptive genius researchers, and mind-body conditioning trailblazers who are unlocking the life-enhancing secrets of a counterintuitive solution: discomfort."
What I really enjoyed about this book was how the author describes his adventure (a hunting trip in the arctic) to explain discomfort and boredom and the impact that has on our ability to build resiliency and essentially cope with the ups and downs of life.
The chapter on boredom is particularly interesting. From my work with children, I know that it is essential for kids to be bored and let their minds wander. But, I never thought about my need to be bored and what being bored could do for my mind!
After reading this book, I thought, I need to be bored more often! So I started something I call Boredom Breaks: An elaborate self-care intervention that involves me lying on my sofa, looking out the window and doing nothing.
At first, I resisted. I said to myself, "but I have this to do and that to do and blah blah blah" but then I tried it. I used some mindfulness tricks on myself, focusing on my senses, noticing what was going on in my body and mind, and it felt good, really good! I felt rejuvenated, and my mind seemed to be more clear and more efficient in tackling the day's tasks.
So in October, I started this 'boredom break' practice, and I am still doing it regularly. These little breaks help me connect the dots in my mind and find new insights into my most challenging problems.
How to take a boredom break:
Stop what you are currently doing
Do nothing else (staring out windows is permitted)
So, if you are looking for a book that will make you want to be bored and uncomfortable, this is your book!