My brain really hates boredom.
To an extreme level. Unreasonably so.
Even when something sounds fun, if my brain thinks that the transition between my current activity and the new fun activity is too boring, it refuses to let me move.
It seems my brain is deathly afraid of any level of boredom.
(This is probably why I always pack so many books, devices, and other potential activities when going on trips—I never use them all, but they are there at the ready!)
Brains are predictive, always scouting out and hypothesizing about the current environment, trying to prepare the body for what's to come.
I feel like mine is 90% focused on avoiding boredom.
Since ADHD brains struggle to process dopamine well, they are desperate for more.
That boredom can actually feel like pain. It's like giving salty popcorn to someone dying of thirst.
Our brain senses the emergency and the alarm bells going like there's a fire we have to avoid. We'll sit locked in place—trying to move—and our brain says "no way, I sense danger!"
One trick I use to try and get around this is to give my brain a bit of what it wants to ease the transition.
Frequently, this means putting on headphones to listen to music or a podcast while I transition to some boring activity.
You'll almost never see me doing a chore without my headphones in. Even quick tasks like taking out the trash. I know I need that little bit of help to ease the brain pain and get things moving.
What tricks have you used to fight your brain's fear of boredom?
Jesse J. Anderson
P.S. I'm going to be sharing some early bits of my Refocus book soon, if you're interested, you can sign up to be an alpha reader.
📝 My Mental Health: Burnout and ADHD “Burnout is nature’s way of telling you, you’ve been going through the motions your soul has departed; you’re a zombie, a member of the walking dead, a sleepwalker.” — Sam Keen
🐦 My 10 Favorite ADHD Tweets/Threads (Feb 10th) ADHD isn't a problem to be solved. You can develop strategies to help navigate a world built for the neurotypical brain—but your struggles are not a failing of character.