How Do I Know If I Am Bored Or Depressed

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bored or depressed

How do I Know if I am Bored or Depressed

Whether it’s yawning through a boring lecture, being part of a dull conversation, mindlessly switching TV channels or even waking up one day and just feeling “blah” – we have all felt boredom and despised that feeling.

Often looked upon as an unpleasant feeling, boredom is characterized by lack of interest. It makes you restless and fills you with all sorts of emotions ranging from frustration to guilt and sadness.

Regardless of how ‘busy’ you might be, you can still be horribly bored, owing to your lack of motivation towards work, college or life in general.

How to Keep Boredom at Bay?

As per a study published in ‘Motivation and Emotion’, there are five types of boredom – indifferent, calibrating, searching, reactant and apathetic.

If not addressed, it can get destructive and become a larger issue. Here are four effective ways to conquer boredom –

1. Identify the underlying issue

When you’re bored, you can shrug it off and continue to feel that way or you can dig deeper and identify the root cause of your boredom.

In most cases, boredom is just masking the real, underlying issue. From a task or job not being stimulating enough and fearing the outcome to lacking motivation and energy – there can be many reasons why you might be bored.

So, the next time you’re in this situation, find out what’s really pulling you down and work towards overcoming it.

2. Learn a new skill

Sometimes we get so caught up in the monotony of life that all we need is a little excitement. A great way to get some mental stimulation is by learning something new.

You can take up a new hobby, join a class, learn a new skill or do something that excites you. This keeps you engaged, and you are able to look forward to something

3. Find your life purpose

Finding your life purpose is the key to being content. By finding the larger purpose and aligning your goals to it, you are able to lead a more meaningful life.

“What does that have to do with boredom,” you ask?

Boredom arises from emptiness and when you lead a purposeful life, there is no place for boredom because you are focused on chasing the bigger things – the stuff that matters challenges you and brings you joy.

4. Be physically active

Exercising and being physically active is not just about losing weight and being fit. It’s got multiple mental health benefits too. Being physically active help relives stress, fights anxiety and also boosts your mood.

So, make exercise a part of your daily routine and you are sure to see a spike in your energy and productivity levels.

When does Boredom Turn into Depression?

You often find yourself zoning out in work meetings – does that mean you’re bored?

“How do I know if I am bored or depressed” has got to be one of the most common questions people have in this aspect and it’s a valid concern to have owing how similar their symptoms seem.

In spite of there being an overlap, being bored does not necessarily mean you’re depressed.

Depression is when one is in a constant state of unhappiness. There might also be instances when one might find it difficult to put a finger on the exact reason.

How to Deal with Depression?

Depression is a serious mental health condition and is characterized by significant changes in sleep pattern and appetite, decreased energy levels, lack of interest in doing things that used to be enjoyable and feelings of worthlessness.

Here are four useful ways to deal with depression –

1. Acceptance

It’s difficult to accept that you are living with depression but that’s the only way to deal with it. When you become aware of this feeling and accept it, you no longer feel ashamed about it. Instead, you’re able to identify triggers and deal with your emotions better.

Don’t fight this feeling and run away from it – accept it exists and you’ll realize how liberating that is.

2. Seek therapy

When we have a toothache, we go to a dentist. Similarly, when you are suffering from depression, you must talk to a therapist – there are no two ways about it.

A therapist will help you understand your emotions and help you cope with depression in a better manner. From dissecting the problem to giving you perspective and the emotional support you need – seeking therapy is a must.

If you are having trouble finding a therapist who meets your budget, make it a point to reach out to a family member or friend. Do not suffer in silence.

3. Be kind to yourself

A lot of people who are depressed resort to self-sabotaging, negative thoughts. They end up being too harsh on themselves.

Remember – it’s absolutely fine to be depressed. Let yourself feel whatever you’re feeling because your emotions are valid.

Indulge in some self-care and by self-care, we don’t just mean going shopping or treating yourself to a spa. Treat yourself with kindness and compassion – that’s the biggest form of self-care.

4. Set small goals

When you’re depressed, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and lose the will to do anything. An effective way to beat this feeling would be to set smaller and realistic goals for yourselfeven if it’s just getting out of bed and taking a shower. Sometimes, taking baby steps and rewarding yourself for those accomplishments can go a long way.

Boredom and depression are not the same things but yes, sometimes prolonged cases of boredom may lead to depression.

So, whenever you feel lost, uninspired or demotivated, look inwards and try to understand your emotions and state of mind.

A writer and artist, Adela Belin is passionate about sharing stories with a hope to make a difference in people’s lives and contribute to their personal and professional growth.


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