We live fast-paced lives. We work demanding jobs, which we have to balance with our relationships and hobbies outside of work. Do you give yourself time each day to do nothing at all? Taking time to appreciate idle times is an underestimated skill. However if you learn to notice what you usually do not pay attention to, you are less likely to spend time later in your life regretting what you let pass you by.

Boredom is largely a perception. Proof of this lies in research conducted on trends of people who have lived in extreme environments. For these individuals there are noticeable life changes that these people experience. People who have lived in the Arctic for an extended period of time, will return to their previous lives, but actually want to return to visit the Arctic. They will site that they initially experienced extreme boredom, but learned to appreciate their idle time in the long run. It also helps these people relearn the skill of noticing what they did not previously appreciate. These people return from an environment that is so extreme that there are times where they can’t leave their homes. People in such a setting have to learn to be content doing little to nothing at all. This is a skill that not many recognize as important, but for these individuals, they understand the importance of knowing how to avoid being over-stimulated and overwhelmed at all times. As a result, contentment rather than boredom is a more common outcome.

You do not have to go to the Arctic to learn how to deal with boredom. The best way to appreciate the under-appreciated is to give yourself time to appreciate these things. One of the reasons that these things often go unnoticed throughout each day is because there is not enough time that you have put aside to pay attention. If you think that you are not able to commit time to these unappreciated things in your life, then you need to establish boundaries other aspects of your life. You may need to let go of some other over-commitments in your life.

The next step is to use your senses to take notice of the “small things” in your life. Notice the lavender smell in spring, notice the color of flowers blooming in the summer. What is your favorite food and what about the taste do you like so much? Take time and listen to your favorite type of music, but not while you are doing other tasks. This will help to keep you grounded in a world that moves so fast.

We go through our busy lives and often forget about the small things. Because we are used to being over-stimulated, we often spend our downtime feeling bored. Remember to maintain boundaries with people that you are over-committing to, so that you have time to gain a perspective of the under-appreciated. Using your senses can also help to uncover what you forget to appreciate in your day-to-day life. With practice, you will be well on your way to learning how to change your perspective of boredom to a feeling of contentment.