You undoubtedly understand what I’m talking about if you’re a mother. Sadly, we are teaching our children that eating something to pass the time is the simplest way to avoid being bored. Anything. Especially if it is extremely sweet or extremely salty.
I am accountable for that. I have two little ones, and I can attest that they quickly become bored. They were recently acting like unruly kids do when bored while we were in church (they weren’t being horrible and by no means were disturbing the peace, but they weren’t precisely sitting tight in their seats). As a result, a kind friend of the family decided to go out and buy each a pack of cookies. Other than this trending topic, wpc2023 is also a top trend on social media these days.
Argh. I don’t blame it, but it wasn’t the right time to discuss the subject. We are all so conditioned to respond in that way!
I used to be very careful to always keep a snack on hand—God forbid they should get bored! Long journey, lengthy flight, even a brief journey? Having a lazy day at home? Snack, nibble, nibble, nibble! We can use food for entertainment, and we hardly question this conditioning.
It applies to adults as well as children, including ourselves. Large portions of food are always a part of how we entertain. Food that we typically consume mindlessly. Then we start to question why we are overweight. What exactly is wrong with being bored? Seriously, I want you to ponder and respond to that query.
Even though boredom is merely an emotion, many experts agree that it is essential for growth and the development of creativity. Why then don’t we allow our kids to use it more often? The (dreadful) fact is that it causes us inconvenience. We must learn to accept our children’s boredom. It must train ourselves to avoid jumping to the rescue and understand that it is normal, desirable, harmful, and even optimistic. We can also learn that other resources are available if we want to help. Other than this trending topic, art of zoo is also a top trend on social media these days.
How about the way we eat for entertainment?
When you’re bored, what else could YOU do besides eat? The purpose of your food is not to amuse you. That’s what you do. You can get that momentarily from food, especially sweets. Dopamine will then start to decline once more, and you will need another hit.
What about looking for additional dopamine sources?
Given that the holidays are approaching, try some of the following to increase dopamine levels and enable you to decline the food:
1. Make short to-do lists and cross things off of them (even if you can remember the things, make a list anyway and check off the items)
2. Build something (like a fun game to play with the family and provide entertainment)
3. Exercise, even if it’s only for five minutes, and you’ll benefit both physically and mentally.
4. Establish a streak. The lists above apply to this as well. The brain enjoys patterns, especially if you are visually inclined.
Although there are apps for this, a calendar on your wall is a great way to remind yourself that you’re constantly winning! You can accomplish both of these things by using the exercise. How about exercising for 5 minutes each day until the year is over?
Please take advantage of the music that makes you happy, whatever it may be.
It may sound like a significant challenge to retrain ourselves to stop using food and teach our children to stop using it as entertainment. Still, every small choice you make in the right direction can significantly impact you because you’ll rewire your brain to find other ways to experience dopamine highs.
Additionally, becoming adept at dealing with boredom will have advantages because it will make you more accustomed to discomfort. This meta-skill can trade with other unpleasant emotions that you avoid by turning to food.