Type As often experience feeling bored and anxious. We are so energetic and accustomed to being busy all of the time that as soon as “the music stops,” this is the state we are likely to find ourselves in.
I think it is instructive to know what the opposite of bored and anxious is. What is the alternative mindset we want to cultivate?
This desired state is one of being aware and calm.
Being aware and calm allows you to fully enjoy whatever it is you are doing at the moment.
Let me illustrate with an example how you can cultivate an attitude of calm awareness, even in the midst of your hectic existence.
You and your spouse have just finished hosting a dinner party, your friends have gone home, and there is a pile of dishes in the sink. There are too many to fit in the dishwasher, so your spouse, who is busy with other cleaning tasks, has asked you to please wash them so neither of you have to face them in the morning. You agree, but you are not looking forward to such a mind-numbingly mundane task. As you begin washing the dishes you feel both bored and anxious. What to do?
There actually can be some joy found even in such a simple task, if you can be aware and calm enough to seek it out.
If you are being aware, at some point you appreciate that the dishwater is warm, which feels comforting to your hands. This realization is enjoyable. As you move your hand over one of the dinner plates, the soapy water provides an interesting texture as you glide over the surface of the plate. As you finish by cleaning the rim of the plate, you realize how smooth, even, and perfectly shaped it is.
Once the plate has been restored to cleanliness, you find a wine glass that requires your attention and care. What interesting attributes might this object hold?
With a simple change in attitude—a willingness to be open and aware—you have magically transformed an experience from one of suffering to one characterized by at least a little bit of joy.
The next time you are feeling anxious and bored, attempt to cultivate a simple sense of calm awareness about what it is you are experiencing. Immerse yourself in it. You may find that there is actually quite a bit of beauty and joy available there.