When you catch yourself doing something by rote, a habit so ingrained that you’re not even thinking about why you are doing it without something stimulating you, that might be a sign you are bored. Take that time to lean into the desire to distract yourself and see if you can find something your boredom is trying to tell you.

There may be nothing for you to learn in that moment, however, by recognizing you’re about to engage in a behavior by habit and not because of true desire or need, you are then free to choose something else. By that means, you are more in control of your life.

Mindless habits, such as the reflex to scroll through your phone is often done out of boredom. Few of us need to look at social media, check our email, or shop online as often as we do. Frequently, the “need” to check those apps is because we are not present, so we do not realize we are bored.  

Instead, you can recognize you don’t really need to do something on your phone, in which case you can choose to do anything else, including nothing. You can take that time to sit and practice being mindful by observing everything in your awareness without judgment.