When was the last time you tried something new?
Lots of experts in the field of positive psychology (the happiness experts) recommend trying new things as a useful strategy if you are trying to become happier, so it’s a question I ask myself regularly.
It is funny how quickly we become settled and fixed into routines. We moved to the other side of the world to live a different life and then established very similar routines in our very different environment. I guess it’s because it’s comforting when we feel unsure or unsettled to do things the same way, go to the same places, see the same people, wear the same clothes and just stick with what we know. In living our lives this way though, maybe we are missing out. The experts think so and I am inclined to agree. As comforting as it is to stick with what is familiar, our lives become richer and moments more memorable when we make the effort to seek out the new.
It is school holidays here so this morning Lucy and I caught the train into the city after we dropped Amy off at gymnastics. It was a new experience for us as it was the first time we have travelled by train in New Zealand. We usually would have just travelled back home in the car and tidied the house or done one of the chores on my to-do list but instead we tried something new. We saw familiar sights from an unfamiliar perspective, had a coffee break in a cafe downtown, did some window shopping and then caught the train back just in time to collect Amy from training.
Trying something new and living a more adventurous life can be as simple as this train journey was for Lucy and I. Take a different route home from work, shop at a different supermarket, part your hair differently or sleep on the other side of the bed. The experts say that novel experiences have a beneficial effect on our brain that outlasts the length of the experience.
Living a more adventurous life doesn’t have to mean climbing mountains, running marathons or even moving to a new place. A more adventurous life begins in your own mind, in pushing yourself ever so slightly out of your comfort zone. So – let me know when you try something new and I will keep posting about the new things I try too!