“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might.”
― Lao Tzu
Over summer I became more convinced than ever that it’s incredibly positive to try something new. Travelling to Budapest for the first time, I appreciated, anew, the benefits of taking a risk and going somewhere unfamiliar and about which I knew very little. It was amazing. I learned SO much and felt SO grateful for the opportunity.
It’s easy to stay locked into daily routines which are familiar and predictable despite this being an enormous universe with more than seven billion people and hundreds of thousands of unique possibilities. We know from experts of the innumerable advantages of ‘having a go’ at something new. Here are a few-
Meeting new people
|Learning new ways to communicate|
Learning about ourselves – it teaches us that we are capable of more
|Learning new skills|
Expose ourselves to new ideas
|Increasing our overall feelings of satisfaction|
|Giving us more things to talk about||
Discovering things we like and don’t like
Breaking up the routine of life
|Boosting our overall confidence levels||
Making us realise that our time is valuable
These are convincing reasons, aren’t they, and there are some which are even more persuasive. These are my favourites –
So, if you want to be enriched, feel pride at mastering a new skill and be the sort of person others want to be around, then don’t be self-limiting. Expose your brain to unique situations that force it to really think.
Connect. Be active. Keep learning.
If you are struggling to make a start, these suggestions might appeal to you.
- Learn a new sport – summer is a wonderful opportunity for being more active, but don’t do the same old exercise routine. Challenge yourself in ways that you haven’t before.
- Make something with your own hands such as art, woodworking, coding or sewing. This will also decrease stress and reduce anxiety. According to Carrie Barron M.D., the director of the Creativity for Resilience Program at Dell Medical School, “When you make something you feel productive, but the engagement and exploration involved in the doing can move your mind and elevate your mood’.
- Taste a food you’re afraid of. Learn to cook. You may uncover a surprising new favorite food when you are brave enough to risk it.
- Keep a journal – experts report that dedicating time to yourself can help in the rediscovery of a healthy balance with technology, improve sleep and encourage original ideas
- Share a secret with a friend – “Self-disclosure, with the right person, strengthens trust and invites the other to do the same, creating a common bond of human experience,” psychologist Sue Varma stated, in Psychology Today. Radha Agrawal cites research to prove the power of community. “Studies have found that strong social ties are vital to our happiness and even our physical health and longevity. Belonging is the essence of what it means to be human and is more important now than ever before. Despite the hundreds of ways to ‘connect’ online via social media, people are feeling more alone than ever before (and in many ways, this can be attributed to this digital confusion).“
- Visit a book shop or library
Cognitive psychologist Gary Marcus, quoted by CNN, outlined the benefits of learning and trying new things, and the positive impact it has on our personal growth, wellbeing and health. He said: ‘As Aristotle realized, there is a difference between the pleasures of the moment (hedonia), and the satisfaction that comes from constantly developing and living one’s life to the fullest (eudaimonia). In recent years, scientists have finally begun to study eudaimonia. Research suggests that the greater sense of purpose and personal growth associated with eudaimonia correlates with lower cortisol levels, better immune function, and more efficient sleep’.
So, whether you join an STC Activity you have never tried, take up a new hobby or adopt a whale to help support their endangerment, conquer your fears of looking silly or being embarrassed and push yourself to take more initiatives, both at home and at school. It’s OK not to be an expert sometimes and laugh about it. Go for it!
Seven Unexpected Benefits of Trying New Things
When was the last time you tried something new?
50 new things you should try in 2019