Benefits of Trying Something New

Benefits of Trying Something New

The older we get, the easier it is to settle into our ways. This can lead to us doing less new, exciting, and fun activities than we used to when we were younger. Part of the reason for that is because, by now, we’ve established what we really enjoy doing. So, in the limited down time we do have, we tend to default to doing just that. 

Another reason is that our mindset, or fears, hold us back. The same way some people resist change, others are limited by their fears of perhaps failing or looking silly. Therefore, they never try anything new. But there are many benefits to forcing yourself to skip the status quo—at least on occasion—and do something that's totally new to you!  

Here are 5 reasons why it’s time to try some things you’ve never done before, as well as some pointers on getting started! 

  • You’ll Be Happier and More Positive
  • Trying new things can certainly be fun, but science has actually proven that it makes you happier and more optimistic—even if the new activity isn’t necessarily something you wind up loving.  That’s because when you try new things, your body produces and releases dopamine and serotonin—two feel-good hormones that spark pleasure and motivation and reduce anxiety. 

  • You’ll Renew Motivation and Inspiration
  • Feeling inspired and energized isn’t just for creative types. Without it, life can feel dull and even pointless. Imagine if every day you lived the exact same carbon copy experience. You woke up and ate the same breakfast, did the same tasks at work, rode the train with the same people—and had the exact same conversations—only to come home and eat the same dinner you eat every night and go to bed. Just imagine how demotivated you’d be to get up the next morning.

    As mentioned above, trying new things releases dopamine, which in part drives motivation—and motivation leads to increased neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the brain adapting and rewiring, which is beneficial for learning new things and strengthening the brain.  

  • You’ll Be a More Well-Rounded Person 
  • Who’s the most interesting person at social events? The one with the stories, of course! Alternatively, if you don’t get out and experience much, you won’t have much to contribute to conversations. The more new things you try, the more you can share about your adventures and lessons learned, as well as likes and dislikes, which in turn can help someone else who has an interest in the same activity and potentially spark a meaningful connection.

  • You’ll See How Other People Live
  • Every time you travel somewhere new, try a new cuisine, or learn a new language or tradition, you’re experiencing how other people in other parts of the world live their life. Expanding your knowledge of other ways of living not only cultures you, but it also opens your world up to new people who aren’t in your immediate bubble. The beauty of this is that when you learn how other people live and why, your perspective on life starts to shift. You adopt ideals about things that resonate with you. And ultimately, it shapes you and what you carry forth into the world. 

  • You Get to Know Yourself Better
  • If experience is the best teacher, then actually experiencing things is the only way to learn. You’ll never know if you like extreme sports unless you try it—even if it’s something on the milder end of “extreme”—at least once. 

    There’s a whole world of new experiences waiting for you just outside your front door that have the potential to be even more exciting and fulfilling than what you’ve been spending your downtime doing, possibly for years. Trying something new might even leave you so surprised by how much you loved it that you’ll ask yourself, “Who am I?!” So get out there and get to know yourself better!

    If you’re now thinking, “I’m in, what’s next?” but deciding on new things to try isn’t always easy, especially as you emerge from your long-time comfort zone, here are five ways to get started! 

    1. Put a New Spin on an Old Pastime: If you’re still a little lukewarm on the whole “new experience” thing, ease into the discomfort by putting a twist on an old favorite. If you love movies, instead of going to a theater, rent a projector for the backyard or visit a drive-in movie theater. If you’re into rollerblading, trade in your blades for old-school roller skates and visit a roller rink for a retro night of fun with friends. 

    2. Switch Up Your Exercise Routine: Whether you consider exercise fun or not—we think it should be! So, if you’re not enjoying it like it’s play, it’s time to switch things up. There’s a vast world of fitness out there to try. Trade in your standard cardio and strength training for the occasional weird-and-wonderful world of fitness with things like goat yoga and cycle karaoke classes.

    3. Switch Up Your Daily Routine: Why not revamp your daily schedule just a little? Wake up earlier and learn to meditate. Try working out at lunch instead of morning. If your work is amenable, change your hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and spend an hour outside in nature at the end of every workday.  A fresh take on your day-to-day life might just be the boost you need! 

    4. Eat New Things: Don’t worry, we’re not suggesting you go out and start eating crickets—but if you’re game, it’s an excellent source of protein! We mean get out there and try a cuisine you haven't had instead of your typical go-to. At home, try a more exotic cuisine than you’re used to cooking and hit up the farmers’ markets for some interesting foods you typically don’t buy such as garlic scapes, sea beans, and zucchini blossoms.

    5. Find a Group to Try New Things With: Why not turn your desire for new adventures into a social thing and visit an online group finder like this one to join forces with other like-minded people. This can help you experience new things such as a book club, writing club, hiking, game night, or speed dating. As you can see, the options are endless!

    Bottom Line: You won’t know if you have an innate talent or passion for something until you give it a try. Think about how you’d feel if you never explored certain things that are of interest to you and you could have been a total pro at it? Have fun expanding your horizons and remember, stay curious! 

    *The links used in this article are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Iovate Health Sciences International Inc. or any of its affiliates (“Iovate”) of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual. Iovate bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.

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