As we get older, it can be easy to become set in our ways and less likely to try new things. While this is comfortable, trying new things is an important part of staying engaged and living life to the fullest. Taking up a new hobby or learning a new skill can help stimulate your mind and give you a sense of purpose. Even small changes like going for a walk in different areas of town or trying out a new cuisine can add variety to life and help you feel more energetic. Trying something totally outside your comfort zone can also encourage personal growth, shift perspectives, and teach valuable lessons.
No matter what stage of life you’re in, one of the best gifts you can give yourself is exploring something completely unfamiliar. Here’s a look at why trying new things is good for you, even well into adulthood.
Trying Something New Can Improve Cognitive Function
Trying something new is not only a great way to pass the time, but it’s also good for your brain! Cognitive function can be positively affected by taking up a new hobby or learning a new skill. You don’t need to move mountains – even something small like trying a new recipe or reading an unfamiliar book genre can make all the difference. New activities create neural pathways in the brain that may have gone unused before, helping create mental connectivity and improving overall cognitive function over time. Plus, it’s nice to break out of the same old routine and stimulate yourself with something interesting and unique.
Reduce Stress and Anxiety by Branching Out of Your Comfort Zone
Reducing stress and anxiety through trying new things is a great way to shake up the monotony of day-to-day life and help you find peace of mind. It’s about getting out of your comfort zone, whether it’s trying something as small as a new food or restaurant, or something more out of the ordinary like a yoga class or pottery making. Taking risks can be difficult but it’s worth it! Don’t let fear and self-doubt stand in the way of finding joy outside your everyday routine. Finding the courage to try something different can actually bring some amazing rewards – maybe even a new hobby that you love and look forward to! Try taking the first step today.
How Being Adventurous Reduces Cortisol Levels
Trying new things can reduce cortisol (aka the “stress hormone”) levels in the brain because it helps to regulate the body’s stress response. When exposed to a novel or challenging situation, the body releases cortisol as part of the fight-or-flight response. Over time, chronic exposure to cortisol can lead to elevated levels in the brain which can negatively affect physical and mental health. However, by trying something new and introducing novelty into your life, you can help keep these levels in check. The increased stimulation triggers a more positive reaction from the body, releasing endorphins that make us feel good and reduce our overall stress levels.
Additionally, engaging in activities outside of one’s comfort zone can also boost confidence and self-esteem while teaching valuable lessons about resilience. Reframing new experiences as opportunities to learn and grow helps us adapt and change our brain’s response to stimuli; instead of being stressed, we can be excited about the challenge. So, whether it’s attending one of your office’s corporate retreats or just introducing yourself to the neighbor whose yard you admire, remember that trying something new can actually reduce stress.
How Being Adventurous Can Reduce Symptoms of Depression
This time of year, it can be more difficult to live with depression. The lack of sunlight, the stress of the holidays, and weakened immune systems can easily bring us down. As hard as it is, trying new things can act as an effective coping strategy for depression.
Corner Canyon Counseling suggests things like being active, meditating, and connecting with nature can improve our mental health significantly. While it can be intimidating to start these activities, especially if some of them are new to you, you can start small with daily walks, downloading a meditation app, or perhaps taking work calls while walking on a treadmill. It may sound insignificant, but the attempts to try these new ways of doing daily tasks can add up to positive results.
New Things to Try as An Adult to Promote Cognitive Function and Reduce Stress
Trying new activities can be both exciting and rewarding. As an adult, there are so many things you can do to promote cognitive function and reduce stress. Why not explore new hobbies like cooking, painting, photography, or any type of craft you’ve always wanted to learn? Local recreation programs often offer these types of continuing education classes at affordable price points.
Even something as simple as taking a yoga class or going for a nature walk can do wonders for your mental well-being. Take up archery or find a new spot for fishing. Or, find deeper meaning in journaling or meditating. Not only will you develop new skills and talents for yourself, but you’re likely to meet a lot of wonderful people along the way.
Have you always wanted to go back to school to change your career? It’s never too late! With online classes and accelerated programs, you can find yourself in a new job in no time. Did you know you can actually earn a pilot’s license in as little as 12 months? FLT Academy, based in Utah, offers myriad programs so if you’ve always wanted to be a commercial pilot, you can make that dream a reality in a year. With so many options available, there’s no reason to stay in a job that no longer brings joy or challenges you. Look at community colleges for fields of study that interest you and can put you on the path to your dream career.
There is no shortage of activities that will stimulate your mind and help you manage your stress. Your emotional health is just as important as physical exercises; so take the time to nurture yourself and your creativity by stepping out of your comfort zone and trying something totally different!