Do you ever wish that you learned how to speak Spanish or how to play the guitar? Have you always wanted to try rock climbing, white water rafting, or a ballet class? Why don’t you? There are probably a million reasons why you have convinced yourself that you cannot try new things. You are a mom of three. You have a full-time job. Maybe you think you are too old and it is too crazy for you to try new things like rock climbing or learning how to play an instrument. Stop telling yourself it is too late to try new things. Here are 5 reasons you should absolutely go for it and try new things.
1. Good for your well-being
Trying new things is actually good for your well-being. A number of studies have linked happiness with a love of new experiences or neophilia as it is called. Research shows that seeking out new experiences keeps you healthy and happy. It does seem to be clear on exactly why this is the case, but if you seek to try new things you are more likely to be happier and live a more healthy life than those who are fearful of trying new things.
It has also been found in one study that a fear of trying new things predicted an earlier death in rats. Scientists were able to find that young rats who were more fearful of new experiences, grew into more fearful adult rats who then died earlier than their new-experience loving siblings. While this is a very simple overview of that study, it was hypothesized that the same may be true in humans. Behavior and longevity seem to have a strong connection.
So not only are you happier if you are willing to try new things, you may live longer. Maybe it is because these new experiences trigger some sort of endorphins or other happy chemicals in your brain. Maybe the thrill of something new boosts our serotonin levels. Maybe learning or trying new things fulfills something our brain needs and in turn that makes our brain and our body happy. Whatever it is, it is pretty amazing stuff.
2. Learn new and interesting things
The most obvious reason you should try new things is because it allows you to learn something new and interesting. Learning new things keeps your mind engaged. Keeping your mind engaged and active helps you handle challenges and solve problems. Learning is also just plain exciting and can be rewarding too. There is something really cool about learning a new skill or learning about something you didn’t know about before. Imagine learning a language or learning how to make a new kind of food. How awesome would that be?
When you try new things, you also expand your skills. Depending on the skills you learn, you could be more marketable when you are looking for a new job. Other things could simply make your life easier. Or maybe you learn some new things and realize how useful you are in all kinds of situations. And that can help make you feel happy and more mentally healthy.
3. Gets you out of your comfort zone
Most people get used to the daily and weekly routines they set for themselves. So much so that most of the time you probably do not even notice that you are waking up at the same time, eating similar if not the same things most of the time, wearing the same handful of clothing day in and day out (because this one pair of sweatpants is so freaking comfortable!), watching the same shows at night, and on and on. Once we have found our comfort zone, it is easy to stay there.
Routines are great. They help you keep your fitness and nutrition goals on track. They ensure that you get your kids to school and you get to work on time. They are easy to fall into because they make navigating life easier and manageable. For people who have anxiety, autism, or other neurodivergent diagnoses, routines can be a lifeline. Creating a comfort zone makes life a lot easier for a lot of people.
However, it is easy to get stuck in a rut when you get deeply rooted in that comfy zone of routine. The solution to that rut is to try new things! Making a commitment to try new things can help add a little excitement and energy to your life. This does not mean that you have to go wild and throw out your routine entirely or anything. It just means that you should make a conscious effort to mix it up every now and then. Start small. Try a new restaurant. Give a new exercise class a chance. Pick a week and cook something you have never made before every night.
4. Increases your self-confidence
There is nothing better than trying something and succeeding. But how can you ever succeed at something new if you never try new things? When you give a new recipe a try, try a new exercise class, or travel somewhere new on your own, you increase your self-confidence.
Most of the time this happens because you try new things and you have a good experience. You tried making Julia Child’s recipe for roasting a whole chicken and it came out amazingly. You took a boot camp class at the gym the first time and even though you were sore for two days afterward, you crushed it and showed yourself how strong you are. Or maybe you traveled solo to New York and navigated the subway without incident and saw some awesome sights.
Chances are though that even if you try new things and are not as successful, you will get a confidence boost. So you tried boot camp and you hated it. What you learned was that it is easy to try a new workout and have plans to give a spin class a try next week. You went to New York and did not really like it that much, but realized that somewhere like Key West would be more your speed and are planning a solo trip next spring.
Failure does not mean you have to get down on yourself. Having a new experience and being willing to try new things is a success in and of itself.
5. Helps you overcome fears
While you are busy boosting your self-confidence, you can also be working to overcome your fears! A lot of times we hesitate to try new things because we are scared that we will fail, look stupid, or because we are simply scared of the unknown. Being afraid of any (or all!) of those things is pretty common. It is hard to put yourself out there. You may have heard the quote, “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” It is so true.
You want to learn Spanish but are scared to take a class because you didn’t take it in high school and are worried you are too old to learn another language now. You skip the dance class or guitar lessons for the same reason. You didn’t go to that concert or try that restaurant because no one could go with you and you were scared you would look silly going alone. How many things have you missed out on because you were too scared to go for it or try new things?
It is time to take a deep breath and tell yourself that you can absolutely do this thing. Then go for it! The next time that little voice in your head tells you not to try something because it seems scary, you tell it you laugh in the face of danger (just like little Simba in the Lion King). Then try it! You will be fluent in Spanish in no time. Buen trabajo!
When you try new things you get so much more than a new experience. You gain confidence. You get out of the rut that can become our everyday routine. You face your fears (and conquer them). You learn something new. Plus, you are happier and healthier than people who don’t try things. Hopefully, these 5 reasons why you should try new things will convince you to go for it!
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out Daily Mom’s 5 Easy Ways to Encourage Positive Attitudes in Kids for more advice, tips, and tricks.
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