The human mind tends to crave new experiences. It’s how we create the strongest memories. One of the reasons that we all tend to feel that time speeds up as we get older is because we create fewer new memories. If you think about the ‘new’ events of childhood – going to school, seeing things for the first time, developing a pattern of behaviour – then it’s all rather new and exciting. So the memories are much more potent.
As we get older, that doesn’t tend to happen so much. We settle into established routines in our lives, which follow a familiar metronome that makes one week almost indistinguishable from the one that came before it. As a result, we feel that time is passing by more quickly, purely because we’re not forming as many new memories of fresh experiences.
Thus, the most obvious benefit to trying something different is that it’s a new memory. This can make us happier, waking up those sleeping synapses in our brain that have been cruising along on autopilot for awhile. The benefits to your health are simple: you’re happier, more content, and have lower stress levels.
If you like the idea of a happiness boost but aren’t sure where to start, then here are a few ideas to point you in the right direction.
Try Something Physical
The great benefit to something physical as your something new is the fact it can be used as exercise. It could be looking for geocaches, learning to ride a scooter, or just wanting to spend more time in nature – they all have the side effect of meaning your life becomes less sedentary.
Let’s take those above three examples and see how they can work alongside your regular life.
If you’re an explorer at heart who has always enjoyed solving clues, then hunting for geocaches could be the perfect hobby for you. You trace and search for hidden caches and track your progress. There might be one just around the corner from where you are now or you may have to go further afield.
What You Need: A membership to a geocaching app helps, as will apps for navigation and a compass.
Learning To Ride A Scooter
If you’re accustomed to travelling along in a car, then a scooter can be a whole new experience. It brings you more into contact with the world you are travelling through – not to mention giving your core a good workout as you seek to keep balance!
What You Need: Once you have learned to handle a machine and taken some lessons, the obvious next step is to buy a scooter for yourself. Don’t forget the safety equipment you’ll need; helmet, gloves, good shoes.
Spending More Time In Nature
The best way to spark a new love for nature is to find a woodland. There is something mystical about woods; they have been the setting for magical tales for centuries, and spend time in one and you’ll see why.
What You Need: It depends how you want to explore. Good walking boots are the obvious solution, but you could also try off-road cycling or even horse-riding if you really fancy a new skill!
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