VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE and intentionally getting uncomfortable is the secret to really kicking that spice up a notch!
This approach to life is what’s kept me, in many ways, out of the clutches of prolonged periods of depression. It’s been a solid practice for maintaining my mental wellness. The odd thing is that I hadn’t connected it to my happiness before. If I’m not learning something new, then I’m usually pretty miserable.
How I do it
I’m a lifelong learner – if I could get paid to take classes for a living, I’d probably be happy (assuming it’s not math…). Every year, as part of my goal setting, which involves sitting down with a pen and post-it note and jotting a few things down, I try to list one new thing I want to do or learn for the year, sometimes more.
Several years ago, I decided to do my first solo travel. I went to Chicago and fell in love with the city and solo travel! I’ve since visited solo to a few other countries including Spain and Portugal.
I have taken a 10-week technical boxing class, which was intimidating – it was in a real boxing gym and the guy, well, he looked like he coached many champs in his earlier days. I absolutely LOVED every, single, gruelling, sweat-drenched, bit of the workout! To this day, I will swear that boxing is the best fitness workout you can get!
I have also taken classes in kickboxing, taekwondo, Spanish, salsa and Cha-cha lessons (omg, sooooo embarrassing!) and ice skating – I still can’t figure out how to stop without crash landing, but I haven’t broken any bones or hurt anyone, so I’m ok with that.
In all of these activities I’m usually mediocre at best, or sometimes the classes were not that great, but I always stick with it through the end. I’m still happier for taking the time to do something for myself, that is, to intentionally get uncomfortable, learn something new, meet new people and just have a good time.
5 other Awesome Benefits of Getting Uncomfortable:
- You’re in control. You decided what new thing you want to try and just go for it!
- You’ll feel a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment when you take that first step (ok, you’ll probably also feel sick to your stomach, but that should pass…eventually)
- You’ll feel a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment having done it.
- Your more risk-averse friends will totally admire you (yes, I am a Badass, cha-cha dancing superstar, that’s right!)
- It has the power to be transformative. You will learn something about yourself from all that discomfort, like, Ummm, that you are in fact a badass.
This year, to step outside my comfort zone, I’ve committed to taking “self-portraits” and sharing them here @thisgirlwithcamera for all to see. Just writing that made me feel a little queasy. I’m still getting used to it, maybe even enjoying it a little!
(Inspiration for this post is from Get Happy: Lessons in Lasting Happiness by Dr Anthony Gunn)
What interesting ways have you found to ‘spice up” your life lately? Leave a comment.