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The Power of Change: The Benefits of Trying Something New

It’s terrific to find a healthy routine that works for you. The less you have to think about making decisions that fuel your wellness, the better. 

There are, however, benefits to changing things up and trying something new. Doing the same thing day in, day out, can cause stagnation in many facets of life. Your body and mind benefit from changing the inputs every so often. 

These don’t have to be big shifts, and they don’t need to be long term. Just being mindful with a little something new can have a lovely impact.

A Path Out of Stagnation

Doing the same thing for days, months, years on end can lead to stagnation. Whether it be what you eat, your exercise of choice, how you socialize, or the places you go, always making the same choice can begin to be a source of the blahs. 

Of course, there’s comfort in a steady routine, but there’s also boredom. Even if your choices are all healthy ones and things you enjoy, they can begin to lose their luster. And you can begin to lose sight of what brought you joy in these pursuits in the first place. 

A bit of change may be just what you need. Perhaps try a class or two of something that’s always caught your eye. Test out a new sport that sounds fun. Learn a few new exercises at the gym. Test out a new recipe. 

This isn’t about going full bore into a whole new life path, or changing a habit. It's about rather dipping your toes into something different. In addition to learning something new or having fun at a pursuit you hadn’t tried before, you can come back to your regular routine with a renewed sense of appreciation for your regular activities. 

Beginner's Mind: Enriching Your Experiences

There’s the concept in Zen Buddhism of beginner’s mind: being open to whatever might come instead of placing predictions on how things will go. This can be a valuable way of learning how to stay open to possibilities in life, to experiencing the richness of our day to day that we might regularly just pass by without noticing. 

Opening up to possibilities in life, approaching life with curiosity, can lead to delight and joy where we wouldn’t necessarily expect it. This is what beginner’s mind can help unlock. One surefire way to tap into beginner’s mind is to actually be a beginner at something. 

Key here is letting go of expectations, approaching this new pursuit as just that, something you’re just starting. You aren’t, that is, going to be good at it. Or at least, that’s not the point. The value is in the newness, in the figuring it out, in the not being attached to any particular outcome. The value is to occupy yourself with only the discovery, the unfolding of events, and challenge.  

A Chance for New Self-Discovery

When you open up yourself to new pursuits, it’s a terrific time to learn something about yourself. Maybe you discover have a knack for baking? Perhaps you actually love that new spice or Pilates class or hiking trail you just tried. Maybe being bad at something feels freeing, or maybe it feels uncomfortable. 

Maybe you get frustrated easily and discover you might benefit from learning some patience. Or maybe you learn that a challenge that feels tough is really satisfying when you finally figure it out. 

Being mindful of how you move through these these new pursuits and activities can bring to life parts of yourself you hadn’t considered or given a look at in a while. Learning your strengths and weaknesses can give you valuable information about how you might want to move forward in the future. 

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

Doing something new, changing things up will almost certainly get you out of your comfort zone. Trying new things is an undertaking that many of us approach with some trepidation, but it can also lead to great satisfaction. 

Overcoming something that provokes a bit of fear or may feel daunting helps us push the envelope of possibilities. With each small step out of your comfort zone, you expand what’s possible. Accomplishments that seemed out of reach in the past begin to feel achievable, one step at a time. 

Your Body and Mind Will Thank You

As much as the body and mind function well with routine, they also need to change things up. We learn and grow with new stimuli. For instance, for an athlete to get faster or stronger or master a new skill, they must change what they are doing: the runner training for a marathon does not run the same pace, the same distance, on the same route every day. 

Part of staying healthy and engaged fully in life requires taking a leap into unknown territory time and again. You may be surprised by how wonderful even a small infusion of something out of the ordinary can be.

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