When was the last time you tried something for the first time?
In our busy lives it can be tempting to streamline everything with routine – when we do the same things day in, day out we know exactly how long things will take, the resources we will need, and the order to complete tasks in. In fact, we can almost run on autopilot. And feel stuck in a rut.
Doing something different changes all that. You have to be intentional and fully engage with the experience. That’s why Anxiety UK believe that ‘trying something new can be a great distraction’ for those with anxiety disorders. And the good news is that the new thing doesn’t need to cost anything or be time-consuming. For example, try sitting in a different chair at home (because the chances are, you have your favourite). It may feel a bit strange at first, so acknowledge the power of habit, the pull to do things in the same way. But then think about what you like about this different seat – is it comfier or does it have a better view of the garden or tv? Is the cat or dog more likely to join you? (Is that a good or bad thing?) Do you like the colour and feel of the fabric? Of course, you may conclude that your original chair is the best (that’s why you chose it!), but you’ve given your brain something new to think about.
The human brain is tailor-made for learning, and creating opportunities for the left and right hemispheres to interact is extremely beneficial. So, when you first tried the new chair you probably had a voice in your head saying something like, “This is ridiculous – what a waste of time!” Welcome to the left side of your brain – the voice of reason and logic. But if you lingered in the new seat and engaged your senses and imagination, perhaps lapsing into a daydream for a moment, that was your creative right brain kicking in collecting all kinds of interesting information to feed back to the left brain. Connections between the two hemispheres of the brain are really important so try something new today to boost your brain power and lower your anxiety levels.