Thursday, May 30, 2024

Why change is good?

Try something new – it’s liberating, it can be a life-changing experience and it is a good thing.

Often staying in your comfort zone leaves less room to try something new. Anything or any habit that is done for a prolonged period becomes a comfort zone. For instance, staying home most of the time, or spending time in the kitchen cooking meals every day, or getting the same haircut year after year, or wearing similar shades of clothing… can form a comfort zone. However, the human brain is capable of change at any age. There is no such thing as “too old to try something new”.

When you try something new, your brain forms new connections and neurons. It helps either strengthen or weaken your existing neuron pathways. That is, any habit can be changed or new habits can be formed if you put your mind to it.  Neurons are the messengers in the brain that sends signals to different parts of the brain and the nervous system. The phenomenon of forming a new connection of neurons and reorganising it – is known as neuroplasticity.

Neuroplasticity allows neurons to adjust the response when one faces a new situation or change of environment. It helps face the challenge and as you begin to acclimate with the situation the pathways become stronger. So, if you continue practising your hobby day after day your brain and body will become in tune with the change.

Change can be discomforting – There is discomfort when something is new. New beginnings are filled with apprehensions, awkward moments, uncertainty, discomfort and one can feel lost. But when you consistently show up for yourself this change can soon become your new comfort zone. It doesn’t matter if it’s a positive or a negative change, any kind of change after a prolonged period becomes a habit.

For instance, a lot of people care about their health/fitness levels and how exercising regularly makes them feel good about themselves. This feeling was never there from the start, it developed over time – it can be counted as a positive change.

Similarly, an example of negative change could be chain-smoking. It is a result of prolonged smoking, where the person begins to smoke one cigarette a day and after a point, it becomes a habit. However, it is possible to change this aspect as well.

Grief is a price – One can grieve about a lot of things – the demise of a loved one, children moving out, retiring from office, a break up/divorce… Anything or anyone you love dearly, or have invested your emotions in, grief is a price you will have to pay at the end.  It is ok to feel upset when you think about the loss. But it is also important to take notice that parting away makes room for change, to try something new and move on.

Easier said than done but practising self-love one day at a time can get you through any grief. It takes will and effort on your part to let go of thoughts that upset you. Memories can leave you feeling overwhelmed and out of control. But the key is to recognise these emotions and move through them. Let go of what happened in the past and be present. Look around, see where you are, and at this moment try something new. Start with something that is out of your normal routine.

Change is the only constant – Nothing remains the same forever, we have evolved and will keep evolving with time. Human beings find it difficult to process uncertainty. But life never goes according to the plan, it keeps changing. From birth to death the only thing that remains constant is the change the body goes through. So when we make peace with change we are opening ourselves to move easily with the flow of life. This way you will be able to create a safe environment for yourself where you are open to change.

When you open yourself toward new experiences your inner confidence gets a boost. You feel empowered and strong. You begin to value yourself again. This attitude can benefit your life in the long run. So start with a small change and see how it can change everything around you.

Being curious about things is what will keep you happy and help you adapt to a new way of living at any age. Be open to trying things that are new to you – perhaps a cuisine that uses similar ingredients differently or watch something out of your comfort zone, it could be a foreign film or a regional film, if you aspire to improve your fitness regime and you are a beginner then start with walking a thousand steps in a day, if you have had the same haircut for years then it’s time to get a new haircut. When you are open to new ideas it will improve your cognitive functioning as it challenges you.

So, try something new this week – it can be anything. If you are someone who is always doing something, or someone who is always stressed about things at home, then perhaps doing nothing could be something new for you. Being still and quiet could be your new thing. Taking some time off to unwind and contemplate is perhaps what you need.

Change can be anything in any aspect of your life. You can set new habits, influence your thought processes by reading interesting material, be self observant, set a new routine, follow a new diet…it is all up to you to choose which area of your life needs to freshen up. The process of change is about embracing who you are and rediscovering yourself.

Let’s inspire one another by commenting below about the small changes that helped you rediscover yourself.

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