When we’re on the hamster wheel of overwhelm, we get into stressful rut of trying to get it all done each day. We do little to inspire ourselves or to tap into our own creative energy. Something like listening to new music increases mental acuity gets new neurons firing. We need to tackle new challenges.
The success we’ve earned causes our minds to become locked on what has worked for us so far. As the Zen master Suzuki Roshi says: “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few.”
According to behavioral therapist Andrea Kuszewski, this is what’s going on when we learn
something new: “When you seek novelty, several things are going on. First of all, you are creating new synaptic connections with every new activity you engage in. These connections build on each other, increasing your neural activity, creating more connections to build on other connections—learning is taking place.”
New experiences trigger the release of dopamine, motivating us, which in turn leads to
neurogenesis, or the creation of new neurons and new neural connections.Putting ourselves in a position to reflect, try new things, and continue to learn widens our perspectives and brings numerous physical benefits. Plus, it’s often just plain fun.
Here are a few things to consider to keep yourself mindful and inspired.
1. Get clear about what makes you fulfilled.
2. Be intentional about trying new things.
3. Lose the need to be perfect.
4. Variety is the spice of (longer) life.
It’s all a matter of energy – getting it, using it, and regenerating it. We all have choices we
don’t take. When we can stop, reflect, and make intentional choices that keep us energized, inspired and fulfilled, we’re on the road to not just mindfulness, but enduring happiness.