|(Photo by Brandon Martin-Anderson)|
Thus spake the author(s) of MSN Living's article 10 Secrets to a Happy Life. Along with research-based "secrets" such as "smile" (fake it until you make it), "dance, play, move" (it's all about the endorphins), "share a laugh" (more endorphins), create a work/
life balance (Sabbath anyone?), and "help others" (beginning with simple acts of kindness) – is the adventurous-sounding "change your routine, try something new." (Note: "Have a happy marriage"
or "committed partnership") is also one of these "10 secrets.")
Why "try something new" when it seems so much easier (and perhaps safer) to just stay in the groove (rut?)… According to this article, "because research shows that people who regularly engage in new experiences have more positive emotions than people who don't." Not only that, "scientists know that keeping our brains stimulated – learning new things and trying new activities – is a great way to keep memory and motor skills intact as we grow older."
Trying something new can be as adventurous as parachuting out of an airplane (see George Bush, Sr.), or as incremental as taking a different route to work once a week. It can be as unusual as an African safari (unless you live in Tanzania), or as ordinary as a day at the beach (unless you live in the Himalayas). It can be as cheap as the dollar rack in a thrift shop, or as pricey as a high-end auction.
What it isn't is same-old, same-old.
What it is can change your moment, day, week, life for the better.