Have you ever heard the adage that “people are creatures of habit?” According to research, that old wives’ tale is based in truth. Believe it or not, most of us spend the majority of our time engaging in the same routine. Our daily, weekly, and monthly schedules often consist of similar tasks and activities. While planning, setting goals, and maintaining structure in our lives is important, there are several benefits to shaking things up and trying something new.
Throughout life, learning new skills leads to actual changes in the adult brain through a process called neurogenesis. Neurogenesis is the process by which new neurons are formed in the brain. Dr. Kathryn Papp, Neuropsychologist and Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, explains this process continues in older age. The growth of new brain cells helps make new connections that contribute to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, keeping stress levels low, and providing many other benefits that make the brain more resilient to changes that cause dementia.
Despite our ability to continue learning, many people find that they’ve stopped challenging themselves to explore new interests or ideas. “Most older people have a hard time learning new things but it is not because of their age. It is because they make the conscious decision to stop learning even though they may not realize it,” explains author and founder of Embrace Possibility, Robert Chen. It is common to have anxiety or fear surrounding things that are not familiar. Simply choosing faith over fear and leading with a can-do attitude is the first step of many into a life of infinite possibilities.
There are many ways to incorporate different practices into your routine.
- Get Active
Challenge yourself physically by trying a new sport like swimming, golf, or tennis. Take a morning or afternoon walk while enjoying the sights and sounds of mother nature. Stretching every day also has amazing health benefits and is a great way to jumpstart your day by putting your body into motion.
- Change Your Scenery
A simple change in point of view can make a world of difference. Break up the monotony by executing daily tasks in a different setting. You can get cozy with your favorite book near a window with natural sunlight. Try taking a different route to the grocery store or to visit your neighbor. Adding variety to your day is a great way to limit repeating the same scenarios and giving each day its own footprint.
- Meet New People
We are all composed of the places we have been, experiences we have had, and what we have been exposed to. There is a wealth of new information every individual possesses that is unique to their personal journey and backgrounds. Sparking up a conversation with someone is a great way to broaden your perspective and add diversity to your thinking. Socialization boosts activity and creates a sense of community.
Give yourself permission to take a leap of faith. Whether on a small or large scale, engaging in new activities normalizes fresh and exciting daily practices which result in a happier, healthier and more fulfilled lifestyle. To learn more about the innovative activities at Village Park Senior Living contact us at (470)509-4557. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for updates on our up and coming projects and initiatives.
Article written by Cherelle Perry