Everyone knows at least one of “those” people. You know, the ones who just pick up and go at the drop of a hat, do things on a whim, those free spirits. They are the spontaneous people, the people who don’t always stick to the plan – and they seem healthier and happier for it.
If you are a planner, it’s OK. The world needs planners, but introducing a little spontaneity into your life can make it richer and happier. The good news is, you can reap the benefits of being spontaneous without going all out; even small steps produce positive outcomes. But if you’re not convinced, here are some good reasons why a more adventurous life is good for you.
The fine line between spontaneity and impulsivity
Many people confuse spontaneity with impulsivity, treating the terms as if they are interchangeable. However, there is a difference. Say your best friend calls you up on a weekday to spend the afternoon at the beach. The impulsive person would drop everything without a second thought and go. The spontaneous person would take a moment to consider their to-do list, if they had any pressing projects, and if they had any other responsibilities that would be impacted by leaving.
See the difference?
Oscar Wilde said, “Spontaneity is a meticulously prepared art.” It’s true. Spontaneity is good; impulsivity, not so much.
Spontaneous people may have less stress.
Being spontaneous teaches you how to cope with sudden change, make immediate decisions, and handle unknown situations. In other words, you will go out into the world better equipped to manage life’s uncertainty. When you are prepared for the unexpected or unknown, you don’t have as much anxiety about it; you’re ready to meet it head on. This lowers your stress levels, allowing you to relax more and enjoy your life.
Spontaneous people are often happier.
Spontaneous people tend to be happy people. If there is a situation that is dragging them down or depression is creeping in, they just change the scenery. Acting spontaneous creates a sense of adventure, and adventure can cause a rush of neurotransmitters like dopamine, flooding the body with feel-good hormones that keep depression at bay. Plus, a less stressful life is a happier life.
Spontaneous people tend to be less anxious.
There is nothing wrong with planning or routine, but when your entire life is planned to the letter what happens when something comes along to upset that plan? No plan or routine is completely failsafe and things will happen. Rigidity itself can often be anxiety provoking. Sometimes as you do all you can to prevent your routine from being upset, the anxiety that it could happen is always at the back of your mind.
Spontaneous people are less likely to get stuck in a rut.
When you have a fairly strict routine, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. Spontaneous people may have routines, but they also like to shake things up once in a while. If you are varying from your prescribed routine now and then, it’s very hard to get stuck in a rut.
Spontaneous people keep their minds sharp.
Engaging in a few spontaneous activities from time to time will keep your brain on its toes. The human brain creates prescribed responses to situations. When those situations are always the same, the response becomes more passive. When spontaneous situations are introduced, your brain has to shift gears, process the new information, and formulate a new response. This keeps the mind active and sharp so that you make better decisions.
7 tips for introducing more spontaneity in your life.
If you want to introduce a little spontaneity into your own life, try these tips.
1. Don’t ditch your responsibilities or act impulsively.
2. Don’t overdo it. Find a balance.
3. Be inspired. Find ways to incorporate inspiration into your life on a regular basis.
4. Plan it. There is nothing wrong with penciling in some time to try something new.
5. Lighten up on the rules.
6. Keep it realistic and attainable.
7. Relax and have fun.
Incorporate some spontaneity into your day and see how it transforms you.
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