A few years ago, I lived out the ultimate adventure: I explored Europe for three months and then taught English in Rwanda for five weeks. Every day brought a new and unfamiliar experience with it—I stood atop the beautiful Cliffs of Moher in Ireland; I gawked at the Eiffel tower looming over me in Paris; I floated the canals of Italy; and I painted murals in a Rwandan village called Nyamyumba. There was never a dull moment. I finally received the breath of fresh air that I was seeking.
I couldn’t dream a better dream. My journey abroad opened my eyes and my mind, and it fulfilled me in a way I never thought possible. On my flight back to the states, I wondered: how do I possibly go back to a life that lacks adventure? I pondered this question for a few weeks, but in due time I had my answer: I don’t. Adventure doesn’t just exist overseas or in the form of travel—there are opportunities each and every day to live an exciting life. Don’t believe me? The professionals are here to ensure that you do! Here are their six tips for spicing up your life:
1) Take charge of your daily routine.
Licensed Mental Health Counselor Shani Graves says you should consider how you spend your time and make meaningful adjustments. “Take deep breaths at the start, middle, and end of your day, as it’s very easy to forget to breathe. This is a 1- to 2-minute stress reliever that increases focus as well. Another effective change is to set a time limit on social media. I encourage my clients to delete certain social media apps at least an hour before bed. They’re able to re-download the apps after 10 am. This gives our brains time to be more mindful of what’s going on in front of us, beyond the screen. Last change is to attempt doing your boring routine out of order. We often mindlessly follow a routine in the morning and night. Try doing the same tasks, but out of order.”
2) Utilize the power of music and laughter.
Graves also recommends rejoicing in music, laughter, and old memories. “Something exciting to do every day would be to dance or enjoy some type of music that brings a feeling of joy,” she says. “You can also make yourself laugh at an old memory. We have tendencies to live in the negative and positive self-talk, which is not an easy thing to do every day. But moving, listening to music, and laughing is something we can easily do to make ourselves smile.”
3) Get out into nature.
Patricia Farrell, licensed clinical psychologist, says a great way to spice up your life is to step outside and immerse yourself in nature. “Ideally, this would be a forest of a nature preserve, but it can be a local park or a beach,” she says. “There is something not only calming about nature in these places, but creative as well—it is recommended that if you want to increase your creativity, you get out into nature as often as possible. Walking, in particular, seems to stimulate creativity and that can open a whole host of doors to new exciting possibilities for you.”
4) Think outside the box.
Dr. Jesse Matthews, licensed psychologist, encourages people to “think outside of the box and always try new things, whether this means starting an exercise routine, trying new types of fitness, cooking something new, reading something different, or generally trying something they have never tried before. The key when you are in a rut in your life is to shake it up, get out of your comfort zone, and make yourself try something new. This can occur in small ways or in larger ones—it all depends on the individual.”
5) Actively seek adventure.
Dr. Matthews also advises individuals, young people in particular, to not only welcome but actively seek adventure, “to do such things as take different courses in high school or college in order to learn something new, to study abroad, or even take a gap year or some time after college to travel or experience a new place or culture.” He strongly believes that these are invaluable experiences, which “can really help shape you to be the well-rounded or more interesting person you desire to be.”
6) Love yourself.
Another effective way of spicing up your life is getting to know yourself better, according to Lakiesha Russell, licensed professional counselor: “Show love to yourself on a daily basis. Look in the mirror and say, ‘I’m beautiful.’ Spend time loving on you and not waiting on others to do it. Being able to enjoy your own company makes it better when you do have that special someone in your life, because you won’t be desperate for their attention. Take time to get to know what makes you smile, laugh, and feel good, by taking yourself on dates every once in a while, to get in touch with yourself.”