Have you ever found yourself feeling like every day is Groundhog Day? You do the same activities, watch the same shows, cook the same meals. It feels boring and uninspiring, but you can’t quite figure out how to break out of that rut. Trying a new activity can be the best way to shake up your routine, and on top of feeling more engaged in your life, it turns out that trying new things can have a positive effect on your mental health as well.
Why Try New Things?
According to Harvard Health: “Cognitive and social engagement have been shown to be protective against cognitive decline, whereas hearing loss, depression, and social isolation are associated with cognitive decline.” New experiences such as taking a cooking class or online training in photography creates new connections in the brain, and as we excel in our learning our brains release dopamine which motivates us to seek out other new experiences. Each new activity can be a catalyst for continued learning and motivation.
Trying new things can also boost your confidence. New experiences provide an opportunity to get to know ourselves in a different way. Maybe through joining an ultimate frisbee team you find that you have great hand-eye coordination that you’ve never noticed before. Or a painting class could help you discover your skill with using color. We tend to create narratives around what we think we’re good at and what we think we’re not good at, but new experiences give us new perspectives.
New experiences can also help shift your mindset. People with fixed mindsets believe that all of their abilities and basic qualities are fixed traits. This perception can lead to “all or nothing” thinking, where you believe that one failure means that everything has failed. On the other hand, people with growth mindsets believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. Trying new experiences helps us be in that growth mindset. We understand that through practice, comes improved skills, and eventually, mastery. These new experiences teach us that when we have goals, whether those goals are personal, professional, or educational, we can reach them through work and practice.
Seven Stars Can Help
Adolescence can present many challenges for teens who are falling behind their peers due to the neurological and developmental lags associated with ASD and ADHD. Seven Stars is one of the nation’s premier residential treatment centers for teens with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Whether diagnosed with a neurodevelopmental disorder to date or not, Seven Stars’ students are those who struggle socially, emotionally, and academically.
Seven Stars has a sophisticated, evidence-based, theoretical, and clinical foundation. Multidisciplinary treatment and support are essential for success in treating the neurodevelopmental, learning, psychiatric, communication, emotional, social, and behavioral complications associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder. For more information please call (844) 601-1167.