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The Cardiologist's Wife - Try Something New - You Just Might Like It!
Jan 11, 2018

Some people are very excited by possibilities - trying a new food, traveling to a different country or learning different skills for a work promotion. Others prefer the safety of routines while most of us probably fall somewhere in between. There are definite benefits to being open to trying something new. I thought about this idea while eating gooseberries for breakfast this morning, a fruit I’d never seen before or had the opportunity to eat.

I love eating or cooking new, different foods. When traveling, I like to visit grocery stores and markets to see what is available locally. So whenever I see something in one of Jonesboro’s grocery stores that I’m not familiar with, I usually buy it and find out what to do with it later. This has led to some exciting culinary discoveries. For example, we all quickly found out that Cape gooseberries are not exactly good to eat raw but they are delicious cooked into a compote and spooned over oatmeal. Our whole family enjoys traveling, learning about different cultures and meeting people on our trips.

The point is we all need mental stimulation to keep our brain working well and to help us remain healthy as we age. Have you ever felt rather dull, or foggy in your thinking or do you have a case of the doldrums? Is your life satisfying your needs? Perhaps you need a new stimulus to arouse your brain. Mental activity increases the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients to the brain. Those who lead a more mentally stimulating life are less likely to suffer from dementia.

Doing new things helps us overcome our fear, whether it’s a fear of failure or that we simply won’t like something. So what if you don’t like a new food or that the dance class really wasn’t your thing? Being adventurous opens up the possibility for you to discover something you really love. You might make new friends or even meet the love of your life. Just as important, new activities relieve boredom and allow us to feel happy and fulfilled in our life.

Challenging yourself to do something you’ve never attempted leads to growth and self improvement. Psychologist agree that those who engage in a wide variety of experiences in their life are more emotionally positive than those who sit at home and stick the same routine day in and day out.

The start of a new year is a good time for self reflection - weed out that which you don’t like and attempt something on your bucket list. If you don’t have a bucket list, make one! Set some goals to achieve those things you always dreamed about but never got around to tackling. Even if things don’t work out the way you hope, I guarantee you’ll have less regrets than if you never try.

Get out of the house, go to the park and take pictures of the things you see, go to a lecture at ASU or try an art class at the Foundation of the Arts. It really doesn’t matter what you do as long as it makes you feel happy.

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