Having a routine is good for you. There’s no denying that. This has been shown and emulated in many different studies and with many different people. You have probably felt the effects of how good having a routine can be, especially if it’s a healthy one. It keeps you structured, disciplined, and productive, helps you work toward your goals and helps to make everything more organized.
But, has anyone ever told you that breaking your day-to-day life routine can actually be very beneficial? Now, this doesn’t mean you should live your life in constant chaos and spontaneity, but this does mean that you don’t have to constantly feel stuck with your current routine every day until the end of time. Here’s how ditching the same old thing day in and day out can actually be beneficial to your life and to your brain.
- Decreases Stress
Breaking your normal routine can actually be very healthy for your brain by relieving not only the potential stress of your day-to-day tasks but, when doing something out of your norm, you can choose to put yourself in an intentionally optimally relaxing environment. Whether it’s a yoga retreat or one of the best family beach vacations in the world, your stress will much more easily melt away by intentionally putting yourself in a different type of environment than your current norm.
- Time Slows Down
Studies have found that trying new things outside of our normal daily, predictable actions actually makes time seem to go by slower for the individual. Do you remember being a kid, especially the younger you were, and you really didn’t have a solid grasp of time? You weren’t constantly looking at the clock and most days didn’t simply fly by like they do as an adult? That is because your brain was constantly being stimulated by new information. The more you are surrounded by new things, events and experiences the slower time feels. When your entire life is a routine with no type of break, your brain defaults to a sort of autopilot and zoning out instead of staying active and present.
- Sparks Creativity
When people get so caught up in their normal routines their brains are constantly on. When your brain is constantly on it does not have as much time to fully rest and recharge. It is like a phone battery that dwindles down to ten percent every day but only charges back up to eighty percent by the morning. When this happens to your brain you are slower and it is much easier to just go through the motions without much intention. You don’t have any boredom in your life, and being bored is what sparks creativity. Your brain needs the time and energy to come up with new ideas or imaginings. The more the brain gets to do this the more alive and present in the moment you will feel.
- Promotes Personal Growth
If you are a more rigid person or feel safer in the structure and predictability of routine, you may have to compartmentalize a little bit more than most. If you are that type of person, however, it’s even more important to step away from your routine from time to time. Life will always throw something unexpected at you no matter what, but the more you try and hide or use your routine as a protective shield, the worse those unexpected things will feel. You need to accept that you are not always in control.
I’m not saying it will always be easy but purposefully putting yourself in different and uncomfortable situations makes you stronger, more adaptable and more resilient. The more you put yourself in those situations, as opposed to just going through the motions every day, the more faith and trust you will build with yourself and what’s important to you will rise to the surface.
You may have thought that disrupting your regular routine is something to be steered clear of at all costs, but it is just the opposite. While it certainly should not be every day of your life, embrace the unusual and watch how it helps you grow.