When was the last time you did something for the first time? While seeking out new experience may seem like a luxury or indulgence, research finds that it’s incredibly beneficial for you.
Click start to play today’s Word Search, where we say ‘salam’ to new ventures.
From literally reshaping neural connections to elevating mood regulation, the benefits of doing new things are transformative, according to a December 2023 report in US-based psychology news website Psychology Today. It’s not something frivolous, either, since it’s been found to be an essential tool for enhancing cognitive and emotional well-being.
Here are some science-backed benefits to new experiences, according to Bridget Hilton, author of 2023 book, Experiential Billionaire:
A novel experience allows the brain to adapt and rewire itself, leading to increased cognitive flexibility and improved mood regulation. It also helps break the cycle of negative thought patterns that are often associated with depression.
2. Increased dopamine
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that plays a role in pleasure, motivation and learning. New experiences trigger a rush of dopamine, causing the body to relax, and create a sense of enjoyment and motivation.
3. Confidence boost
By successfully finding your way around a new experience, you gain a boost in self-esteem and confidence. Things like learning a new skill, trying something that’s out of your comfort zone, or even just having a positive experience, can help develop your self-worth and self-efficacy.
4. Increased social interactions
New experiences often involve engaging with others, whether in group settings, classes and activities or via meet-ups with friends. Social interactions have long been known to be beneficial for mental well-being, since they can reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness that are often associated with depression.
When you’re doing or learning something new, you don’t have a choice – you’re required to be present in the moment. Mindfulness can help individuals let go of their anxieties and worries, and focus on the task they’re working on.