Every night you set your alarm to 5:30 AM. In the morning, you get dressed, eat the same granola cereal with milk and pack your lunch consisting of a turkey sandwich, yogurt and carrots. You pass the same billboards on your highway drive and you listen to the same radio station. You are a routine zombie that is perpetually stuck in your comfort zone.
What Is a Comfort Zone?
Simply stated, a comfort zone is a behavioral space filled with the familiar. These familiarities can be anything from daily routines to activities and patterns that feel comfortable. Our bodies naturally fall into step with this zone, because it reduces stress and keeps our bodies at a normal, happy and anxiety-free place.
However, studies suggest that the body needs “optimal anxiety” to achieve maximum performance in our lives. This is a place just outside of the comfort zone that generates enough anxiety to help us move forward in our lives and conquer small challenges to better ourselves. Therefore, it’s important to break out of our comfort zones every once in a while to experience and truly “live” our lives.
Take A Giant Leap: Venture Outside of Your Culture
One of the best ways to achieve “optimal anxiety” is to jump out of your comfort zone and dive right into a completely new world by traveling. However, this experience does not have to be uncomfortable; it’s all about discovering new perspectives and cultures to assist you on your journey to better yourself.
Getting lost doesn’t mean you have to lose your tour group or get stranded in a barren wasteland with nowhere to go. Travel outside of your normal perimeters and immerse yourself in the lives of those who live vastly different lives than you. Leave your group for a little and open your eyes and ears to things that a tour cannot simply describe. Just remember to be safe and use your common sense.
Do Something Crazy
Cross something awesome off your bucket list. Spin the globe, pick a spot with your eyes closed, and go there. Sign up for a tour in a new land. Learn to do something others wouldn’t expect. You could give into a curiosity you’ve always had about a particular hobby. For example, if you’ve always wanted to ride a motorcycle, just sign up for some classes and give it a try! Maybe you’ll end up spending a few hours doing something uncomfortable; maybe you’ll discover a lifelong passion that leads to a career as a motorcycle attorney! You never know what will happen when you give something crazy a try.
Venture into common places and discover the beauty of public transportation. Some of the most rewarding experiences are found in the heart of the community. One of the best places to go is a fresh market where you can see the livelihood of the culture and help support their community. Put your Smartphone aside and challenge yourself to talk to some of the locals. Make time for the things that count.