Many people say they don’t like spontaneity – they’d rather follow a strict routine and plan things out, preferring no surprises along the way.
However, being spontaneous simply means being a person with an open, natural and uninhibited manner. Doesn’t that sound like a good thing?
Being more spontaneous means less stress, since much anxiety comes from worrying about what might happen if things don’t go as planned. Stress isn’t necessarily a result of unexpected situations – more often it comes from trying to plan things that are beyond your control.
As you probably know, chronic stress can lead to all types of health problems. It’s been linked to a wide range of chronic illnesses including heart disease, autoimmune disorders and hypertension. An abundance of stress can also weaken the immune system, which leaves you more susceptible to seasonal illness and infections, in addition to affecting your metabolism, which can cause weight gain. If stress is causing you to overeat or snack on unhealthy foods, you’re bound to put on even more weight, placing yourself at a greater risk for many health issues.
Being spontaneous can keep your mind sharp. Impulsive activities keep the brain functioning at its best, which can even help to defend against dementia and brain aging diseases. You’ve heard the term “use it or lose it.” Well, that applies to your brain too. The more you challenge it with new things, including new experiences, the better off your brain will be.
Having unknowns in your schedule, and being okay with it, also helps you to completely focus on whatever task might be at hand, preventing your mind from worrying about “what ifs.”
If you’re feeling a bit blue and the most exciting part of your entire day is getting to go back to bed at night, you might just need to do something totally unexpected. Take the day off and go to the beach. Or go to a ball game. Or anything else that will shake things up a bit. Doing something on the spur of the moment has an amazing ability to lift a mood funk.
By planning every last minute out and agonizing over the future, you’ll fail to notice those little moments that make life so great. Planning distracts the mind and prevents you from noticing the wonderful unplanned parts – the small details like a beautiful flower that just came into full bloom or the joyful wag of your dog’s tail.
To be more spontaneous, you may need to let go of beliefs that are holding you back. For example, do you think it’s weird to talk to a stranger? Remove that belief by spontaneously giving it a try sometime, you might be surprised how quickly you change your mind.
Don’t let things like watching TV or surfing the Internet eat up huge chunks of your time – you could be doing something spontaneous instead. Don’t wait for the right time to be spontaneous, either. You could even do it right now – just get up and dance. Why not? If it’s raining outside and you get the urge to rhumba, don’t let the presence of other people stop you or you could miss the perfect opportunity.
Spontaneity will give you room to enjoy the moment and stop worrying about things that are beyond your control, helping to create a happier and an even healthier you.
-The Alternative Daily