Barber: Be Spontaneous

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Barber: Be Spontaneous

By Shaelyn Barber

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Wake up, get dressed, attend class, eat lunch, go to work, do your homework, come home, sleep and repeat. Life can be mundane, and before we know it we are doing the same thing day after day. As we grow older we tend to get stuck in a rut. We develop the ability to think things through and consider the consequences of each outcome. The ability to use logic was developed to protect us. However, it can also cause us to become overly cautious, to gravitate towards things that we have already tested and know are “safe.” While sticking to the known may foster a sense of security and comfort, it is sometimes necessary to get out of that cycle.

In order to break out of our normal, everyday lives, we need spontaneity. We need to go out, be random, live in the moment and do things without thinking too much about the details. Choosing to incorporate a level of spontaneity into your life expands your horizons, introduces you to new experiences and helps you find excitement.

In addition to getting out of your comfort zone, spontaneity may have some psychological benefits. According to Leon F. Seltzer’s article series in Psychology Today, entitled “The Wisdom of Spontaneity,” practicing spontaneity helps with building individual creativity and is critical in the development of one’s own happiness. Creativity can only arise when one allows the brain to think without analyzing too deeply, to explore new ideas without forcing oneself to carefully plot them first. While spontaneity is not the sole contributor to the emotion of happiness, it helps develop it by breaking out of self-restraining habits and building trust in oneself.

Some people are more naturally inclined to be spontaneous, and they frequently go out on adventures or try new things. Other people prefer their routines and to do things they know are safe and comfortable. Acting spontaneously is different for everyone, and that is okay. You can start by pushing little boundaries and slowly work up to bigger things.

When you go out to eat at your favorite restaurant, try to order something off the menu that you have never had before. If you are going shopping, buy an outfit that you would not normally wear. Plan a road trip with your friends, but with no set destination — just drive.

In order to break the monotonous cycle we build ourselves into we need to take risks: random, crazy, beautiful risks. The rush of adrenaline, excitement and exhilaration is intoxicating. The intensity with which your heart pounds, how your muscles seem to come alive and the way your brain moves at a lightning-fast pace make you feel somehow more alive. You experience the world in HD quality, senses tingling.

That is why we need spontaneity.