To boost your mood, try new foods, new hair, and new hobbies – Tech News (Trending Perfect)


In 2014, Tabitha Brown was busy raising two young children and juggling her career, and she wasn't as satisfied with her life as she wanted.

“I needed to shake things up, so I decided to try something new every day, for 30 days,” says Brown, a social media personality and actress who has written about her experiences trying everything from new foods to new hairstyles. Her book I Did Something New: 30 Days to Live Free.

“A lot of us are used to feeling down, and a big part of it might be that you're tired of the same old thing,” says Brown, who turned her 30 days into a decade-long practice. “Trying something new, and really paying attention to the positive feelings it can bring, can help you discover — or rediscover — something you love about yourself and your life.”

There is a growing body of scientific research supporting Brown's theory. Whether it's the buzz of the daily news or the mundane grind of our daily responsibilities, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and dissatisfied. Brain experts say one effective tool to combat this feeling is to introduce new experiences. Best of all, these changes don't have to be sweeping to have an impact.

Many of us have grown tired of our daily routines due to a phenomenon known as habituation, says Tali Sharot, professor of cognitive neuroscience at University College London, associate professor at MIT, and co-author, with Cass R. Sunstein, of Look Again: The Power of Observing What It was always there.

“The neurons in our brains stop responding to things that do not change. We need to make room for the new and unexpected, so that our brain filters out the old and the expected.” We have all experienced this physically when jumping in a pool: the water seems cold at first; But then your body adapts. In the case of negative emotions, such as sadness, it is good to get used to them, because the feelings decrease over time. But when it comes to positive things, we actually enjoy them less when we get used to them.

When we experience novelty, it is Motivate dopamine release, Neurotransmitter The Cleveland Clinic describes it as the brain's “reward center.” Dopamine is associated with pleasure and interest as well as mood and movement.

Dopamine is also what drives motivation. When we experience something new, dopamine released in the brain creates a feedback loop that prompts us to seek more, says Alan Dougherty, MD, co-director of the Brain-Heart Research Laboratory, a psychophysiology laboratory at California Polytechnic State University in Pomona. California.

· Discover new places within your weekly routine. Something as simple as visiting a new café or changing your usual walking route can give you a boost. In a study conducted in 2020 and published in the journal Nature NeuroscienceResearchers from New York University and the University of Miami tracked the GPS locations of 132 study participants for up to four months and asked them to report their feelings every few days.

“We found that people who visited a variety of places reported feeling more positive emotions compared to those who did not,” says Katherine Hartley, an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at New York University and one of the study's co-authors. .

When the researchers performed MRIs on the brains of some of the participants, they found that those for whom the new locations had the greatest emotional impact showed greater connections in activity between the hippocampus and the striatum, regions associated with sensitivity to new experiences, as well as positive emotions and activity. Reward in the brain.

· Try new things that amplify your already good habits. Daugherty prioritizes eating well but knows she'll get bored eating the same thing day after day, so she makes a conscious effort to change her regular menu periodically to motivate her to stick to her goals.

· Take a break from the things you love. Although it may seem counterintuitive, taking a break — or taking a break from the habit — from the things you enjoy can improve your mood because you get a new benefit when you reintroduce what you once took for granted. It's the same phenomenon that many of us encounter when returning home from a trip.

Sharot says she felt this way after she contracted the coronavirus and went down to her basement while she recovered. “When I returned to the main floor of our house, I experienced what we call ‘luminescence,’ where you rediscover something joyful,” she recalls.

This also applies to a nightly bowl of ice cream or a glass of wine — cutting it back to once a week may revitalize a new side of it, which means you'll have more fun when you indulge, adds Sharot.

· Experience novelty in shorter, more frequent bursts. When Sharot's lab partnered with a tourism company to survey guests at a resort, they found that people were at their happiest 43 hours into their vacation. Once they became accustomed to their surroundings, their happiness levels decreased.

“We found that vacationers often used the word ‘first’ when describing the time they were happiest, as in the ‘first’ time they saw the ocean or the ‘first’ time they built a sandcastle,” Sharot says. “This suggests that in order to gain psychological benefit from those 'firsts', we may benefit from new, smaller, and more frequent experiences.”

But Dougherty also conveyed a note of caution: Just because something is new doesn't automatically make it positive, so choose new activities carefully.

“It's important to recognize that if we're making positive, proactive changes in our lives, that motivation is a good thing,” she says. But “novelty-seeking behavior,” where someone engages in excessive activities to get a dopamine hit, such as using harmful drugs or speeding while driving, is a psychological condition that requires professional help.



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