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December 4th, 2014

Novelty, Motivation, and the Brain

By Nicole - Coach

DAHLC HWC-0099Searching for motivation? Stimulation? Education? Perhaps what your brain (and heart!) crave is to try something new.

Our brains respond to novelty. New places, ideas, exercise routines, friends, tastes or smells all trigger our ‘exploration’ response and may increase 'happy hormones' in our systems: Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain's pleasure and reward center.

Trying something new isn't always as easy as we think it ought to be. Remember to give yourself some grace and flexibility in new experiences - you could start with something easier than or more challenging than, similar to or completely different than how you currently spend your time and efforts.

Looking for ideas?:

  • Pick an ‘out of the ordinary’ fruit or vegetable at the grocery store to try
  • Attend a different style yoga class
  • Sign up for a training at a different time/day or try a drop-in class
  • Color with kids . . . or friends! Maybe try writing or coloring with your non-dominant hand
  • Walk in a different area of town – or even the opposite direction of your usual route!
  • Learn about the Alexander Technique and how it could decrease back or neck stiffness
  • Wake up 5 minutes earlier to practice vocalizing gratitude before stepping foot out of bed
  • Register for a culinary class to learn a new cooking skill
  • Seek the collaboration of a wellness coach or fitness trainer
  • Join a book club
  • What else interests you?

 

Resources:

http://niemanreports.org/articles/novelty-and-testing-when-the-brain-learns-and-why-it-forgets/

http://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/dopamine

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16043240

Tags: Blog, Blog, Coaching, get fit, Move, Specialty

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