It is often said that we regret the opportunities we didn’t take more than we regret the ones we did. Fear and lack of time also stop us from branching out and taking risks. However, humans are biochemically wired for exploration! Here are seven reasons it’s time to add more adventure to your life.
1. It’s good for your brain
When you take on the unknown, your brain receives a burst of dopamine—the neurotransmitter that plays a role in reward-motivated activities. This gives you a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment, in part because you are in control of something that may seem otherwise intimidating. Studies also show that balanced dopamine levels may prevent Parkinson’s disease.
2. Your body will thank you
In addition to releasing dopamine, your body also releases endorphins and serotonin when you take risks. A “natural pain killer”, endorphins lessen our aches, improve sleep, decrease appetite (preventing) obesity, and boost the immune system. Increased serotonin levels also improve mood and result in better sleep.
3. It prevents stress-induced depression
The benefits of dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin derived from taking on an adventure also do wonders for mental health. During your activity, the brain sends electrical signals to the nervous system which interact with your opiate receptors, leading to feelings of euphoria that minimize stress.
4. No “what ifs”
If you want to know what it’s like to swim with whale sharks in Belize or jump from a plane 15,000 feet up in the air, you won’t have to continue to spend time wondering. Checking the items off your bucket list gives you a sense of fulfillment and opens you up to the next adventure!
5. You get to meet new people
I have been diving with sharks for almost a quarter of a century. Most people look wide-eyed and alarmed when they discover this fact! While not many in my close circle of friends and family share this passion, I am able to share my love of these creatures with other like-minded shark aficionados. These adventures remind me that it’s good to get away and open me up to great people I may otherwise never have had the opportunity to get to know.
6. You learn something new
If life is feeling a bit mundane, breaking out of your comfort zone can teach you something new. Whether you take a retreat to learn how to prepare your favorite cuisine or want to earn your Accelerated Freefall (AFF) Skydiving License, you have an opportunity to expand your mind and learn something new that just isn’t available if you choose to stay home.
7. Because you want to
Itching to go on an adventure is a good enough reason to get out and get started! It’s up to you to take the first step—whether it’s hiking up a mountain, leaping into the ocean or getting into a kayak on raging rapids, it’s sure to change you for the better!