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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Three Benefits of Trying New Things   

Sir Richard Branson once said: “If happiness is the goal – and it should be, then adventures should be top priority.” But humans are creatures of habit and sometimes we need a little extra help getting out of our comfort zone.

For me that extra push came in the form of an all-inclusive holiday to the picturesque island of Mauritius courtesy of Club Med. I love island vacations and my idea of a good time involves lounging around lazily. However, the array of land and water activities included in Club Med’s offering left me wondering what would happen if I tried something new?

So, in the spirit of research and trying new things I scanned the Club Med app for a suitable activity and ventured outside of my comfort zone. I discovered a lot about myself and found that there are indeed benefits to trying new things. Here are just three benefits of trying new things.

Supports emotional health

Trying something new makes you feel good. According to Juan Pablo Zapata, clinical psychology resident in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Sciences at UW School of Medicine trying new things triggers dopamine pathways in the brain, which makes us feel good and rewarded.

What this means is that each time you take a leap of faith and try something new, you’re training your brain to remember the positive rewards associated with a new and exciting experience.

“Studies suggest that people who engage in a variety of new experiences are more likely to retain positive emotions and minimize negative ones,” said Zapata speaking in an interview with Right as Rain by UW Medicine.

Unlocking a new hobby thanks to the offering at Club Med La Plantation d’Albion. Photo: Liesl Frankson

Reveals new talents and connections

There’s nothing more rewarding than finding a new hobby, skill or ability and making new friends in the process. My Club Med adventure revealed my undiscovered affinity for archery.

As one of the many activities you have access to for free, it wasn’t high on my list of things to try but one of my villa mates had always wanted to give it a go and I joined in.

Trying something new exposed me to an ability I would otherwise never have known about. It also helped me make new friends and opened a new network for me because archery is now a hobby I would like to pursue.

Cultivates bravery and helps you overcome fears

The main reason most people shy away from trying new things is because of fear. Whether it’s the fear of failure, death or embarrassment, fear plays a major part in keeping us trapped in our comfort zones.

I used to have an overwhelming fear of “death by adventure” which kept me from trying new adrenaline filled activities. I no doubt faced this fear when I decided to sign up for sailing.

Nothing brings you face to face with your mortality like jumping onto a little boat and heading out on the open ocean but by following through and finishing what I started I opened myself up to the possibility that good things happen when you try new things no matter how scary they may seem at first.   

Finding the inner strength and finishing what I started regardless of the result helped me to cultivate confidence and bravery which are skills I can use on the daily.

A proud post sailing pic at Club Med La Plantation d’Albion. Photo: Liesl Frankson

The Club Med Experience

The circumstances under which we try new things are just as important as the act of trying them which is why I’m glad I got to step outside of my comfort zone at Club Med La Plantation d’Albion.

The activities offered at Albion allow you to get back in touch with yourself, your passions and your loved ones. The resort is family focused and fun forward and the staff or G.Os as they are known are some of the friendliest, most supportive people around which eases the anxiety associated with trying new things.

Some of the activities you have access to when you book include:

  • Archery,
  • Trapeze,
  • Sailing,
  • Stand-up paddle boarding,
  • golf,
  • football,
  • tennis,
  • kayaking,
  • yoga,
  • meditation

For more on my trip to this exquisite island resort in the Indian ocean lookout for my full article on the Club Med Experience in the next issue of the Afropolitan and check out our Instagram Reel here.

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