Like most people, I love my comfort zone. And there is nothing bad about it.
However, why not stepping out of the comfort zone from time to time to broaden our horizon, to overcome anxiety and simply feel better? We can, of course, talk about the „big things“ in life such as a job change, a move to another place or ending a long-term relationship. But let`s start with the small ones.
Those who know me or read my blog regularly are aware of how much I enjoy chilling, just to hang around and do nothing. This is definitely part of our well-being. I am not a big fan of multi-tasking. I`d rather focus on one thing and do that well.
However, no doubt that we need challenges from time to time. I never have to push myself to go to the gym four times a week but sometimes I realize I simply do not any exercise I dislike. Recently, I have begun to include one or two of these exercises (squats with heavyweights for example) in my workout. My feeling after having finished? I am just proud of myself. And hopefully, I will see results in a few weeks (or months).
Photo: Heavyweights are waiting...
Nothing is better on a rainy Sunday afternoon than hanging around on your sofa with a cup of coffee and a great piece of chocolate tart. How often did I think to just do nothing else but reading, justifying this with the fact that I had done so much over the week? And you know what? Every time I decided to leave my comfort zone and do at least 30 minutes of yoga. I can assure you, the feeling after the „asanas“ is priceless. I am also thinking to go into a cold chamber one day (assuming that my doctor has no objections). These chambers have temperatures between minus 60 to minus 120 degrees C. Obviously, they relieve pain and ignitions, improve the blood circulation and stimulate the well-being. I think I will be fine since I love the cold. Anyone joining me?
Photo: Not yet a cold chamber but getting there - ©Daniel Antonio Sanchez / KHL
These are just two little examples. If we think about the „bigger ones“ – why not learning a new language, a music instrument, sports. What have these activities in common? They help you to fight aging. In this context, you may wish to read my article about super-agers. All of these fit and really old people are challenging their body or mind (or both) to stay young. Again, I am not a fan of exaggerating anything, but we definitely need challenges.
I also give you a big example. Many of you may know that I led the German office of Destination Canada (Canadian Tourism Commission in those days) for many years. I loved the job but at certain points, I was looking for alternatives. However, you hardly give up such a great job that other people just wish to have. Then, all over sudden, I was literally thrown out of my comfort zone when the office was closed and I lost my job at an „advanced age“. I remember that I woke up twice after the disturbing news, thinking that I would not have a job within six months. On the third morning, I woke up and thought „What a great opportunity to finally do something else!“ And I had fun to look into all the opportunities that came across. One door closed, others opened up. I continued to work for Canada in a different constellation but at the same time, I set up my own business which was the basis for my today`s activities. Honestly, it was the best that could ever happen. Hopefully this is an inspiration for those who have just lost their job.
I will continue to look for challenges. It`s never too late. Yes, I want to remain fit and flexible as long as possible and I perfectly know this does not come on its own. Over the next weeks, I will tell you more about this, including the latest research results in the field of anti-aging.
Leaving your comfort zone can also mean the courage to stand up for your beliefs. Isn`t it a shame to see people not helping others when they are in danger or threatened? Just looking away (and stay in your comfort zone) is not a solution.
Activist and former US First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt once made this statement:
Maybe we don`t have to go that far. Maybe just hold a tarantula in our hands like my blogger friend Björn did. This is on my list but frankly, I am not sure if I will ever do it. Kudos to Björn who overcame all his disgust. I will think about it. Now tell me how you leave (or intend to leave) your comfort zone?
Photo: Get some shiver when looking at this? - ©Björn Troch
Photo: At least I held a giant python with my mom - leaving my comfort zone in Bangkok, many years ago