A few weeks ago
I was in Montana visiting my sister.
And I found myself on horseback, on a cattle drive.
As I looked up, I saw a bull slowly lower its head
and drag its front hoof against the ground.
You know that thing they do before they charge?
Thankfully, a fence was between me and the bull.
But I am not the most experienced rider and I was nervous.
At the end of it all, safely back on two feet and back in Wisconsin
I realized how alive I had felt
after doing something so completely out of my normal routine.
It’s easy to get caught in routine.
Going through the motions with low energy
when a life you could feel grateful for feels like an obligation instead.
Scientists are learning you can benefit from change and new experience
and it doesn’t have to be on a cattle drive in Montana.
It can be as simple as taking a different way to work
or striking up a conversation with a coworker you don’t know;
your brain will see it as adventure.
Change helps your brain make new connections
and as your neurons get exercise
you feel a rush of endorphins.
Train your brain to seek out and respond to novelty
because even simple changes in daily routine
can return energy and aliveness to your life.