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5 Ways to Create Adventure and Joy Every Day

5 Ways to Create Adventure and Joy Every Day

Life can get monotonous with the daily grind. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are easy, simple ways that you can make life fun everyday. Before I give you the 5 tips to bring more adventure and joy into your life, I’ll share with you how I realized how important it is to integrate these tips into your life.

Over a decade ago I was enamored with the Jack Kerouac road-trippin’ adventurous lifestyle. I got on a plane to Costa Rica with only a small backpack and a guide book. No plans, no reservations and barely a word of Spanish on my tongue. That same year I traveled across Canada with a friend and spent my summer picking cherries in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. These adventures sparked freedom and joy into my life. I knew I had to maintain this feeling.

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When I moved to Vancouver to pursue my studies in nutrition, I knew I had to bring that quality of adventure into my everyday life. I thought about how when you are traveling, or on the road, every new landscape is breathtaking. Every moment is a joyous surprise. I received pleasure from walks through unknown streets and forests on my many travels, and realized how simple it could be to bring this joy and adventure into my every day.

That was 8 years ago now, and to this day I still look for the adventure and joy in the everyday. Here are 5 of my favorite ways to keep life exciting:

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1. Follow Your Feet

Let your feet guide you. When you go on a walk that is meant for enjoyment, instead of having a pre-conceived route of where you think your walk or run will take you, let your feet speak for you. It is an intuitive practice of allowing your body to guide you, and often leads to the discovery of new streets, parks, and a total sense of adventure. As you set out on your walk with the intention of your feet being your guide, you will find that your body will have a pull to a certain direction—go with it. To this day I still discover new roads, routes, and gorgeous havens that amaze me all the time. I recently found a magical forest near one of my favorite beaches. I couldn’t believe that 8 years went by and I hadn’t discovered it until about a week ago. That’s the beauty of adventure and following your feet!

2. Take Mini-Trips

Month-long and year-long adventures are not realistic for many people. But most of us can find a day or a weekend to get out of town and explore. Getting out of your city and exploring a new city or quiet rural village, or island, is an adventurous way to spark joy into your life. Out here in Vancouver, there are many islands near the mainland that feel like I am far away from the bustle of my own city and transport me to a whole new life, if even for just a weekend. Whether you live near some islands, or are simply a few hours away from another gorgeous city or town, getting out of your everyday surroundings helps to spark your spirit and rejuvenate your sense of appreciation and joy for the little things.

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3. Use a different route to work

If you are not in a huge rush and can afford an extra 10 minutes to give a new route a try, do it! Through walking or driving down a different street you may discover a new shop or park that you never knew existed. So many treasures often lurk just meters away from us. If you always stay on the same path, you will never know what wonders are just around the corner. Since not taking your regular route can throw your timing off balance I recommend leaving your house a few minutes earlier to account for the minor time difference it may take. It is incredible how just one block over you may discover the place you dreamed of.

4. Shop for groceries somewhere new.

I find when I travel, the supermarkets and stores are always so different than what I am used to back home. Usually it’s because I am in some mega store in the USA where there is ten times the options as here in Canada, or I’m in Mexico astonished at their wide selection of tropical fruits and tortillas, and small overall assortment of food through the aisles. Nonetheless it contributes to the adventure of discovering a new place. I do the same thing here. There are a few major chain stores and several mini-marts. I find that when I go into a store I rarely visit, I discover an exciting and different array of options, and it contributes to a sense of adventure in my discovery of something new to try. It’s amazing how these little things really add a sense of adventure to your day.

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5. Do something out of the ordinary.

When I travel I am always checking out new cafes and restaurants. My daily routine changes and I am living more in the moment. When I am lacking adventure, I’ll purposefully get out of my regular routine, and head off to a new café as if I was traveling, or start my day off in a slightly different manner. If you find that every Saturday you have the same weekend routine, splash it up by deliberately changing what you do. It may involve going out to eat somewhere different, or putting your chores on hold while you craft up something new and fun to do. During the week you might decide to set your alarm a little earlier so that you can start your day differently, perhaps with a little walk or reading a book. The little changes that you make to your daily or weekend routine create a sense of novelty and joy.

Now it’s your turn. Did this article inspire you? Then put it into action! Take one of these tips and mark down in your calendar when you plan to engage in your first adventure. Then have fun with it and see where the adventure takes you. Report your plans and insights in the comments below. Let’s all live with a little more adventure and fun in our lives.

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Last Updated on June 24, 2019

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

Why Social Media Might Be Causing Depression

A study [1] published in Depression and Anxiety found that social media users are more likely to be depressed. This was just one of the huge number of studies linking social media and depression[2] . But why exactly do platforms like Facebook and Instagram make people so unhappy? Well, we don’t know yet for sure, but there are some explanations.

Social Media Could Lead to Depression

Depression is a serious medical condition that affects how you think, feel, and behave. Social media may lead to depression in predisposed individuals or make existing symptoms of depression[3] worse explains[4] the study above’s senior author Dr. Brian Primack. So, the problem may not be in social media per se, but how we use it.

Signs You’re Suffering From “Social Media Depression”

If you feel like social media is having a negative impact on your mood, then you may be suffering from “social media depression.” Look for symptoms like:

• low self-esteem,

• negative self-talk,

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• a low mood,

• irritability,

• a lack of interest in activities once enjoyed,

• and social withdrawal.

If you’ve had these symptoms for more than two weeks and if this is how you feel most of the time, then you are likely depressed. Although “social media depression “is not a term recognized in the medical setting, social media depression seems to be a real phenomenon affecting around 50% of social media users. As explained in a review study[5] published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, if a person has a certain predisposition to depression and other mental disorders, social media use may only worsen their mental health.

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Social Media Could Crush Self-Esteem

We know that social media and depression are in some way linked, but why is this so? Well, according to Igor Pantic, MD, Ph.D.[6], social media use skews your perception about other people’s lives and traits. To explain this further, most people like to portray an idealized image of their lives, personal traits, and appearance on sites like Facebook and Instagram. If you confuse this idealized image with reality, you may be under the false impression that everyone is better than you which can crush your self-esteem and lead to depression. This is especially true for teens and young adults who are more likely to compare themselves to others. If you already suffer from low self-esteem, the illusion that everyone has it better off than you will just make you feel worse.

Causing Social Isolation and Other Negative Emotions

Another commonly cited reason for the negative impact of social media on mental health is its link with social isolation. Depressed people are more likely to isolate themselves socially and chose only to interact indirectly through social media platforms. But communication online tends to be superficial and is lacking when compared to real-life interaction explains Panic. What this means is not that social media leads to isolation but the other way around, possibly explaining why we find so many depressed persons on these sites.

Lastly, social media use may generate negative emotions in you like envy, jealousy, dislike, loneliness, and many others and this may worsen your depressive symptoms.

Why We Need to Take This Seriously

Both depression and social media use are on the rise according to epidemiological studies. Since each one has an impact on the other, we have to start thinking of healthier ways to use social media. Teens and young adults are especially vulnerable to the negative impact of social media on mental health.

Advice on Social Media Use

Although these findings did not provide any cause-effect explanation regarding Facebook and depression[7], they still do prove that social media use may not be a good way to handle depression. For this reason, the leading authors of these studies gave some suggestions as to how clinicians and people can make use of such findings.

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One suggestion is that clinicians should ask patients about their social media habits. Then they can advise them on how to change their outlook on social media use or even suggest limiting their time spent on social media.

Some social media users may also exhibit addictive behavior; they may spend too much time due to compulsive urges. Any compulsive behavior is bound to lead to feelings of guilt which can worsen depressive symptoms.

Having Unhealthy Relationship with Social Media

If you feel like your relationship with social media is unhealthy, then consider the advice on healthy social media use provided by psychology experts from Links Psychology[8]:

Avoid negative social comparison – always keep in mind that how people portray themselves and their lives on social media is not a realistic picture, but rather an idealized one. Also, avoid comparing yourself to others because this behavior can lead to negative self-talk.

Remember that social media is not a replacement for real life – Social media is great for staying in touch and having fun, but it should never replace real-world interactions.

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Avoid releasing personal information – For your safety and privacy, make sure to be careful with what you post online.

Report users who bully and harass you – It’s easy to be a bully in the anonymous and distant world of social media. Don’t take such offense personally and report those who abuse social media to harass others.

The bits of advice listed above can help you establish a healthy relationship with social media. Always keep these things in mind to avoid losing an objective perspective of what social media is and how it is different from real life. If you are currently suffering from depression, talk to your doctor about what is bothering you so that you can get the treatment you need to get better. Tell your doctor about your social media use and see if they could give you some advice on this topic.

Reference

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