Women over 50: It's Time to Try Something New!
When was the last time you did something for the first time? I love this quote, because it reminds me that I need to be learning new things and experiencing new adventures, especially in life after 50. “Exploring the side roads” along this journey saves me from the boredom of being stuck in a rut, it brings anticipation and excitement to every day, and it makes me a much more interesting person to be around. Living out my true purpose with all the new adventures it brings has introduced me to a life I never even imagined.
This week, I read something “new” about keeping my brain energized by doing new things. Neuroscientists have found that the brain is hardwired to enjoy novelty and challenge. New experiences and challenges stimulate the brain to produce dopamine as you go into problem-solving mode. Dopamine is essential for maintaining a healthy brain, and it has been proven that major depression is associated with a state of reduced dopamine transmission. It affects movement, motivation and the feeling of pleasure, and controls the flow of information to other parts of the brain.
Without dopamine, we experience a decline in memory, cognitive functions and attention. Increased dopamine acts like adrenalin, giving you that “high” feeling of exhilaration. Dopamine levels are depleted by stress, lack of activity and poor nutrition.
What does all this mean, especially for women over 50? A stimulated brain is a happy brain! Introducing new activities into your life is essential for mental and physical health, and can bring you joy and enthusiasm that lights up your soul. Here are a few things to inspire you:
Write poetry, or even a book
Start your own business
Visit a new networking group to meet new people
Start a new hobby like painting, tennis or scrapbooking
Learn a new language
Take a trip to a new destination, for a day or a month!
Mentor someone who needs your guidance
Enroll in a class just for fun
Resurrect old dreams that you put on the back burner, thinking “someday, when I have time, I will….”
Over the past two years, the more new things I have explored, the more I have discovered about this amazing world I live in. I have created a truly meaningful and magnificent life by getting out from behind my computer in my self-limiting role as a website creator. I have taken risks, experienced potholes and speed bumps, and had an exhilarating ride with some inspiring women as my navigators. Now I know why, scientifically speaking, that I have had such immense joy with all this “newness” in my life. And I also know that I am feeding my physical health as well.
So what new thing will you do this week? How will you continually have fresh and challenging activities in your life that keep you happy and healthy? Be ready to say “I just did!” when someone asks you, When is the last time you did something for the first time?
Susan Tolles is the founder of www.flourishover50.com.