Try Something New

By  | 

If you’ve grown bored in your life, if you feel like every day is pretty much just like the last, if you’ve become a little jaded with your situation and the human condition in general, ask yourself this question. “When was the last time I tried something new?”

Settling into a predictable routine has its psychological benefits, specifically the reduction of existential anxiety. When you perfectly understand the structure of your environment there aren’t any surprises waiting for you. Surprises carry with them the threat of the unknown, the threat of nothingness, which is what existential anxiety is.

But routine is the soil in which boredom and depression grow and flourish. The present becomes an interminable nightmare precisely because there’s no novelty in it, only sameness.

Of course some people are lucky enough to have careers or hobbies that provide constant stimulation. They don’t need to search for novelty in other places because they’re always finding it in their main area of focus as they learn, grow, and move along the continuum of mastery.

But if you don’t have that right now you’ve got to motivate yourself to go out and look for it, to commit yourself to trying something new, which means accepting the inherent risk and the existential anxiety that come along with any new endeavor. You can’t know exactly how things are going to turn out, you don’t know exactly what’s waiting for you. While this makes existential anxiety arise it also engages you with life and people, it gets you interested in the world. And mental stimulation is your best weapon against boredom and depression.