Did you know that sparking your curiosity leads to your brain flooding your body with dopamine? Dopamine is the brain’s reward chemical that makes you happier. With the COVID-19 lockdowns, Work From Home measures, and just not being able to live your life like you used to, you need that dopamine more than ever. And the good news is, there are some very simple ways to let your brain reward you. You don’t have to go out and live a bold and adventurous life to spark your curiosity. With these three easy tricks, you can instantly feel happier and more energetic:
1. Ask lots and lots of questions.
Being on Zoom and Teams day-in and day-out can make you a bit numb. In my experience, these calls tend to become very efficient. Not a lot of small talk, but straight to the facts. And don’t get me wrong, as a bit of a lazy person, I love efficiency. And, this might be a good thing in some ways. However, this leaves little room for exploring. Asking questions, challenging others (and yourself) on their statements, asking for clarifications, diving into something we assume to be true. You might start your question with “I wonder…” or “What if…”. Exploring other options together with your team, will spark your curiosity and will lead to more creativity. And it even will strengthen your team spirit.
Don’t be afraid to ask “dumb” questions. Remaining curious means that you will often have to admit to not knowing. According to Socrates, admitting to not knowing is the epitome of intelligence. Most of the time, others were having the same question and will be happy you asked for clarification. Only you had the confidence to admit it. Go for it!
2. Learn something new every day.
Curious people are eager to learn new things. And learning something new, or even thinking about learning something new, will immediately feed your curiosity. But sometimes, we stop wondering and cease to take the time to learn something new. Maybe your daily commute to the office used to be your ‘learning moment’. Don’t just abandon that daily habit! To make sure I start my workday with a little bit of curiosity dopamine, I’ll read an article or listen to a podcast regarding a topic I want to know more about. This instantly lifts my spirit and creativity. Such a powerful way to start your day!
3. Switch it up!
Does every day feel like Groundhog’s day? Switch it up! Having a daily routine is key to set yourself up for success. However, now that we are all stuck at home, we need to feed our curiosity. So, switch things up! Make small changes to your routine. Maybe you walk to your favorite coffee place every morning to get your triple shot latte or you walk your dog. Take a different route. Or take the same route and stand still a couple of times to look around and wander. It triggers your brain, it feeds your curiosity et voilà…a shot of dopamine enters your system. Doesn’t that feel good?
Curiosity is a choice. You can stay passive and wait for anything to happen. Or you can become actively curious. These three tricks are a great way to start. Spark your curiosity and feel the joy!
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