This post is an ode to all of you curious souls out there – myself included. I’d like to think of us as the Lisa Simpsons of the world. Well, minus the fact she’s a genius, musically talented, and an absolute icon – but other than that… Basically, we like to learn, research, analyse, observe and of course – ask questions.
Ironically, asking a question is exactly how this blog post began. After realising that my alone downtime usually consists of an educational podcast or a documentary, I realised two things: (1) I’m a bloody nerd. (2) Being curious never lets me switch off! So, with that, I began to research whether being curious is actually a good trait or not. And what I found is very interesting!
The Benefits of Being Curious
The Brain Releases More Feel-good Chemicals
Naturally, those that are more curious are more likely to explore. And apparently, the brain bloody loves this. Every time you experience new things, the brain releases dopamine and other feel-good chemicals.
Curious People are Happier
News flash! Research has shown that curiosity is also associated with higher levels of positive emotions, lower levels of anxiety and more satisfaction with life. Of course, as someone who is very open about sometimes suffering from bad mental health, curiosity doesn’t mean you’re a Happy Go Lucky Person. But the novelty of being curious can make us feel good.
It Comes With a Side of Success
Research has also uncovered that curiosity leads to higher achievement in both school and the workplace. This may seem like common sense but it’s easy to get stuck in a rut in our day-to-day lives. So. let this be a reminder to try and become more engaged in your work.
You’ll Become More Empathetic
I’ve already discussed the importance of being interested in others but this is even more important with strangers. When you speak to those outside of your usual social circle, you become better able to understand people with different life experiences to your own.
How to Build Curiosity Into Your Lie
Feeling inspired to add more curiosity to your day-to-day life? Below, 12 ways to build it in without too much thought:
- Consume more words. Read articles you wouldn’t normally bat an eye at. Personal recommendations include WIRED, Positive News and the Cut.
- Shop more locally. By becoming a regular, you’ll build relationships with locals whilst also supporting them. Not to mention it’s most likely a more sustainable way of shopping.
- Break from routine. Take a meeting outside, visit a new coffee shop or go for a walk on your lunch.
- Listen more. When conversating with people, let them lead the conversation. Ask questions.
- Try your hand at photography. Go further than taking birds-eye angles of your brunch (myself included). Instead, try and look for interesting stuff that tells a story.
- Sign up for a course. Personally, I’d recommend checking out Future Learn. Over the past couple of years, I’ve completed loads of courses on everything from ‘Brand Storytelling’ to ‘Who Made My Clothes?’
- Seek adventure in everyday life. How you ask? Read my post on how to maximise your travel mindset at home.
- Get back in touch with old friends. I have a new rule – every time you go to browse Facebook, you must message an old friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. Rekindle that friendship.
- Have things to look forward to. Have you messaged an old friend and go back to scrolling Facebook? Go to the events page. Find things that look of interest and get them in your calendar.
- Smile. Be approachable.
So, here’s to curiosity! What changes are you going to make to encourage more of it?2