Just Say Yes!
A few years back I made a commitment to start saying "yes" whenever possible. Let me tell you… this changed my life. I have experienced more love, emotional intimacy, deeper connections, adventure and joy than I had ever experienced before. And the same can happen for you. But don't just take my word for it.
A current study done by the Shyness Research Institute at Indiana University Southeast shows that saying "yes" impacts our lives in the following ways:
HELPS OTHER PEOPLE– when we say yes and try new things it gives others the courage to do the same.
Oh, the crazy stories I could tell you about the things I've said yes to that I had no good reason for except to stay true to my commitment. But you know what? I inspired others and I even inspired myself. That alone made it worth it.
BOOSTS BRAINPOWER– Keith Rollag, author of What to Do When You're New, explains that our brains are constantly changing in response to what we experience; it's a process called neuroplasticity. In a nutshell he says that the easiest way to change what we experience is to put ourselves into new situations.
SLOWS THE AGING PROCESS– as someone only a few month away from turning 40, I'm thinking this is a key factor. Researchers have found that as we enter middle age, our lives tend to become more routine, and we unconsciously become more comfortable and less willing to seek change. As a result, we use less of our brains and neurons stop connecting causing our brain to slow down. No thank you!
YOU BECOME HAPPIER– I can personally attest to this but research backs me up. When we say yes to something new, our brains release large amounts of dopamine, a neurochemical that causes feelings of happiness. Dopamine is what causes that feeling of being on a high when we try something new or challenging.
Let me be clear… saying "yes" has been thrilling, fulfilling and terrifying all at once. I've taken huge risks in some cases and in other cases there was no risk at all. Some risks have paid off, some have not and some are still hanging in the balance. I'm a different, better, healthier human for saying "yes" whenever possible. And please note those last two words… whenever possible. It's important to use wisdom and logic in making any decision which means sometimes we have to say no. But research or no research, I promise that saying "yes" will change your life. Try it!
Written by Lisa Smith