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June 25, 2018

Subtly Break Routine

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You’ve heard the expression, “be comfortable being uncomfortable”, haven’t you? It is important for anyone to be able to execute in situations that aren’t cozy or convenient. Well, there’s only one way to get better at situations like that, and it is exposure. But, this exposure doesn’t need to be hugely disruptive. It’s okay to put a toe in the water instead of jump into the deep end. In fact, it’s much more practical to easily introduce yourself to uncomfortable situations.

Break your routine in subtle ways.  

This concept is strangely effective. Breaking routine requires your brain to take conscious control of your actions and uproot the habit it is accustomed to acting within.  What this does is it activates different areas of your brain that usually aren’t active, strengthening neural connections that go underused and forming new connections among neurons. Our brains have the ability to adapt, so electing to put yourself in uncomfortable situations slowly changes our brain’s wiring for the better.

Something that I do is I set my wake up alarm for a weird time, like 6:37.  For whatever reason, It feels uncomfortable to that, but I do it anyway knowing that breaking my routine in a small way has great benefits. A fun example of this was an experiment I ran on myself when I brushed my teeth with my non-dominant left-hand everyday. I initially felt extremely uncoordinated and awkward doing it, but was shocked to see how quickly my motor cortex adapted to the exercise and became completely capable of the task.

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