Cultivating Curiosity is Good for Your Well Being; It Did Not Kill the Cat.
If Newton hadn't been curious about what makes an apple fall to the ground, he wouldn't have discovered gravity. We're usually full of ceaseless curiosity as children, just like Newton. But as we grow up, that tends to fade as we confront the lists of things we need to accomplish each day, and our beliefs of what we think are true become set.
Albert Einstein said, "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day."
Many believe that “Curiosity killed the cat,” as the old wise tale states. If we believe this, then we have limited our freedom to grow and stunted our resilience to come up with new solutions to old continuous stressors.
Cultivating your curiosity is essential to growth, resilience, and happiness.
Facing the unknown in life with curiosity develops awareness with an open mind. Curiosity about the universe's wonders is a sign of intelligence, open-mindedness, humility, and innovativeness. Facing the world with curiosity opens infinite possibilities instead of being boxed in by limiting beliefs.
Example: Face a stressor such as a family member not agreeing with you.
Focusing on life with a curious mind helps maintain positive mental health. Curious people are mentally agile and less likely to suffer from age-related illnesses such as Dementia and Alzheimer's. This is because the acts of wondering and pondering create new neural pathways in the brain.
Example: Get curious; Focus on why it causes you stress. Is it the actual issue? Is it past behaviors being repeated? Is it part of a family power struggle? Is it stemming from a different core value system?
Freedom to be more creative comes from a curious mind. Curiosity drives writers, artists, and scientists. They use curiosity to explore their worlds and create worlds for others to enjoy. Young children are also driven by curiosity. They have the freedom to be full of questions and
Example: Freedom is knowing there may be infinite possible solutions in how you respond to the family member causing you a stress reaction. Can you walk away? It is not worth the energy. Can you identify where you have any control to make the situation any different? Can you listen to what is being said behind the words? Is it a difference in core values, and you will agree to disagree?
Flowing into a happier life comes from curiosity. Happiness is deeply linked to curiosity. As indicated in studies by Martin Seligman and Todd Kashdan at George Mason University, curious people are happy people. They are never bored or boring. They are alert and will take the time to look up at the stars and watch a sunset. According to Kashdan, curious people are less likely to derive pleasure from hedonistic activities such as drinking and gambling. Mysteries and marvels are their cup of tea. They are highly self-motivated and willing to try new things. And the more they discover, the more they want to explore.
Example: Flowing is when you work through the family trigger without having a stress response you did not want. You will be more resilient in dealing with your family member in the future. You will be more confident that you can have a centered and creative interaction even if this family member has the same behavior.
Can you Face a Stressor with curiosity? Can you Focus on a stressor with a non-judgmental mind? Can you become Free to see the infinite possibilities in any situation you may create? Can you Flow with the curious mind to be more resilient and easy-going from one moment to the next?
It takes practice to Face, Focus, be Free, and Flow with a curious Stress Shifter Mind-Set. You can learn how with the Stress Shifter Skills Course