Self-Care Sunday: Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
Hmmm… The comfort zone. It’s so inviting, so welcoming, and just so darn comfortable. It’s safe. It’s secure. You have little risk and next-to-no stress. Inevitably, it’s ideal.
But what if we told you pushing your boundaries and getting of your comfort zone could actually do you a ton of good?
And if you’re feeling kind of bored, a little bit stuck in the mundane, or you have a craving for something new, it’s time to break free.
Cue Queen’s “I Want To Break Free.”
Yeah, you do!
This Self-Care Sunday, we’re breaking free. It’s time to start pushing out of that comfort zone.
“Life happens at the edge of your comfort zone.”
While slightly cliche, this is surprisingly very true. And science even supports it.
But first, let’s define what the comfort zone means exactly.
The comfort zone is a space where you have set behaviours and habits. It’s your routine. It minimizes risk and stress. And it’s the optimal survival zone. After all, it’s embedded in all of us to do what it takes to survive. The comfort zone easily achieves this and checks off all the boxes in the survival instinct column.
And it’s predictable. You know you’ll be content. You know you won’t face a ton of stress or anxiety. But what if you could be happier? What if a little stress or a little anxiety is good for you once and a while?
Also, it’s important to note here that not all habits, behaviours, and routines in this comfort zone are healthy. Sure, they seem safe enough. But again, could you be happier? Could you experience better health? Could you flourish, grow, and become better outside of it?
The answer is likely yes.
We can all always become better people! And while perfection is unattainable, growth and learning throughout life lead to a better overall satisfaction and happiness.
Psychologists refined this idea. The comfort zone leads to a predictable and steady performance. Yet, the edge of the comfort zone provides the optimal anxiety levels to maximize your abilities and performance.
Have you ever noticed how you thrive with a tiny bit of stress or pressure? Too much and it’s overwhelming. But a little bit at the perfect dosage can lead to increased performance and productivity.
For instance, a challenge creates a tiny bit of stress. You know it’s possible but it’s going to take work to get there. And when you challenge yourself, cool things happen. You learn. You grow. It’s all good stuff.
Yet, we often revert back to the comfort zone - which is good because chronic stress isn’t good for your general health. But it’s still important to push those boundaries every now and again, which is what this Self-care Sunday is all about.
Plus, it maximizes your performance, productivity, and creativity. It further makes getting out of your comfort zone in the future that much easier.
So, How Can You Break Out of Your Comfort Zone?
Alright. Let’s get down to it.
Step 1: Decide on something just outside of your comfort zone.
Hey, maybe it’s simply taking yourself out for a solo lunch. Or perhaps it’s doing that gruelling workout. Or trying a yoga class for the first time. Or telling your friend the honest truth about how she’s been acting lately.
It doesn’t have to be extreme. I know most people automatically think of jumping out of a plane with nothing but a parachute. That’s not entirely what this is. For some people, that’s maybe what they need - but for most, it’s not.
It’s finding one thing you can do today that pushes your limits a little bit. Think outside of the box. What is something new or different that you can try?
Step 2: Do your due diligence. Research it!
Anxiety and stress often come from ‘what ifs.’
What if I fall during that yoga class…
What if I make my friend mad by telling her the truth…
Lucky for you, the internet exists. Use it. Research the basics of yoga. Or look up the best way to communicate with your friend when you have an issue. This will help minimize your stress or anxiety about it. You’ll still have some stress - but it won’t get out of control this way.
Step 3: Plan it!
Maybe you don’t want to do it today - that’s a-okay. Plan for it. Or plan for it later today if you feel you’ll get cold feet and back out.
Either way, you want a plan to execute it. Do you need to start small before going after your edge-of-comfort-zone entity? What do you need to do to prepare?
Step 4: Be Accountable.
Pushing your boundaries is uncomfortable. That is the point: To stay accountable, tell people what you’re doing. Schedule it in. Or, tell your best friend you need to talk to her on Wednesday to stick with it. Make yourself follow-through by committing publicly or to those close to you.
Step 5: Take the first step toward the edge.
Sign up for your first yoga class or pottery class. Take those baby steps to get you there.
Step 6: It’s go-time.
Follow-through with it! And don’t stop there. Continue to expand your boundaries. A world of possibility lies beyond them. Think about what you could be missing out on! You’ll never know unless you try new things and continually push your comfort zone.
Expand Your World & Your Mind
That little bit of anxiety or stress may soon become an inviting force. It means change. It means good things to come. It means growth. It’s exciting. Take yourself there. Evolve. And break-through the mundane and same-old routine. Fight the boredom and push your boundaries. It’ll help you jump over those mental blocks that you might not even know stand in the way of your full potential.
Related Article: Self-Care Sunday: Tackle Your To-Do’s