In a TED talk on the benefits of vulnerability, author and researcher Brené Brown offers this one simple truth for the next time you're hesitant to open up: Do it anyway. Because when we avoid risk to save our emotions, "we numb joy, we numb gratitude [and] we numb happiness."
Going out on a limb can be downright terrifying, but sometimes the biggest leaps are also the ones that are worth making. Take a look at the six risks below that you'll never regret taking.
Doing an activity by yourself.
Sitting in a restaurant or seeing a movie alone may sound utterly painful (in fact, research shows that we'd rather be in pain than spend time with our thoughts) -- but truthfully there are benefits to spending some quality time with yourself. Alone time can enhance our creativity and concentration and may even help reduce depression risk. Not to mention, the experience is completely liberating.
Asking for help.
As the Beatles once crooned, "I get by with a little help from my friends." It may sound paradoxical, but it can actually be empowering to lean on a support system when you're feeling defeated. It's OK to seek guidance -- and that's especially true when you feel like your mental health is at stake. There's nothing wrong with finding a professional who can help you through tough issues that you're dealing with (in fact, there are unique benefits of coaching or therapy). By asking for help you're not being weak -- you're being strong.
Speaking up at work.
It may be scary sharing your ideas with everyone in your company meeting, but a consistent voice at work is key to growth and success. We sometimes hold ourselves back because we get this crazy notion that our ideas aren't good enough. But as HuffPost President and Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington explains in her book On Becoming Fearless, it's that negativity that really holds us back. "We may not be able to tune our inner critics out entirely, but we don't have to let them run the show," she wrote. Put your ideas out into the world -- you never know where they might lead.
Taking that trip across the country (or across the globe).
It's no secret that planning a trip can help boost your emotional wellness. But research points out a huge problem: We aren't using our vacation days. So, it might be time to take the leap. Have you always wanted to visit the west coast? Italy? The Caribbean? Do it. You won't regret it: Studies show experiences -- not things -- make us happier.
Any time we put ourselves out there, whether it be offering our honest opinion or just doing a kind act for a stranger, we're taking a risk by showing our true nature. But that's not always a bad thing. As self-love coach and author Anne-Sophie Reinhardt writes in a HuffPost blog, being authentic -- despite its challenges -- is the most important chance we can take. "Being who you truly are, drawing your energy from that true core will make you more powerful than you ever thought possible and will enable you to do things your way," she wrote.
Many of us are too afraid of saying no because we're worried we'll disappoint our family, hurt our chances at work or suffer some other setback. But as successful CEO Kristin Muhlner points out, it's really our overactive to-do lists that are affecting all of these things. "We’ve become so awful at saying no," she told Fast Company. "I try hard to become incredibly selective about those things I engage with, so I can be really present for the stuff that I'm doing, and be really engaged with my kids in a meaningful way. People are trying to accomplish too much, and they're killing themselves in the process."
This GPS Guide is part of a series of posts designed to bring you back to balance when you're feeling off course.
GPS Guides are our way of showing you what has relieved others' stress in the hopes that you will be able to identify solutions that work for you. We all have de-stressing "secret weapons" that we pull out in times of tension or anxiety, whether they be photos that relax us or make us smile, songs that bring us back to our heart, quotes or poems that create a feeling of harmony or meditative exercises that help us find a sense of silence and calm. We encourage you to visit our other GPS Guides here, and share with us your own personal tips for finding peace, balance and tranquility.