The Benefits of Healthy Excitement

Avoid the Void

In this day in age, we often feel trapped in the responsibilities of modern life. From our earliest years to our current days, we are given a structured routine of going to school, doing our studies, getting a job, paying our taxes, etcetera, etcetera. These areas can take a lot of energy and demand a ton of our focus. They are important, and necessary for survival in the contemporary age, but these responsibilities can have a negative effect as well. They can cause a routine that vacuums the excitement out of our lives.

Excitement is a tough thing to classify. Climbing a mountain or flying a plane is exciting but so is partying to the wee hours at a bar or cheating on your partner. We can all find excitement. But what are the lasting effects of that thrill? Did doing it continue to make you feel good or is it something you regret?

As tough as excitement is to classify, we know as human beings we seek it out. The void of certainty will cause our minds to become desperate. Healthy or unhealthy our minds will rebel and cause us to break from our responsibilities. If we don’t find something healthy to become passionate about, our minds will find something that may not be healthy.

The Bad

When we get too caught up on our responsibilities our minds sometimes rebel and create problems that can compound. People who have hit rock bottom have explained how their lives spiraled out of control. The job, car, house, family were all they focused on until something else snuck in – the need for excitement. It came as drinking or drugs. A shopping or eating compulsion. A sex or gambling addiction. Something that released endorphins into their body and became as necessary to their lives as breathing.

In some instances those unhealthy break outs eventually undermined everything and caused those people to hit rock bottom. That is an extreme example but a relevant one in the contemporary world. Our major cities are overrun with homelessness and addiction. How many of those poor souls crumbled from the stress of being responsible adults? How many didn’t crumble, but live lives of desperation, quietly feeding their unhealthy habits? 

This is not to downplay other causes of people who hit rock bottom, homeless, or addiction, but rather it’s to help us avoid the pitfalls that have befallen some. 

The Good

One time I met an artist selling their works at the local farmer’s market. We got to talking and after some time I asked how they started painting and they responded, “I paint because I can’t write”. That artist found their passion in creation. Their mind and body found pleasure when they took a thought in their mind and made it into something real.

We all have a similar thing or things. Creating, fixing, exploring, going fast, prevailing over danger, competing, entertainment, whatever. We need to find the thing that makes our hair stand up. The healthy thing that we stay up at night fantasizing about. If you think sky diving is insanity, don’t do that. If writing a story bored you stiff, don’t do that. Find your thing. Take a long walk and make note of where your mind wanders to. Maybe its working with wood. Maybe its kite surfing. Maybe its competing in a triathlon. Maybe it’s teaching kids to love a sport. Maybe its volunteering to help people or animals in need. It could be anything.

The Point

Our minds and bodies yearn for excitement. And excitement comes in different forms both healthy and unhealthy. So, take those steps to find a way to avoid the unhealthy and embrace the healthy. Find a hobby, or a calling, that feeds your body the passion it craves.

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