Have you ever been asked to write fun facts about yourself for an About Me page or employee biography? This exercise can make you wonder if you live a mundane life. What if your only fun fact is that you won a blue ribbon in a relay race when you were 9 years old?
Should you work on making your life more exciting? That depends.
Are you bored by the monotony of your daily routine? Do you feel like you’re stuck in a rut? Do you feel like you don’t have a purpose?
If you’re unsatisfied by your life, then, by all means, bring some exhilaration into it. In this article, we talk about why it’s important to define what excitement means to you. We offer tips for how to make life more exciting. Finally, we discuss what might be holding you back from living the life that you really want.
The Problem With Excitement
If you don’t find fulfillment within yourself, you may always feel like everyone else is living a more exciting life than you are. You might be perfectly content spending your Friday nights under a quilt, devouring the pages of a new bestseller. But when a friend calls you on Sunday and tells you about his late-night adventures around town, you may wonder if you need to make a change.
The problem with excitement is that too many people base it on someone else’s standards. You don’t need to be more impulsive, dramatic or busy to live an exciting life. Society’s ideas of excitement might not match yours.
We live in a world in which overconsumption is the norm. You can have too much of a good thing.
If it’s something that you inherently value, like love or friendship, you might not have a limit. But if you rely on extreme experiences to make you feel alive, you might be chasing something that’s unsustainable.
One of the problems with the way that society defines excitement is that it’s based on external factors. Many people equate thrill-seeking behaviors with excitement. Some crave an adrenaline rush.
Some people are “adrenaline junkies.” They seek out the stimulation that comes from exhilarating behaviors.
To understand this, it helps to know how your nervous system reacts to excitement. Strong emotions, such as excitement, stress, fear or anger, cause your body to pump out adrenaline. This chemical is intensely stimulating.
Although some may associate an adrenaline rush with discomfort, others love the way that it makes them feel. These individuals are known as “sensation-seekers.”
Constantly operating in “excitement mode” can take a toll on your health and well-being, though. Adrenaline is useful for helping you avoid or escape dangerous situations. But consistent adrenaline surges can increase your risk of cardiac problems, insomnia and anxiety.
If your nervous system is constantly activated, you may have trouble relaxing. A chronically overactive sympathetic nervous system is linked to a number of disease states, including:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Kidney disease
- Ulcerative colitis
Why Boredom is Bad for Your Health
But boredom can also be bad for your health. If you live a dull life, you might be more likely to die from heart-related problems.
Otto Fenichel, an Austrian psychoanalyst, called this type of chronic monotony “pathological boredom.” If you’re plagued by this feeling, then you probably do crave some excitement in your life. If you experience pathological boredom, you are likely disconnected from your motivation and desire.
Pathological boredom increases your risk of the following issues:
- Anxiety and depression
- Aggression, anger and irritability
- Poor social skills
- Weak performance at work or school
Boredom can create a cycle that sucks the life out of you. It can reduce your motivation and contribute to choices that are bad for your health. When you’re bored, you might be less likely to exercise and more apt to eat junk food.
Define Your Version of Excitement
To live a healthy, balanced life, you need a certain amount of excitement. However, before you keep reading, you should come up with a definition of excitement that works for you.
You might want to replace the word “excitement” with a synonym, such as:
Continue reading, and reflect on what excitement means to you.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how motivated are you to get up in the morning? Answering this question honestly can help you assess whether you need more excitement in your life.
Some people do the same thing every day. Maybe you get up, drive to work, eat a turkey sandwich for lunch, grab takeout on your way home, binge watch three episodes of your favorite show, take a shower, write in your journal and go to bed. If you’re deeply satisfied with this routine, then you may not need to change it.
So what if your best friend tells you that your life is boring and makes jokes about getting you another cat?
Excitement should be categorized on your own terms. While your friend may hike the Appalachian Trail every year, you might be exhilarated by setting up a tent in your backyard for the night.
Author Tim Rettig has lived in three countries, traveled extensively and immersed himself in various cultures. Still, he says that he doesn’t know whether he’s had an interesting life.
He has to work to pay for his expenses and fund his travels. Therefore, he has spent most of his post-graduate life in front of a computer.
He offers the idea that you should strive to live a fulfilling life. Doing interesting and exciting activities can be fun, but that’s not necessarily the way to achieve ultimate satisfaction.
Rettig mentions that monks are among the most fulfilled people. He says this to highlight the fact that doing amazing things and adding variety to your life isn’t always the path to your purpose.
This Exercise Can Help You Determine What Excitement Means to You
Before you go any further, consider reflecting on your life. Some questions that you can ask yourself include:
- What do I need to be happy?
- What do I love about my life right now?
- What could I use more of in my life?
- What do I really care about?
- What fills me up?
- How does my body feel when I’m doing the things that I love?
- How does my body feel when I’m bored?
Excitement doesn’t have to be earth-shattering or dramatic. When you think about bringing more excitement into your life, consider the small changes that will make you feel incredibly good.
Living an exciting life is more about how you are than what you do. Opening yourself up to curiosity, adventure, exploration and inquiry can be much more exciting than forcing yourself to travel often, go out every weekend and keep yourself busy with extracurricular activities.
Many of the tips for how to make your life more exciting don’t involve lots of action or major shifts. They simply invite you to connect with yourself and your environment more fully so that you can get just as much as you give to the world.
10 Ways to Make Life More Exciting
Now that we’ve set the stage for you to consider what role excitement could play in your life, it’s time to take some action.
1. Create Space
We have been conditioned to believe that adding things to our lives will improve them. Technology allows us to do more in less time. Online shopping lets us order material things that promise to make our lives easier, better or more fulfilling.
If you’re reading this article, you probably think that you need more excitement in your life. But we hope that your mindset has shifted—even if it’s a subtle change—by this point. Instead of thinking that you need more of something, consider the fact that you just might need to adjust the way that things are.
In either case, it’s hard to bring in a new idea or rearrange your current patterns if you’re overwhelmed by clutter. The first step to making life more exciting is to make space for it.
Before you add anything to your life, ask yourself what you can take away. You might think about the physical things that are occupying your environment.
Marie Kondo encourages people to do this by and organizing their spaces. She says that tidying up can be life-changing and urges people to ask whether the items that they keep in their environments bring them joy.
This is a great place to start if you want more excitement in your life. Get rid of the objects that are getting in the way of your joy and excitement.
You can do this physically, mentally and spiritually. Remove the people and circumstances that are not fulfilling you. Stop saying yes to obligations that take up time that you could otherwise spend on more meaningful endeavors.
Seek peace before you look for more excitement.
2. Start Your Day Differently
Even if you make space for excitement in your life, you may find it hard to change your routines. Many people feel like they don’t have time to bring something new into their world.
Start small, and work the change into the beginning of your day. Even though many experts tout the benefits of establishing a morning routine, we’re suggesting that you do the opposite.
Let’s face it—most of us already have a morning routine whether we like it or not. Maybe our kids wake us up by jumping on the bed, or we drag ourselves into the shower after hitting snooze three times.
Instead of focusing on creating a consistent morning schedule, ask yourself one question: “What can I do differently tomorrow morning?”
Then, start your day differently. Here are some ideas for changing up your morning routine:
- Sleep naked
- Change the sound that your alarm makes
- Put on relaxing sounds and meditate for 5 minutes
- Get a decadent coffee at a café instead of making it at home
- Go for a short walk as soon as you get out of bed
- Enjoy your breakfast outside
- Listen to music in the shower
- Take a different route to work
3. Rearrange Your Furniture
Novelty is exhilarating. But you don’t have to leave your house to find it.
Changing your décor periodically can bring a sense of freshness into your life. It may even help you see things from a different perspective.
Even if you don’t have room to move your furniture, you can adjust your atmosphere in a variety of ways, including:
- Change the photos in your frames
- Add or remove artwork on your walls
- Drape a tapestry or fabric from a wall or ceiling
- Rearrange your lamps
- Add an area rug to your space
- Buy new pillows
4. Wear Something Bold
Are you tired of your clothing? Do you wear the same things every day or have a neutral style? Don’t underestimate the way that changing your style can make you feel.
You don’t have to get a makeover or become a different person. Choose one area to highlight.
Maybe you can get a haircut, wear a colorful jacket or put on red lipstick. You’ll get a little rush every time you receive a compliment. Plus, you’ll get a hit of excitement when you catch your reflection in a mirror or store window.
When other people see you in a new light, they may interact with you differently. Changing the way that you look can open up opportunities for connection that weren’t there before.
5. Absorb Some Energy
Happiness can be contagious. Surrounding yourself with smiling faces in a high-energy environment can help you feel connected and vibrant. You can do this by:
- Cheering on your favorite team at a sporting event
- Watching live music
- Going to a club or dance party
- Playing with kids
- Taking a fun class
6. Change the Way You Think
Your thinking patterns may be preventing you from living a fulfilling life. Many people get stuck in spirals of negative thinking that prevent them from living their dreams.
They might be overcome by their limiting beliefs. They may be swallowed up by their fears.
Negative thinking is usually so automatic that people aren’t aware of it. If you do notice your harmful thought patterns, do you believe that you have control over them?
You do. Cognitive restructuring is a method that lets you bring attention to your ways of thinking and change them. You can change the way that you feel by changing the way that you think.
The theory behind cognitive restructuring is that your emotions are just neurochemical reactions to your thoughts. If you can change your thoughts, you can alter your emotions.
For example, boredom is an emotion that may stem from the thought, “There is nothing to do.” Say that to yourself right now, and feel what comes up.
Now, try telling yourself, “I am so lucky to have so many options.” How do your emotions change?
Working with a professional therapist can help you work through cognitive restructuring. However, you might want to experiment with it on your own.
The basic steps include:
- Noticing the event that triggered a particular thought
- Writing down the first thing that popped into your mind during/after the event
- Noting the initial emotions that you felt during/after the incident
- Coming up with a few alternative options to replace your first thought
- Noticing how you feel after generating substitutes for your initial belief
7. Do a Journaling Exercise
Journaling is another way to change your perceptions and explore the way that you feel and think. You may believe that you’re aware of your emotions.
However, writing them down gives you something to reference later. Writing also utilizes different neural pathways than thinking. You may unlock epiphanies that you weren’t aware of by shifting from thinking about a topic or concern to writing about it.
Some journaling prompts that can help you feel more excitement and fulfillment include:
- What am I grateful for?
- What went well today?
- How did I help someone today?
- How did I honor myself today?
- What am I craving right now?
- What made me feel good this week?
- What new things do I want to try this month?
8. Live Your Life the Way That You Want
You may have heard the phrase, “Live each day as though it were your last.” However, why would you wait until your days were numbered to find excitement?
Instead of drawing on a sense of urgency to harness excitement, start thinking of it as a necessary element for survival. Many people wait until they’re bored or stuck in a rut to seek out solutions to that mundane feeling.
But what if you changed your mindset to focus on doing what you wanted every single day? When you think about things that make you feel excited, you probably also consider things that make you feel pleasure.
However, most of us are told that doing what feels good is something that you can achieve when you’ve worked for it. We are taught that seeking pleasure is greedy or selfish. It’s no wonder that we don’t invite excitement into our lives.
Pleasure is a birthright. It’s as important to the human condition as food and water. Incorporating it into your life every day will make life more exciting.
Play around with this concept by writing down what your life would look like if you did what you wanted every day. The list might look something like this:
- Relax with coffee for an hour before work every morning
- Read a good book
- Take a bath
- Go on more vacations
- Live near the ocean
- Spend more time with friends
- Hang out with my kids more often
Now, ask yourself what you can do right now. Most of the items on this list are easy to achieve at any given time.
You may have excuses for why you’re not doing them. Maybe you say that don’t have enough time to read, or you don’t have an hour to spend relaxing before work. However, you can set your alarm earlier or read a chapter on your lunch break.
Once you have a list of the things that would satisfy your cravings to feel alive, you can start restructuring your life so that you can accomplish everything that you want.
9. Look People in the Eye
Most people hate feeling uncomfortable. In fact, we have such problems with discomfort that we often do everything in our power to keep our situations from changing in any way.
Change is inherently uncomfortable even if it’s positive. Here’s an example.
Imagine that you got a new job. You were told that you would make $100 a day. The first two days, you are handed a $100 check when you leave. How do you feel?
Now let’s say that you go into work on the third day and work diligently. When you leave, your boss gives you a check for $50. How do you feel?
On the fourth day, you go in feeling irritated. You slack off and don’t work hard. When you leave, you get a check for $1,000. How do you feel now?
If you’re like most people, you felt a bit of discomfort in scenarios 2 and 3. Even though you received more money in the last circumstance, you might have felt some friction because it wasn’t what you expected. But the surge of relief that may have arisen from getting the extra money felt good.
This is an example of the way that discomfort can rev up your ability to experience excitement. It’s the same reason that you feel exhilarated when you have a crush on someone. When you’re around them, you feel uncomfortable enough to heighten your sensation.
You can open up the opportunity for excitement in your life by leaning into these feelings. Avoiding discomfort makes your life smaller. It forces you to limit your experiences. You stay in your cave, where everything feels safe.
Many experts say that getting comfortable with discomfort is one of the keys to success. Getting out of your comfort zone helps you grow.
An easy way to practice getting uncomfortable is to look strangers in the eye. Try it next time you’re walking down a busy street. Try holding people’s gaze without looking away.
It’s probably harder than you think. You’ll be bombarded with a variety of responses. Some people might respond in a hostile manner. Others may smile at you.
These reactions will elicit different emotions within you. You’ll probably get more intense hits than you would while walking down the street with your headphones in, looking down at the sidewalk. That heightened emotion will bring a new level of excitement into your life.
10. Practice Mindfulness
Have you ever thought to yourself, “What did I do all day?” If you are always thinking about something other than what you’re doing, your life can pass you by.
It’s common to let your mind wander when you’re exercising, doing dishes or folding laundry. But what if you focused on what you were doing?
It sounds boring. In fact, concentrating on doing dishes without letting your thoughts trail off to something more interesting can be boring.
But what if you take Marie Kondo’s advice and find the joy in what you’re doing? Try to notice one pleasurable thing about your activity.
Maybe the warm water feels good on your hands if you’re doing dishes. Perhaps you like the feeling of smoothing out your clothes with your fingertips if you’re folding laundry. Maybe you enjoy the sound of someone’s voice if you’re listening to a presentation at work.
Sheila Bayliss says that mindfulness has made her happier. She listens more closely, is more resilient, laughs more, cries more and has a shorter to-do list. You would probably agree that your life would be more exciting if all of those things were true for you too.
What Is Blocking You From Feeling Excitement?
As you toss around the idea of practicing some of these tips for how to make life more exciting, you might want to bring some awareness to the factors that are keeping you stuck. Even if this advice is compelling, you might need some coaxing to change your behavior.
Some elements that can block you from feeling excitement include:
- Setting strict expectations
- Worrying what other people think
- Believing that money can buy you excitement
- Shying away from spontaneity
- Waiting until conditions are perfect
- Failing to appreciate what you have
Your life doesn’t have to be dramatic or over the top for you to be exhilarated by it. Let yourself think about the things that stoke your fire. Don’t allow negative judgments to creep in as you brainstorm. Allow yourself to tune into your desires and inner wisdom.
When you live by your own fuel, you tend to take on experiences that make you feel alive. Keep your flame alive by nurturing yourself as often as you can.