Risk is a daily part of life. Some seek the thrill while other's prefer to seek security with minimal risk. As Human's we are wired and built to deal with risk. We have an instant reaction to threat and instinctual behaviours to deal with the risks associated with those threats. Think of how quickly we pull our hand away when we accidentally burn it on the stove. This design has allowed us to flourish as a species and become who we are today. The question now is, do we even need those skills anymore? Is risk a good thing or a bad thing?
The benefits of risks are many and all of them lead to better overall wellness. Each time we take a risk we are impacting on our brains wiring. Some of the benefits include:
Increase in creative thinking
Each risky situation requires we think through our options to keep ourselves safe or at the very least, not die. This requires using our brains for deductive reasoning, logic and creative thought processes.
Improves Self Esteem and Resilience
Every time we engage in a risk and survive we experience success. These successes help to build our self confidence. We can learn that we are capable to planning, executing our plans and achieving the desired outcome. We also build a library of how to deal with various situations on our terms. Instead of having life smash us with situations, we can control how we learn to handle situations through taking appropriate risks. Getting a diagnosis of an terminal illness is life smashing you with a situation. Facing your own mortality in a controlled environment will help prepare you for that diagnosis.
There is no Fail
Every experience is an opportunity to learn something new. Even if the results are not exactly what we had hoped them to be, go back and recognize what you did right. The fact that you are able to go back is in itself a success.
Takes control of Fears
Fear is probably one of the biggest things keeping people from wellness. Change is the unknown and many people fear what they do not know. By taking risks we acknowledge the fears we have and we take control of them. Fear is an emotion just like joy. We can feel it, recognize it in our selves and move past it. Calculated risks will challenge the logic of your fears with tiny steps giving you proof to assist in letting go of the fears.
Oh the Places you WIll Go
Being open to risks will allow you to experience things you may not have considered before. The world suddenly opens up with opportunity. Without taking the risk of death and peril at sea, we would still think the world was flat.
Humans learn through experience. Just hearing the story does not get imprinted on our brain the same way. It is the combination of all of the senses we have available to us that creates knowledge. We can watch all the videos on the benefits of yoga but we will never KNOW them until we try yoga for ourselves.
Self Care Skills
When we take risks we have to plan how to protect ourselves, how to meet our own needs during the process. We come up with a strategy for taking care of ourselves. We may use techniques like mindfullness or cognitive behaviour therapy to help us maneuver the experience of the risk.
Plan your risks and do what is just on the fringe of your comfort zone. You don't have to jump out of a perfectly good airplane day one. Find the edge of your comfort and take one small step out of it. Each time you do this you gain these benefits and expand your comfort zone. Keep Dr. Suess in mind: