Keeping life exciting to keep us healthy

Published 26 November 2014

As we live our everyday lives, juggling work and family commitments with seemingly never enough time, how do we keep our lives exciting? This is the question being asked by researchers at the University of New England in a new study.

Associate Professor in Psychology, John Malouff, says keeping some excitement in life is important for more than interesting dinner conversation. It also contributes to overall health and wellbeing.

“Leading an exciting life contributes to an increase in feeling happy and feeling positive,” A/Prof Malouff said.

“Higher levels of positive affect have been found to be associated with better mental and physical health, better relationships, and a longer life.

“This study aims to get people to share their secrets for excitement. We are looking for adults who lead a life that is mostly exciting to take part in an anonymous online survey.

“We will ask them to tell us what they do to keep that excitement in their lives, which we can then share with others to help them increase excitement in their lives, too.”

A/Prof Malouff says his own secret for leading an exciting life lies in leaning towards novelty.

“I work on new projects all the time, which challenges me and teaches me new things. I also go to new places, and make an effort to connect with new people. This year I’ve made an effort to make new friends, and I’ve become much more connected to family who live in the U.S.”

A/Prof Malouff says he is interested in the many diverse ways people keep excitement in their lives.

“Other people may also go toward novelty, or they may use other methods of keeping their life excitng.

“I think that life is inherently exciting, but that excitement can be overshadowed by our everyday lives. If we can learn more ways to keep the excitement alive, we can encourage others to do the same.”