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‘The demise of surprise has, by all accounts, been an unfortunate side effect of lockdown life’

Updated: Jun 28, 2021

There probably haven’t been many moments in the last year, that have managed to take our breath away in the way that this morning’s Red Arrow fly past did.

The demise of surprise has, by all accounts, been an unfortunate side effect of lockdown life, with implications for wellness - just as much as an entertainment.

The reasons why this lack of ‘wow factor’ has suppressed ‘health’ so surreptitiously, comes back to the important role of novelty - and newness - in keeping our mind sharp. By activating the surprise sequence in the brain, surprise helps heighten attention, and increases feel good chemicals that in turn, improves potential for wellbeing.

It’s no wonder, then, that we’re now on a mission to pepper more of the ‘same same’ everyday, with moments of marvel and mystique!

Luckily, surprise doesn’t have to be red-arrow-style-hair-raising, to improve our aptitude for happiness and health.

Simply breaking up the rhyme and routine of everyday life, with little and often doses of unpredictability, can suffice to help reap the rewards of this so-called ‘jack-in-a-box’ approach.

It might look like setting up office in a different room, for example, or swapping coffee brands - just for the sake of it. It might even mean asking the same question of a loved one, slightly differently. (eg. ‘How are you?’ vs. ‘Have you struggled with anything in particular today!?’) Just flipping the small talk script slightly, can - sometimes - invite a wholly different response.

For all these reasons, the ‘surprise factor’ is one well worth cultivating in our post lockdown lives. The opportunities might be fleeting, but for work, wellness and everything in between...they’re arguably too good to let pass us by!

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