There are entire movies, books, and poems dedicated to the theme of having a “bucket list”. Most of those represented, however, are grand projects or trips that are unrealistic to the average person, but I do not believe they have to be. It is a part of our collective sense of adventure that we find ourselves attracted to new places, people, and ideas. It makes sense then, that curating a bucket list might even have positive effects on our health, our happiness, and our hearts. There are plenty of new experiences waiting for us that won’t break the bank nor that require a fairy godmother!
Because another trip around the sun has me faced with our inevitable mortality as humans, I began personally investing some time thinking about some things that I would feel regretful of not having even tried. Also, as summer approaches, I started thinking about this concept more and why it is important to have such a list and how a person can compile their own bucket list that is meaningful and doable for them.
I believe having a bucket list contributes to better health, promotes happiness, and most of all provides us hope.
Our health is impacted when we spend time doing things that bring us joy. When we engage in hobbies, build relationships in the community, or otherwise find activities that lower our stress, our bodies and minds thank us. Planning those bullet-points on your bucket list might encourage you to think outside of the box, stimulating vital areas of the brain. Just think what happens when you actually start learning that guitar! In addition, volunteering and helping others has consistently been shown to improve our overall health while lifting others up! There are many new activities, directly related to health and not, that can increase wellness just by virtue of their novelty.
By going out of your comfort zone, you may begin feeling happier! Taking a photography class, joining a knitting group, or trekking Everest are possibly daunting possibilities, but ones that contribute to happiness. As we begin dreaming and scheming, our imaginations spark. You may find that booking a simple hiking trip not-too-far from you ends up being a fulfilling way to spend your time, while also satisfying a long-held desire too. That feeling of accomplishment in the planning and execution of your bucket list item won’t be forgotten and neither will the happiness that accompanies such a feeling!
Lastly, I believe that when we have something for which to look forward, we engender hope within ourselves, and within those around us. Bucket lists are a source of inspiration, just as the people are who tackle making a dream come true. Inspiration=hope! Some people think that a bucket list has to cost a fortune or must include far-away destinations, which needless to say, would dampen any prospect of hope. But a bucket list is simply a list of things you want to do, big and small.
So, how can you create the perfect one for you?
- What is something you have always wanted to do but were too scared to try? Let go of that fear!
- What is your favorite kind of scenery? Is there anywhere nearby that fits the bill? There may be a nearby mountain, lake, or even a huge tree!
- What is something you have always wanted to learn? Nowadays, most anything can be learned with an internet connection and a little bit of bargaining!
- What is one kind of event or party you have always wanted to attend? Gift yourself an experience the next time a gift-based holiday rolls around!
- What food have you never tasted? Go to a restaurant or look up the recipe and give it a shot. Don’t be picky!
- What is one way you would like to volunteer your skills and time?
- What is one experience you would only want to experience with someone else? Do that!
Creating your bucket list is easier than pie and will bring a smile to your face just the same.
Originally published at medium.com