Openness to Experience
A strategy demonstrated to increase wellness and positive affect is openness to experience. Openness to experience is the degree to which you are prepared to consider new ideas and opportunities. Openness to experience has been linked with better health and reduced illness. Individuals who report high levels of openness to experience generally respond more openly to challenges, thoughts and emotions. Openness to experience activities encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and try something you otherwise wouldn’t, including those things you usually avoid. The aim is to challenge yourself by trying something different and to remain receptive and open throughout the experience.
Openness to experience is a personality trait and personality traits are not necessarily fixed in place. Personality is a continuing process; it is a reflection of how you think and what you do (like your brain changing by thinking, feeling and doing new things). Openness to experience refers to the degree to which you allow the experiences that are happening to happen. Being open to experience means being curious and interested in whatever is going on. One of the benefits about being open to experience is that you are likely to try new things and this enables personal growth. One way to develop a greater use of ‘openness to experience’ is to do something you have never done before.
If you choose the openness to experience activity, please
- Start by creating a list of the things you would like to try over the next week.
- Then do one new “first” each day (and at least three of these should be things you would usually shy away from or avoid).
- At the end of each day record your experiences using the the self-monitoring form (found in ‘Downloads’ below).
- Then review all your new experiences at the end of the week and think and perhaps write about the one you liked the best.
Click on the button below to download the self-monitoring form.
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