Why (and How to) Be More Spontaneous in a Connected World

We live in a very connected and somewhat controlling world: our alarms ring at the same time every morning, our holidays are planned. It is also expected - or at least not uncommon - to let everyone know what you’re up to through every social media platform, or you’ll text and call to tell family and friends you’re ‘okay.’

Why and how to be more spontaneous in a connected world

Sometimes it feels like the whole planet has to know where you’re going, what you’re doing there and who’s with you. It will have you wonder how people did it before the mobile phone era when we couldn’t report on our activities every single second.

The more I think about it, the more I feel like our connectedness is taking our spontaneity away from us because we’re constantly on the ‘sharing’ mode. Even if social media isn’t your thing, you'll be texting friends, family, and loved ones and if you’re not, you’ll be wondering if you should. And as you wonder whether you should do it, you’ve already left the moment and stopped listening to the signals your body and mind are sending out.

The space that’s meant for spontaneity is filled with noise you don’t actually have to listen to.

Spontaneity reflects openness, openness to yourself and what might come up. Spontaneity is the epitome of presence: no planning, no thinking, just being and doing right here, right now, in the moment. Wouldn’t that be considered a yogic practice? If you allow yourself to be spontaneous, you’re really allowing yourself to follow your intuition in the here and now.

Spontaneous: happening or done in a natural, often sudden way, without any planning or without being forced
— Your Friend the Cambridge Dictionary

So, Why Be Spontaneous? (and what does yoga have to do with this)

Let's dig deeper: spontaneity is about doing things without expecting anyone to dictate your endeavours; spontaneity allows you the space to be how you are, do what you want, without giving it much thought and without being forced to act in any way. Spontaneity is yet another way for you to feel connected to yourself and asking yourself what you feel like doing - without the pressure of the big questions, decisions and actions. It is yet another channel, or as I like to call it, another string to add to your yogi bow.

Related: Re-ignite your Sense of Adventure

Is meditation a string on your yogi bow? Click below to make it one!

But first, let go of limiting beliefs

Ah, limiting beliefs, they get the best of us, don’t they? 
Before technology, before planning, the idea that we’re not spontaneous is probably the #1 reason why we don’t allow ourselves to be so. So however spontaneous you think you are, forget about it. Catch yourself thinking that you’re not spontaneous, or that you’re too spontaneous. What does the word spontaneous trigger in you? How does it make you feel? How would you feel if you had just the right amount of spontaneity in your life? 

Don't mistake spontaneity for impulsivity. Impulsivity is acting without considering the effects of your actions, and we don’t really want that.

How to be more spontaneous: A couple of tips for your off-the-mat practice

Take the things you do every day without thinking. Although a routine feels nice and gives your brain more space to think about the important stuff rather than wasting energy on the small decisions, balance is always key.

Depending on who you are, how you do life, becoming more spontaneous might be challenging yourself to turn the alarm off on the weekends; try out a new coffee shop instead of your usual pitstop before work; take a new bike route on your way to the supermarket; play a Spotify playlist with music you don’t usually listen to, the options are endless!

Take the things you do all the time, choose one and make it flexible.

Allow yourself to be open and create these new tastes - this way, you’re turning your everyday life into a daily adventure, one that is entertaining, surprising and filled with new clues to learn about yourself.

Related: How to Turn Anxiety into Excitement