Everyone likes to feel a thrill from time to time. That sudden, sharp feeling of excitement or exhilaration leaves us with a natural high. And feeling a natural high is so much better than a synthetic one as it is legal, inexpensive, and will not leave you dependent upon anything or anyone else.
Chances are you have incorporated some pleasurable activities into your days. But doing the same thing over and over again no longer elicits that sharp feeling of excitement that it used to because it becomes routine. Routines are a great way to get things done and feel familiar and comfortable to us. But we adapt to a routine and then the things that are a part of it no longer bring us as much happiness .
When I talk about thrills, you might be thinking I want you to try bungee jumping, para-sailing, jet skiing, or other sometimes expensive hobbies. But that is one of the beauties of natural highs; they do not have to cost a lot of money. In order to continue having those spikes of excitement and happiness in our lives we simply need to infuse our days with things that are “out of the ordinary”.
How to Get that Natural High
For $5 or less, let me show you ways you can feel a natural high:
- Score a Deal at the Local Thrift Store: How much loot can you get with your $5? Give yourself $5 to spend in a thrift shop, and walk out feeling like you won the lottery. Some of my favorite, under-$5 thrift store finds include a pair of Calvin Klein shorts, my favorite Adidas workout shirt, and a silver tea set. What will your next find be?
- Play the Jukebox: The next time you are out, drop a quarter in a jukebox and pick that song that makes you feel like a million bucks. When it pumps through the speakers, you are sure to feel a high.
- Give $5 Away: Giving your money away to someone else  can really produce a natural high. If you want to increase the “thrill” aspect of it, commit a random act of kindness such as paying for the person behind you at the toll booth and then leaving the scene. This can bring a lot of excitement!
- Bird Watch at Your Birdfeeder: Maybe my husband and I are nerdy, but we find so much excitement in filling up our birdfeeders and watching what types of birds pop into our backyard.
- Ride through a Car Wash: Do you remember doing this as a kid? It had been years since I did this, but the other day I paid for a turn through the car wash and was delighted with all of the swishing and swooshing about (make sure you check the price; we have some very cheap, automatic car washes where I live but it could cost more than $5 for you).
- Go for a Run: You’ve heard of the Runner’s High, right? When you exercise, endorphin levels increase. The Runner’s High seems to be an elevation in your endorphin levels coupled with an increased resistance to pain that occurs during exercise. Why not give it a shot? It will probably take a little while for you to get there (especially if you are like me and have to build up the ability to breathe through a normal run), but the payoff could be huge.
- Blast through a Mental Obstacle: Is there something you have been putting off for the longest time because you’ve created a mental obstacle around it? It’s time to get going, because on the other side of accomplishing this task is the euphoria of a natural high. There is such release and happiness after tackling something and coming out alive on the other end; I would know, as I am pretty good about creating mental obstacles.
- Induce a Giggle Fest: Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, which can trigger a natural high for you. Do you ever notice the sweet release of laughing with a dear, old friend for hours at a time? There is nothing else like it. If your friend is not available, spend that $5 to rent a movie that is known to be hilarious. Sit back, and enjoy the show.
If you find that “the thrill is gone”, then perhaps you need to think about a few ways you can introduce something out of the ordinary into your everyday life.