If you’re a “free spirit,” you live moment by moment, love to take chances, prefer to act before you think, and would rather run before you crawl. Perhaps you go wherever the wind takes you. But as fun as this behavior can be, it can also get you into trouble! Has your wild side caused you to speak your mind at an inappropriate time, engage in risky behavior or trust people far too soon?
I’m not going to suggest you take your wild, free-spirit ways and lock them up for good. Rather, I’m here to help you find the perfect balance between wildly impulsive and thoughtfully tame.
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Discover the Source of Your Wildness
Your wild, impulsive behavior comes from somewhere. It could be a reaction to stress. It could also be a reaction to feeling suffocated, physically and emotionally, for a long period of time. Maybe you had overprotective parents or a boring partner who never wanted to go out and explore. Being wild gives people a high feelings—much like, sex, drugs or alcohol. If your wild side is a coping mechanism, perhaps you should seek out healthier behaviors to cope with the stress in your life.
Stop and Consider
Spontaneity is good. It leads to adventures and experiences you would likely not have if you stopped and really thought about them. However, being spontaneous can get you into trouble. When your wild side takes over unchecked, it could lead to saying and doing things you’ll regret. This isn’t about poor judgement though. It’s actually about not giving yourself enough time to stop and think. Your wild side often won’t let you take the time to consider the consequences of the spontaneous things you say or do. To tame it, you need to take the time to think things through.
Don’t Just Take What You’re Given
Sometimes your wild side comes out to play by no fault of your own—or so you’d like to tell yourself. You may think you have no choice when you are served a scenario that causes you to react in a spontaneous way. But if you make sure that you have control of the scenario, your wild side doesn’t have to come out full-force.
You Don’t Have to Be the Entertainment
Everyone loves that wild friend—the one who is always spontaneous and unpredictable. If that’s you, your friends get to live vicariously through you and don’t have to suffer the consequences. It’s the best of both worlds for them, but you could be hurting yourself for the amusement of others. They get to go home feeling entertained, while you could go home feeling, sick, hurt or embarrassed.
Joy vs. Novelty
You may like to explore your wild side because of that adrenaline rush you receive. The problem is that you’ll eventually have to up the ante to feel that same rush. You love the novelty of the experience, but there is another, less wild experience called joy. Finding joy comes from being in the moment.
Dr. Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist, describes joy as living every moment with complete conscious awareness. He says, “We rush from place to place, we do things too quickly, we don’t use language enough and we don’t describe things enough. [But] if you think about it, there are lots of ways to make [any experience] more enjoyable.” Even the most fundamental actions, such as walking and eating, can be amplified just by consciously recognizing their positive aspects as you are doing them.
Your Brain is Easy to Influence
Your mind holds more power over the way you experience life than you probably realize. Eyes and skin only offer the details of an experience, and it is up to your brain to interpret those sensations. And lucky for you, the brain is very easy to influence. Any moment in life can become more beautiful, delicious, and breathtaking according to how your mind interprets it.