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Mental Health, | 04.12.21

Why Curiosity is a Skill to Relearn

Curiosity is a skill we’re very good at as children, but sometimes need to re-learn over time in our adult lives. 

In our fast-paced world, sometimes we don’t have time for curiosity- we make a habit out of making snap judgments, good or bad value statements, and biased assessments. And while judgements are good for speed, they’re far from accurate all the time. They’re mental shortcuts that can lead us astray into a harmful relationship with food, dieting, and ourselves. For example, being unsuccessful at diets in the past may wrongly lead us to believe that there’s no possible solution to our food and weight drama – that we’re bound to fail. When we get stuck in judgements, we’re likely to sabotage our best efforts, or even worse- not try at all. 

The antidote to judgements is curiosity. To really get curious, we want to stay away from broad generalizations, quick judgements, and emotion-driven reactions that we are so often naturally pulled toward. Instead, we want to slow down and really observe what’s happening around us. Looking at the situation with fresh eyes can really lead us to find something we’ve been missing. Looking at the situation in a curious way is also the exact opposite of shaming and beating ourselves up. Every situation has a cause and effect, and the answer is usually quite nuanced.

So here’s your task: find a moment today to take a pause and get curious about something you are struggling with. That could mean getting curious about something that happened in your eating, relationships, work-life, or really anything else! Label the situations, people, thoughts, and emotions that make it challenging. Likewise, label the things that make these situations easier or more manageable.

And remember: Getting curious doesn’t mean ruminating and shaming, it means looking at the situation as if you were an alien visiting earth- only sticking to the observations. Because curious observations are truly a necessary step before any change!

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