The art of spontaneity and why it’s good for you

The art of spontaneity and why it's good for you

The thought of spontaneous action is in itself a bit of a paradox. Spontaneity is one of those life skills that isn’t really a skill at all – it’s a predilection to a way of life that is vital for the happiness of some, and can induce a cold sweat in others.

We all like to think that we have the ability to be spontaneous but few of us are, and some people think of it as akin to chaos in an otherwise well-ordered world. The art of spontaneity itself is really the ability to release control and let-go. Planned outcomes can still be a factor but you don’t mind the journey you take to get there.

The benefits of spontaneity

With busy, goal-orientated lives being spontaneous can sometimes feel counter-productive, counter-intuitive and an unscheduled afternoon doing not very much of anything can feel unnatural. However, when our lives and creativity get lost in the detail, and you forget what free time really feels like, switching off and experiencing a change of scene is often a good remedy. A chance for the brain to switch off produces new and interesting ways of thinking.

Think of all those new ideas and solved problems that have come about from doing menial tasks, allowing your thoughts to breathe.

In his book ‘Trying Not to Try: The Ancient Art of Effortlessness and the Surprising Power of Spontaneity’ Edward Slingerland takes this concept further and posits that spontaneity and the ability to be ‘in flow’ is an incredibly charismatic trait that can often emulate from the most successful people. He believes that whilst elusive, spontaneity is crucial to our wellbeing and important for increasing performance.

A beginners guide to spontaneity

1. As the saying goes…. “spontaneity is a meticulously prepared art”

If you struggle with the thought of going off-piste with your plans then our advice is to prepare to be unprepared. You don’t have to put time restrictions on spontaneity, for example, you can book a weekend away at the beginning of the week as opposed to the day before. That way you have a few days to tie up loose ends and most of all get really excited! You’ll have the heady hit of a spontaneous getaway without the anxious thought of all the work you’ll come back to. Re-write your to-do list and prioritise the must-dos before your getaway.

2. Decide what spontaneity looks like to you

We all have different views and pre-conceptions of what spontaneity is – whether we like the idea of it or not. Above all, spontaneity should be fun, easy and not stressful. If that means deciding to go out for dinner tonight instead of cooking is your idea of stress-free spontaneity, then start with smaller activities before booking the around the world trip two days before departure.

3. Only do things you really enjoy

As we mentioned above, fun and stress-free is the key to becoming more spontaneous. If you love the idea of something you’re more likely to do it. Don’t pressure yourself to do something that you’re not sure you will enjoy but do remember that stepping outside of your comfort zone can produce rich experiences too.

You could be in Cornwall this weekend…

Let us help you be spontaneous

You can fly direct into Newquay airport from across the UK and the rest of Europe (see here for an interactive map). London airports flying directly to Newquay are Heathrow, Gatwick and Southend.

The Scarlet hotel is just a six minute drive or taxi ride from the airport and if you want to do a bit of exploring during your stay, there is car hire available at the airport:

We have a number of special breaks and offers to explore, or in the true art of spontaneity speak to our reservations team who are on hand seven days a week to help you tailor your stay no matter how last minute.

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