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Avoiding the Groundhog Day Syndrome

How to break out of your rut.

In the movie Groundhog Day, Bill Murray's character keeps reliving the same day over and over. Do you ever have that feeling that each day is the same and that you are living in a rut? Repeating the same events over and over is a main reason that time seems to pass more quickly as you get older.

Doing things for the first time typically leaves a lasting impression (remember your first day of school or a new job?), but as we repeat those events over and over they essentially leave little or no vivid memory, and time seems to fly by. Your life seems to be one series of repetition and boredom - you get into the rut.

How do you get out of it? In the movie, Bill Murray's character tries to improve himself each day. He learns to play the piano, becomes a good Samaritan, and learns to successfully court his love. How can you avoid your own personal Groundhog Day?

Try new things. Go to a new place for lunch or dinner. Try a new sport or form of entertainment, or take a trip to somewhere you have never been before.

Do something unique at work each day to make that workday special.

Meet new people, or get to know one of those "acquaintances" you pass each day at the coffee stand better.

In short, to break out of the rut, break down your old routines. Although routines may be familiar and comforting, they also lead to a perception that time is passing more quickly, and the world is passing us by.

More from Ronald E. Riggio Ph.D.
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