Moving is often framed in terms of stress: stress about what we’re leaving behind, stress about what we’re facing, stress about which movers to hire and what to pack or throw away. However, we don’t want people to forget the incredible advantages that only come through moving somewhere new — advantages that may not be available if you stay in the same place.
Are you looking for more than a change of location? Are you hoping for a change of lifestyle or a change in your fundamental character?
Today, we’ll talk about how moving can help you change your bad habits (and develop new good ones), and other changes you might experience when moving, whether it’s to a new city, state, or even a different country.
Our Worst Impulses Are Based on Expectation
Have you ever run into an old friend from high school or college? Did you find yourself “falling into character”—doing and saying things you haven’t since you saw them last?
People are social animals, and much of the “role” we play in others’ lives is based on the role they expect us to play. It’s why we can be the most patient, loving person at work…but can still have immature outbursts when we fight with grown siblings or parents.
Acting teacher Keith Johnstone once wrote, “Many actors have been unable to really ‘find’ a character until they put on make-up, or until they try the wig, or the costume.” He’s talking about the phenomenon of identity cues—sights, sounds, or people that make it hard to change who we are because everything around us tells us we’re still the same.
Relocating pulls us out of our old “character” and our old “role.” We have a chance to be someone new, to play a different part in other people’s lives. Were you always treated like the office gossip at your old job (even when you stopped gossiping)? A new job in a new city lets you take on a new role—a better role that helps move your life forward.
Something as small as a wig can help us change what we think of ourselves. Imagine what a new city can do.
Relocating Makes It Easier to Drop Bad Habits
Most bad habits aren’t conscious. Most people don’t consciously make poor choices repeatedly—instead, our minds get stuck in a “groove” that means we do the same old things every week. After a while, our mind makes an association between environmental triggers and a bad decision.
Take eating, for example. You might not even notice that you always crave ice cream after the end of a stressful work project. To you, the craving comes out of nowhere…but to your brain, there was a specific trigger that cued up your ice cream binge. That’s why fighting habits is nearly impossible: to end the habit, you must also end the trigger.
Moving is one of the best ways to hit the reset button on our bad habits. Because we’re relocating to a brand-new environment, we can end up getting rid of virtually all of our bad-habit triggers. If you have New Year’s Resolutions, don’t wait until January 1—wait until you’re in a new city!
Moving Can Change Your Personality
Some cities and regions are associated with certain types of people or personalities. While some of these may be generalities or stereotypes, there is something to be said about the casual, laid-back Californian versus the busy New Yorker. For some people, moving can influence their personality. Whether or not we’re aware of it, many of us tend to absorb the practices and values of those around us. Geographic location can have a good deal to do with the overall “vibe” or mood of a community.
An interesting study considered the impact that geographic location can have on anxiety, avoidance, and relationships. Upon analyzing data from 127,070 adult participants, researchers at the University of Illinois and Michigan State University found that people living in the Northeast were more likely to be anxious, while people living in the South and West were generally less anxious and more laid back.
Of course, the influence that moving will have on your personality and other aspects of your life will depend on where you move and why. Every person is different and may be affected by moving in various ways.
Reduce Your Moving Stress with AQMS
Although moving may change you in positive ways, it can also be a source of stress. At Affordable Quality Moving and Storage, we are here to alleviate the burden so you can focus on other aspects of your move. We serve customers across Southern California and offer complete packing and unpacking, moving, and storage services to help you with your local, long-distance, or international move. Because our SoCal moving services are customizable, you can find the solution for your needs.
If you’re moving, call Affordable Quality Moving & Storage. Our fully licensed and insured Santa Clarita movers help make life’s biggest changes easy and worry-free. We have offices in Temecula, Santa Clarita, Burbank, and San Diego to better serve you. Contact us today!