Novelty tends to increase levels of dopamine in the brain, which is part of the brain’s “reward center”. Dopamine’s role centers around motivating us to go looking for rewards, and novelty increases that urge. Novelty has also been shown to improve memory and increase the possibilities for learningby making our brains more malleable.
Daniel H. Pink, author of “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” says that what we are ideally looking for is a place of productive discomfort:
“If you’re too comfortable, you’re not productive. And if you’re too uncomfortable, you’re not productive. Like Goldilocks, we can’t be too hot or too cold.”
Finding that middle ground where you are anxious, but where those anxiety levels are still manageable, is what we are looking for. Once you become acclimated to that new level of anxiety, you have successfully expanded your comfort zone.