Many great thinkers have argued that curiosity is the bedrock of all of human civilization. Our amazing natural tendency to ask why and how, and to seek those answers has lead to wonders both large and small. From the engineering feats of skyscrapers and space travel, to the technological marvels of the internet and artificial intelligence, science and everything it offers us is fueled by curiosity.
The fields of biology, nutrition and medicine are no exceptions. The human body is a wildly complex system, and one that scientists are still figuring out, even after centuries of inquiry. We learn more every day, and research to advance that learning is going on as I write these words.
It’s curiosity that lead you here! Your desire to learn more, to understand more deeply, and to engage with the often complicated field of physiology, has lead you to the road less traveled, yet much more rewarding. If you’ve ever fretted about whether you should ask less questions or ought to blindly accept what the Medical Establishment or popular opinion are preaching, then today’s post is here to reassure you that you’re on the right track.
Curiosity is actually making you healthier, so let’s have a look at how.
1. Curious People Handle Complexity Better
A curious mind helps you handle complexity. Being able to comprehend and navigate complex information, problems and situations is a skill that serves you well in multiple parts of your life: in your work, in your relationships, and in managing your health.
The first way it does this is by making you more tolerant of ambiguity. Sometimes the answer isn’t A or B. Sometimes the answer is a little of both… and a little of neither. For a person lacking in curiosity this complexity might cause them to give up on understanding the problem. A curious mind is able to hold ambiguity and nuance while continuing to advance toward new understandings.
Complex systems like the human body contain nuanced elements like this that can frustrate a less curious mind. That frustration can lead to oversimplified and unexamined solutions: like believing that a drug can solve all your problems.
By contrast a curious mind is able, and sometimes even excited, to consider the reality of our biology: we are a many-layered set of interconnected systems influenced by a large number variables. A willingness to dive into and accept the multiplicity, the nuance, and the ambiguity involved, helps curious minds to understand more about themselves and to make smarter choices as a result.
The second way that curiosity helps you navigate complexity is through a high level of intellectual investment: curious people invest in learning and knowing.1 The accumulation of knowledge that results helps to understand complex situations and how they work.
The relationship to health here is clear: when you’re dealing with something as multifaceted and expansive as the workings of the human body, knowing more (and always wanting to know more!) helps you to make sense of it all… and make the best decisions as a result.
This super-power that curiosity gives us, the ability to conquer complexity, translates and relates to many other benefits.
2. Curiosity Helps Us Survive
While this may often prove true on an individual level, curiosity also helped human beings to survive the ages and become, well, human beings!
We are curious because the early humans who survived long enough to reproduce were curious. Their brains did something a little different when presented with something new to figure out or understand: it released a spurt of feel-good neurochemicals like dopamine. That positive reinforcement lead to a pattern of curiosity and innovation, tackling problems and creating solutions.
It’s not a stretch to suggest that curiosity is a trait that helped our ancestors live longer and support more offspring than less curious individuals. That’s the basic function of evolution: the traits that help keep the species stay alive and thrive get passed along.
3. Curiosity Increases The Odds Of Success
One study on predictors of academic performance found that intellectual curiosity is a core determinant of academic achievement.2 A ‘hungry mind’ is an essential trait for success; just as much as ability and effort. It leads to more enjoyment of participation and greater learning, engagement and performance both in academic and professional settings.
This penchant for success makes sense in other contexts as well. Curious people are naturally predisposed to look deeper and seek better answers to difficult questions. When you’re at work, that trait helps you accomplish your goals with ingenuity and depth. Research has shown the benefits of curiosity to job performance.3
When you’re putting your mind to a different task, like figuring out how best to address a health problem, the same principle applies. A curious mind will dig into complexity, accrue knowledge, and navigate nuanced solutions. That sounds like Savers to me!
4. Curiosity Leads To More Happiness
Studies have shown that people with a healthy sense of curiosity exhibit lower anxiety, more positive emotions, higher levels of satisfaction with life and generally greater psychological well-being.4
Perhaps this has to do with the way in which curiosity stimulates the positive feedback centers of the brain. Or maybe curiosity leads to figuring out how to achieve those results. Either way, staying positive keeps you well, as high levels of anxiety are detrimental to your health, including your bone health.
The acidifying stress hormone cortisol leads directly to the destruction of bone: it robs bone cells of potassium and interferes with the intestinal absorption of calcium. Studies have shown the negative relationship between between cortisol and bone health.5 If curiosity helps keep anxiety and negativity at bay, then it’s helping your bones stay strong!
5. Curiosity Builds Empathy
Individuals who are curious enough to learn about the lives and inner worlds of people different from themselves have the opportunity to build a broad base of empathy. That empathy allows for compassionate communication, the development of trust, and cross-cultural problem solving that has access to a wide variety ideas and perspectives.
The empathy that comes from learning about others also creates the opportunity to learn from others. The sharing of information within a community of people who have different experiences is a powerful resource for everyone involved. If you want a great example of this sort of community, just check out the comment section below our articles here. The Saver community has provided a wealth of support and shared experience on their journey to reverse osteoporosis and osteopenia.
6. Curiosity Improves Healthcare
Research confirms that when a doctor is curious about their patient’s point of view, both parties experience less frustration and make better decisions.6 Cultivate curious medical professionals in your life. You’re curious, and hungry to understand your health and all of the options available to improve it. You deserve a doctor who is no less curious and excited about the potential for positive change.
There are great doctors out there, and their level of curiosity is one way to identify them. If a doctor doesn’t show much interested in the way you’d like to improve your health… you should consider finding a new doctor.
And beyond your relationship with a medical practitioner, the entire field benefits from curiosity. In fact, the scientific research cited in this article wouldn’t exist without scientists who were curious about curiosity! Fortunately for us, there are a great many scientists who have used this mental motivator to conduct rigorous experiments that illuminate the workings of our bodies.
It’s that sort of research that provides information about the relationships between nutrition, lifestyle and bone health that are the basis for the Save Institute’s holistic and natural approach to building stronger bones. And while you could argue that it’s curiosity about the interplay of specific enzymes and hormones in the bone creation process that lead to the creation of risky and ineffective osteoporosis drugs, it’s also curiosity that fueled the research that has proven those drugs to be dangerous and unhelpful.
Curiosity is what lead me to write the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, and the same drive leads Savers to learn from it and apply that knowledge to build stronger bones and live fuller lives. Your curiosity is evidenced by the fact that you’re reading these words right now! And if you want to continue to deepen your understanding of how your body builds new bone, and learn how to act on that understanding, if you haven’t yet, check out the Osteoporosis Reversal Program today.
Stop Worrying About Your Bone Loss
Join thousands of Savers from around the world who have reversed or prevented their bone loss naturally and scientifically with the Osteoporosis Reversal Program.
Keep asking questions. Keep seeking better, healthier, more natural solutions. Stay curious!
1 von Stumm S1, Ackerman PL. “Investment and intellect: a review and meta-analysis.” Psychol Bull. 2013 Jul;139(4):841-69. Web: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23231531?report=abstract
2 Sophie von Stumm, Benedikt Hell and Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic. “The Hungry Mind : Intellectual Curiosity Is the Third Pillar of Academic Performance “ Perspectives on Psychological Science. 2011 6: 574. Web: http://www.drtomascp.com/uploads/HungryMind_PPS_2011.pdf
3 Reio, T. G. and Wiswell, A., “Field investigation of the relationship among adult curiosity, workplace learning, and job performance.” Human Resource Development Quarterly, 11: 5–30. 2000. Web: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/1532-1096(200021)11:1%3C5::AID-HRDQ2%3E3.0.CO;2-A/abstract
4 Todd B. Kashdan , Paul Rose & Frank D. Fincham. “Curiosity and Exploration: Facilitating Positive Subjective Experiences and Personal Growth Opportunities.” Journal of Personality Assessment. Volume 82, 2004 – Issue 3, Pgs: 291-305. 10 Jun 2010. Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/citedby/10.1207/s15327752jpa8203_05
5 Adinoff, Allen D., M.D. and Hollister, Roger J., M.D. “Steroid-Induced Fractures and Bone Loss in Patients with Asthma.” New England Journal of Medicine. August 4, 1983. 309:265-268. Web. http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJM198308043090502
6 Sarah Yang. “Researcher offers steps to help doctors move past anger with patients.” U.C. Berkeley News. 08 May 2007. Web: http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2007/05/08_doctorpatient.shtml