Want to live a happy and fulfilled life? According to research, the answer might involve constantly making the decision to learn new things. French lessons, anyone?
Studies have shown that exercising your brain can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, but who would have thought it could lead to a happier outlook on life at the same time? Learning new information and skills is, in fact, a core need for psychological wellbeing. Taking the time to learn something new helps us not only build confidence and self-efficacy but it also frees us from the repetitive cycles our brains fall into when not stimulated enough.
Learning fuels our creativity, builds our knowledge and provides us with a great sense of fulfilment. Becoming so absorbed in an activity, also known as ‘flow’ or ‘being in the zone’, makes us lose track of time as well as our surroundings. Flow also, once we come out of it, leaves us feeling energised with a great sense of satisfaction because we’ve increased our skill level or achieved something.
Studies have also shown that experiencing something novel releases dopamine which not only leaves us feeling good, but also helps us remember the experience and what was learnt much clearer later on.
More Reasons to Learn:
- Increased confidence – learning a new skill helps build confidence and faith in your own ability.
- Personal development – learning new skills can help you find out more about yourself like your likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, your character and interests.
- Good for your career – whether the skill is career related or not, learning new skills help you create a well-rounded character and expands your mind to be creative in your approach to your job.
- Great for your brain health – as we mentioned above, learning is excellent at keeping your mind stimulated and sharp.
- Increased independence – the more you know how to do, the less you’ll need to depend on others.
The best part? What you decide to learn can be free! You don’t have to enrol in a class or obtain a degree – it can be as simple as trying a new recipe, reading an insightful book, trying your hand at knitting or surfing, or even gardening. Whatever takes your fancy, do it!