Although my school days are long behind me, I get a real buzz from learning new things and having new experiences. I have enjoyed consistently learning all of my life. Not only does learning keep me mentally healthy, as I am exercising my brain, but it also gives me confidence and reduces my fear of things unknown. My brain is used to a challenge and so unexpected ones are less daunting.
Learning also reduces stress for me and has made me more resiliant. Studies show a link between reduced depression and those who are actively learning. When I suffered burnout, I learned to become a driving instructor, as I thought that I was going to lose my job. I am sure that the sense of accomplishment from passing the exams and the distraction through learning really helped me heal. I have never used that knowledge professionally, but it has never felt like a waste of time or money.
Our brain can change and grow as we age but it needs consistency in order for us to build new neural pathways, and to stop the brain degenerating. I guess that is at the back of my mind with my Mum having died of dementia. Albert Einstein said that once you stop learning you start dying. I want to keep up with life, which is constantly changing, and want to understand my grandchild’s knowledge. A computer was a room full of machines, when I was at school, and I only saw them in sci fi films on the television. Now I am constantly trying to improve my skills on one and hope to learn how to put posts on my website and learn to edit videos this month. It feels so scary, and frustrating at times, but I want to keep growing, I want to keep flourishing, and I want to be the best version of myself, and the person I was meant to be. Constantly learning the skills of foraging and cooking meals with little, also stretches my imagination and brings out my creativity, as well as saves me money. Are you learning any new skills at the moment that are helping you?