Keep learning new things

Did your parents ever tell you to “learn something new every day”? It’s a common little catch phrase with a singsong ring to it that lends itself to being made into a jingle.

As with many phrases that have become cliché, it got that way because of the truth within it.

Although it may not be news, we do know that continuing to learn new things at any stage of life is good for you.

I recently wrote a column about the importance of having purpose in life, and its benefits on cognitive function and protective effects during Alzheimer’s. Continuing to learn new things is similar.

Some research suggests that lifelong learning has beneficial effects for the brain. Some studies show continued learning may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease. We also know it strengthens the area of the brain being used in learning the new task as well as the neighbouring areas.

Studies have also proven the “use it so you don’t lose it” theory treating our brain like a muscle. Learning keeps the brain functioning at a high level.

Not only is learning good for the brain’s circuits, but there are plenty of other great reasons to keep it up. Learning keeps us interested and challenged and wards off boredom. There is no reason life needs to become tedious as we age – there is an unlimited amount of information out there to engage with.

New skills can be helpful in advancing your career making you more employable or versatile. This is particularly useful in a slower economy and in a working world that is forever becoming more specialized.

Continuing to improve yourself is a positive behavior to model for your children. We always like to tell our kids to focus on their schoolwork and truly learn the material and it helps if we show the same level of interest in our own lives.

Learning builds creativity. The more we have to draw on, the more different ways we can look at a subject or discern a solution to a problem.

In our ever changing and technology driven world, continuing to keep up with new information helps us be in touch with those around us and avoid being hopelessly out of date. Thankfully, technology also helps us access an incredible amount of information from the comfort of our own homes. We can do this formally through online courses and tutorials or informally in self-directed study.

The best part of it all is that we can keep finding subjects we enjoy. With such a wealth of topics and information at our disposal, there truly is something for everyone and continuing to learn really should not be a chore but simply our curiosity set free.

I do hope you are able to take hold of the joy of learning something new every day.

 

Current Studies

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