05 Jun 2018

THE RELEVANCE OF HEALTHY LEARNING

Have you ever sat in a quiet place enjoyed studying? Do you remember the fulfillment you felt when you last settled into a difficult task, whether a math problem or a foreign language course and found yourself making breakthrough progress? Have you ever worked with a team of friends or colleagues to master difficult material or create something new? Or broken through learning online? These experiences can be electrifying. Education has an impact on health so it would be an expression of what makes every person so special and unique.

Learning is positive for health and even for short periods of time; dramatically reduce your stress levels. Those who dedicate themselves to learning and who exhibit curiosity are almost always happier and more socially and professionally engaging than those who don’t.

The reasons to continue learning are many, and the weight of the evidence would indicate that lifelong healthy learning isn’t simply an economic imperative but a social, emotional, and physical one as well. We live in an age of abundant opportunity for learning and development. Capturing that opportunity, maintaining our curiosity and intellectual humility can be one of life’s most rewarding pursuits. We are uniquely endowed with the capacity for learning, creation, and intellectual advancement.

Education has been widely documented by researchers as the single variable tied most directly to improved health and longevity. And when people are intensely engaged in doing and learning new things especially, their well-being and happiness can blossom. This effect becomes even more valuable as we get older. Even in old age, it turns out, our brains have more plasticity to adapt and help us than was once thought. In terms of happiness, a close companion of learning is the degree of engagement people have with tasks that provide them knowledge and fulfillment. People who are intensely absorbed in a task can lose track of time and place. Hours pass like minutes. They may be tired by the task but emerge energized and happy.

The benefits of learning and engagement are particularly important in promoting the healthy. Our mind is really like a muscle, and using it is a key to lifelong mental health, and as we get older, the primary goal is to choose something that teaches you an entirely new skill; simply practicing what you’re already good at doesn’t count. Pick an activity whose proficiency requires your full attention and sustained concentration. It is more important to find things to do that light up our lives because the minds are central to this effort, and thrive when we are finding new things for them to do.

 The greatest improvement was for the people who learned digitally, but whether it’s acquiring a new skill or language, joining a new group and meeting new people, or finding ways to continue using existing skills, as we grow older, we are built upon patterns of healthy lifelong learning.

 

Article by: Blessing Bassey

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