If learners have a decreased risk of dementia – who not keep learning?

Are there both mental and physical benefits to learning a new skill?
05/17/2022

Are there both mental and physical benefits to learning a new skill?

A new skill can give you the mental and physical boost you need, whether you are unmotivated, have extra time on your hands, or you are trying to break out of a bad situation. Learning is an essential life skill that benefits the brain of people of all ages.

A new hobby or skill can inspire you to get out of bed in the morning. Learning a new language, playing an instrument, writing, drawing, or gardening can all fill you with a sense of purpose and vitality. It’s easy to lose interest in life if you do the same thing over and over again, but trying something new, even if it’s more work, can have far-reaching benefits.

“As you take on a new skill, the mind begins to reshape itself because the physical brain is malleable. Previously, it was thought that it was only malleable until adolescence. However, now the research shows it can keep changing throughout our lives and for the better, so you have fewer fear responses and a more positive mindset.” Dennis Buttimer, M.Ed, CEAP, RYT, CHC.

People seek to learn new skills for a variety of reasons, including for personal enrichment. You may need to learn new skills in order to stay up with technological improvements or to take advantage of new techniques. The benefits of mastering a new skill go well beyond the skill itself. When acquiring a new skill, here are some of the most important advantages:

  1. Your brain’s chemistry changes. Myelin is the white matter in your brain that enhances your ability to conduct a wide range of activities. The myelin in people’s brains gets denser as they practise new skills, making learning easier.
  2. Makes it easier to learn. When you learn a new skill, you will be able to learn more quickly. Activating neurons in the brain develops new neural pathways and electrical impulses travel faster across them as you try to interpret new information. The faster impulses can travel, the more paths there are.
  3. Establishing relationships is a vital part of this step. New talents can be learned more effectively when they are tied up with your existing expertise. It’s easier for people to learn new skills when they have a strong foundation in previous expertise.
  4.  It’s a lot of fun to be around. More in common and easier to connect with others can be found in well-rounded individuals. Being a more interesting person will make you more attractive to others, which will improve the quality of your relationships and your life as a whole.
  5. Stasis can be induced by boredom. When you’re always learning, you’re less likely to become bored. New skills break the monotony loop and keep boredom at bay when doing the same things over and over.
  6. You are better able to deal with change because you are more flexible. Your mind and perceptions evolve when you learn something new, making it easier for you to adapt to the inevitable changes that life delivers. The more life experiences you’ve had, the easier it is to adjust to new situations.
  7. It’s possible that it could help prevent dementia. Learners have a decreased risk of dementia, which has been linked to brain demyelination, than non-learners. Neuronal pathways are ready for new impulses in the brains of people who are actively learning new skills.

Adding value to your surroundings is an important part of this. It has been discovered that positive brain alterations are facilitated by learning environments that provide numerous opportunities for focused attention, novelty, and challenge. Enhancing your environment has long-term benefits for the brain, especially during childhood and adolescence.

Learning a new skill, whether for work or pleasure, will benefit you in the long run. Think about why you want to master a new talent in the first place. The answer to this question depends on what you’re looking to accomplish. Once you have a goal in mind, you may focus on honing a certain skill.

In addition, it’s important to reflect on how you learn. Assimilation of material is much faster when you use this strategy than when you try to study using a way you aren’t familiar with. Consider your own learning style.

For visual learners, sign up for a video-based class. If you want to learn more about a subject, look for a course rather than a one-time class. If you learn best by reading, then head to your local library and check out a few titles to read. In the event that you prefer to learn by listening, download some podcasts or a book on audio. Make the decision based on what you believe is in your best interests.

The goal of learning a new skill is to have fun while doing it. You don’t have to be flawless or feel obligated to accomplish anything in order to benefit from this; all you need to do is be receptive and open.

 

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