Learning new skills can be useful and even better it can positively affect our well-being. Learning doesn’t mean having to enroll in courses or to get qualifications. There are many ways to bring learning into your life.
Many of us associate learning with childhood or our student days. As adults, it can seem as though we have less time or need to learn new things. Learning can help improve and maintain our well-being, it can boost self-confidence and self-esteem, help build a sense of purpose, and connection with others. People engaged in learning report feeling better about themselves and a greater ability to cope with stress, as well has feeling more self confidence, hope and purpose.
Some scientists think that setting goals and working towards them plays an important role in the way learning influences well-being. Setting targets and hitting them can create positive feelings of accomplishment and achievement.
Give learning a go
If you want to make learning a bigger part of your life, it helps to think about learning in the broadest sense. Classes and formal courses are great ways to learn new things, but there are lots of other ways too. You might:
- Learn to cook a favourite dish that you’ve never eaten at home.
- Visit a gallery or museum and learn about a person or period in history that interests you.
- Take on a new responsibility at work, such as learning to use an IT system or understanding the monthly reports.
- Fix that broken bike or garden gate. Once you’ve done that, how about setting yourself a bigger DIY project?
- Sign up for a course you’ve been meaning to do at a local community centre.
- You might learn a new language, or try something practical such as plumbing.
- Rediscover an old hobby that challenges you, whether it’s making model aeroplanes, writing stories, drawing or painting.
- Visit a local men’s shed or check out a community group and see what they have to offer.
Check out these sites
The internet is making it easier for us all to keep on learning in new and interesting ways and in the process enhance our well-being. It is worth checking out these free resources and sites.
- TED Ideas worth spreading
- The Khan Academy for free world class education.
- The Creativity Portal helps you to explore arts, crafts, music, and writing.