Emotional wellbeing through learning

Living in the information age, it is easier than ever before to access information. A study conducted by IBM indicated that information is doubling every 12 hours. During the 1900s information doubled only every century. With this vast ocean of information available through digital means, it is quite easy to learn just about anything. Learning a new skill, hobby or simply upskilling is within the reach of anyone with a smartphone and internet connection. The upside to so much information means that learning does not even have to be complicated or time-consuming.

 

Instead of viewing learning as a time-consuming chore, it is good to understand that you can learn simple and quick skills in a matter of minutes. Try breaking it down, instead of viewing learning as this huge obstacle that you are facing. A great example of how learning can affect our emotional wellbeing is by simply taking up a short course in obtaining a skill or hobby that you have wanted to learn all along. It can be anything from knitting, cooking, photography and understanding personal financial planning to more complex skills such as marketing, project management or stock market trading.

 

Learning can be done by stepping out of your comfort zone too. Think of going to new places that you have not been to before, or trying to fix something that you normally would not even consider fixing. Social media is also a great tool that can be utilised, as we can connect with different people from a wide variety of backgrounds.

 

Most learning we gain is linked to some form of digital means. In other words, if you are considering trying a new recipe, you most probably use your smartphone or computer to access an internet browser that will provide you with a list of recipe options to choose from. Alternatively, you get in contact (via digital means) with a friend or family member that has the knowledge and skills to inform you.

 

Understanding that learning is not the tedious chore we used to think it is when sitting in a classroom, the emotional wellbeing of learning has a lot of advantages

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Builds confidence

Gaining new knowledge in an unfamiliar field allows you the opportunity to gain self-confidence in a new field. In return, self-confidence increases your motivation allowing you to push yourself further. At first, it is difficult to fail but with time and experience, we realise that we only fail because we tried something that was outside of our comfort zone. The more you learn, the more confidence you have when realising that you also learn from your failures and mistakes.

Increases problem-solving skills

Exposing yourself to new knowledge will open your mind to new possibilities. Not only due to the fact that you gained new knowledge via learning but also because you will probably connect with individuals that you might not have done if it weren’t for learning a new skill. The method of ‘conceptual blending’ comes to mind here. Conceptual blending refers to the process of combining two or more unrelated concepts to form a new, novel idea.

Creates a sense of purpose

Having a sense of purpose not only increases your mood and morale but also assists in reducing health risks such as dementia, strokes and heart attacks, and even sleep disturbances. An overall positive and happy mindset has several benefits that are linked to a sense of purpose. You will have better job satisfaction and perform better at tasks that might seem more challenging than individuals who do not have a sense of purpose. A sense of purpose also reduces the risk of depression and is in fact contagious. Think about that time you assisted a friend that was in an emotionally difficult state. The moment you feel that you can be of assistance to someone (thus having a sense of purpose) and that they appreciate you, your own morale also increases.

Build new connections

Forming connections can open many doors for you: from leading to new business ventures to resulting in new referrals. These connections can also be a new source of information and advise you on best practices going forward. You can build up networks of individuals from different backgrounds that allows you the opportunity to gain fresh ideas and perspectives. You can be mentored to or become a mentor and learn from your new connections.

Broadens your perspective

By building new connections, you increase your ability to tolerate others. Understanding how and why others view and do things differently, allows you to view it from a different perspective. Stereotyping people is based on the fact that one might not understand the perspective of others as one tends to oversimplify that individual, where in fact we are all constantly adapting, changing and evolving. Having a border perspective will strengthen relationships and also refrain one from being violent as you will have a better understanding of different cultures, habits, religions and personalities.

Lowers anxiety

Lower anxiety levels link in with a broadened perspective in that you will have a better understanding of why people or things behave the way they do. Understanding that we can’t control everything will lower your stress levels in realising that it is ok to not be constantly in charge of every aspect of your life. Also, gaining knowledge through learning will most probably better equip you for unfamiliar situations preparing you to be better prepared.

 

The invention of Johannes Gutenberg known as the movable type printing press was invented back in 1450. In simpler terms, we can technically say that this invention was the first ‘printing machine’. All that this invention did was to make information a lot easier to access by allowing everyone the opportunity to become literate. Understanding that learning was only reserved for the elite back in the day will lead us to the understanding that it is a privilege to have the ability to learn and appreciate the fact that we live in an age where information is readily available. It is simply a matter of taking the opportunity to grow your knowledge.

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