The benefit of learning new things

Ever fancied learning the guitar or a new language? Perhaps you’ve always wanted try surfing or learn how to cook French food?

Whatever your interest and whatever your age, learning something new is not only fun, it can also be good for you.

Pick something you’re interested in or have wanted to learn or try for a while and give it a go!

Here are some of the benefits you could gain from learning something new:

1. Improve your brain function

Research shows there are several ways to improve the health of your brain and learning something new is one of them. ‘Mental sweat’ helps your brain build new cells and strengthen connections between the cells. When you learn something new you are exercising your brain, which can help improve cognitive functions such as concentration, attention to detail, memory recall and problem solving, and also reduce the chance of developing dementia. 

2. Meet new people

Taking up a new hobby or sport or going to a class to learn something new is a great way to meet new people. Not only will you learn something, but you’ll also spend time with other people who have a similar interest and potentially make new friends.

3. Become involved in your community

Depending on what you learn, you may develop a sense of feeling more connected to your community. Coming together with other locals for a common purpose will help give you a sense of community and belonging and may benefit the place you live in.

4. Feel good about your new skill

There is nothing more satisfying than a sense of achievement. Setting yourself a goal to learn something new, then achieving it, is super rewarding and gives you a sense of accomplishment.

5. Have fun

While learning something new may be challenging, it can also be heaps of fun. Most people won’t great at something they haven’t tried before when they first start, but it can be really enjoyable to be pushed out of your comfort zone when you try something new.

References

  1. Get started with the brain health challenge Alzheimers New Zealand 
  2. Rev up your thinking skills by trying something new Harvard Health Publishing, US, 2015 
  3. Train your brain Harvard Health Publishing, US, 2018  
  4. 13 brain exercises to help keep you mentally sharp Healthline, US, 2019