By: Guest Author
Published: March 11, 2022
Written By Sarah Kaminski- Guest Contributor
“I’m too old to learn something new” – if you haven’t said that yourself at some point, you’ve surely heard other people say it way too often.
It’s a common (and really poor) excuse – or rather, an all-too-common misconception. Just think about how many people in their 70s or even 80s have mastered technology, especially in the time of coronavirus, when that was their only way of communicating with their loved ones. Think about Kansas woman Nola Ochs, who graduated college at 95. She continued taking classes until she was 100. Nola earned a master’s degree at the age of 98.
Maybe you can’t see the point of Nola’s degrees, knowing that she passed away at the age of 105 and that she couldn’t use her diplomas to find a job, but as Nola herself said, the pursuit gave her contentment. Learning is not just about the material benefits. It is also about nurturing our mental health and overall happiness.
Here are some reasons why you should never stop learning new things.
Learning Improves Your Memory
As we get older, our ability to memorize things decreases. At times, it can even be problematic to get around the neighborhood or remember to buy everything you wanted at the supermarket. It’s even possible to lose some memories, which would be like losing a part of your personality. You can prevent that by living a mentally active life. While any kind of brain exercise is better than doing nothing, the best way to keep your memory in shape is by learning something new or mastering a new skill.
It Gives You a Sense of Accomplishment
Obtaining new knowledge is like updating a computer program. You perform your daily tasks better and become better able to relate to your surroundings and other people. This will make you feel more confident and boost your sense of accomplishment. And it doesn’t matter what you choose to learn. It might be a new skill regarding the use of technology, or you might want to learn the most common Spanish words to use while traveling to Spanish-speaking countries. Whatever it is, acquiring new knowledge will enrich your personality and make you feel proud of yourself.
You Can Find out Something New About Yourself
You never know until you try – it may sound like a simple phrase to you, but it’s true. You might try learning a foreign language out of pure curiosity or start dancing lessons just for fun and end up finding out you have a gift for these things. The process of trying out new things and expanding your knowledge will help you discover the hobbies and activities that make you happy and fulfilled.
It Makes You Believe in Yourself
Self-confidence is an important aspect of happiness. Some people gain confidence through the years, while others lose it easily due to the changing circumstances. As we grow older, our bodies and minds are inevitably changing, and that can make us lose sight of our true selves or even become unsatisfied with what we see in the mirror. Learning a new skill makes you feel better about yourself. It shows you how you can make progress with anything when you put in the time and effort.
Constant Learning Keeps You Relevant
Have you ever found yourself sitting with some younger relatives – kids or adolescents especially – while not having any idea what they are talking about?
Constant learning keeps you in the loop. You won’t have the same interests and pastimes as your younger relatives, but putting in the mental effort to stay just a bit up to date with their world will make the time you spend together more pleasant for you as well as for them. Quite simply, it won’t feel like you’re living in entirely different worlds.
It Improves Your Social Life
Speaking of communication, our social circles get narrower with time. In high school, we had a bunch of friends. In college, there was a smaller group. Once we found employment, there were two or three friends who stuck around. That’s how it is for most people.
Taking a course in a foreign language, yoga, origami, or anything you like is a great opportunity to meet new people of similar interests. Who knows, maybe they will become lifelong friends!
Ideas for Your New Learning Challenges
If these were reasons enough to consider learning new things, here are a few ideas that could be interesting:
● Practice yoga and meditation. There are YouTube tutorials that can work for you but until you get the hang of it, consider taking a few “live” lessons with an instructor. It could be a great opportunity to meet like-minded people!
● Master a foreign language. Pick some you always wanted to know or that will help you with your future travels.
● Go dancing. Physical activity is important, but exercise doesn’t have to be hard work. Many dances are suitable for all ages and physical skills.
● Try gardening. You’ll spend more time outdoors, and you can eat the fruits of your labor.
● Try painting or photography. It’s a great way to tune in to your surroundings and nurture your creative spirit.
These are just a few ideas we’ve given you here. The point is: whatever you opt for, learning something new will enrich you and benefit you in quite a few ways. Give it some thought – perhaps there was something you wished you’d learned all these years, but you never had the time? Well, now is the time!
Sarah is a life enjoyer, positivity seeker, and a curiosity enthusiast. She is passionate about an eco-friendly lifestyle and adores her cats. She is an avid reader who loves to travel when time allows.
The views expressed herein this article, written by a guest contributor, do not necessarily represent those of the Red Hot Mamas organization. The content is for informational purposes and should not substitute the advice of your doctor.