Learning – How a learning attitude to life helps keep you happy and well…
Learning something new or a new skill can be useful; it can positively affect our mental wellbeing.
Evidence shows that learning and continuing to learn something throughout our life can help improve and maintain our mental wellbeing. It can help boost our self-confidence and self-esteem as well as helping build a sense of purpose for us and helping us connect with others too.
Learning doesn’t have to mean getting qualifications or professional development, but can mean bringing anything new into our lives, for example learning to swim.
Personally, I always thought learning meant studying, text books and exams. I realised only after my studying that learning a skill doesn’t always need to mean reading, it can mean developing another skill or doing something new that we have not tried before. For me my first true realisation of this came after I graduated and was looking for a sense of direction and where I felt my career was going to lead me.
I started my counsellor training; which was something so very different from all the text book reading I had been doing involving the actual practical skill development and implementation. It made me realise how different a learning experience can be and the misconceptions of learning that I had. It didn’t need to be hard work at all; what it needed to be was just me being present with my clients and listening. Learning in this instance became something I enjoyed which then became my profession and not something I felt like I needed to work hard at.
This then led me into a continuing desire to learn and I started attending yoga lessons, which now is something I am passionate about. It was something which I needed to do in order to look after my own health and wellbeing. It started to allow me to de-stress and develop my social interactions with others too. It enabled me to feel comfortable, confident and my self-esteem grew too whilst making connections and learning something new, something I thought I never would. This then prompted me to try other things and increased my curiosity.
If, like me, you feel that you might not be sure of what you would like to do but want to try something different in order to help your own wellbeing and motivation, just do it! Get learning. Swap a skill with a friend or pair up to try a new activity. This can help you get involved in something you might not try without the prompt or support.
Health & Wellbeing Adviser
Work and Health Programme - Central