This week, we are going to look at the fifth spoke in the wheel of building mental resilience: Learning
Mental resilience can be thought of as a wheel travelling down a road. Life’s obstacles that put pressure on your mental health are like pot holes in the road. They test the strength of your mental health. So, it isn’t surprising that the ability to learn is a vital part of this.
We Are All Learners
In 2010, Nula Ochs received her Master’s degree after three years of studying. Nula was 98 years old! It’s clear that learning is not just for children and young people. It’s something that we all should strive to continue doing.
Benefits of Learning
Some studies have shown that learning throughout life is associated with greater satisfaction and optimism, and also an improved ability to get the most from life.
For example, in a 2004 study, some 145 adults were interviewed about learning throughout life in addition to various aspects of their health and well-being. The study found that people who involved themselves in more learning reported feeling higher self-esteem and a greater ability to cope with stress. They also reported more feelings of self-confidence, hope and purpose.
Set Targets for Yourself
Some scientists think that setting goals and working towards them plays an important role in the way learning influences well-being. Setting targets and achieving them can create positive feelings of accomplishment and achievement.
A word of warning: make sure your targets are realistic and achievable. Otherwise you could be setting yourself up to fail.
Things to Do and New Ways to Learn
Classes and formal courses are great ways to learn new things, but there are lots of other ways to do so as well.
Here are some easy ways to integrate more learning into your life:
- Learn to cook a special meal 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 – Become an expert at it
- Fix that broken bike or garden gate – Once you’ve done that, how about choosing a bigger DIY project for yourself?
- Sign up for a course you’ve been meaning to take at a night school or college –You might learn a new language, or try something else practical such as plumbing or home brewing
- Rediscover an old hobby that challenges you, whether it’s making model aeroplanes, writing stories, sewing, or even rapping!
Remember that learning is a journey, not a destination!