If you think you’ll reach an age in life when you don’t have to learn anything new anymore, you’ll miss out on many enriching experiences.
It’s true that most of us finish high school or maybe even college and feel like we’re tired of taking in new information. We just don’t want to learn anymore.
However, aging experts insist that learning something new keeps our minds and mental health in better shape than not taking in new info. Maybe you get home after work and think, “I’m too tired to do anymore thinking today.” You might be pleasantly surprised at how you can rest some areas of your mind while giving other areas a good work-out!
Consider these ideas:
1. Read something. The best way to absorb new information is to read. You’re likely surrounded by reading material. Your daily newspaper, magazines received in the mail, or pamphlets you pick up at the doctor’s office can provide your brain with new stuff to ponder.
2. Dive into a topic. Pursuing a subject you’re interested in is the most fun way to learn. If you always wanted to know about birds and bird-watching, check out the subjects on the internet. Better yet, purchase a good book about it, maybe The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds.
- When it’s a subject you’re interested in, you’ll be endlessly fascinated by the new facts you learn. You’ll be intrinsically motivated to read more and more about your favored subject. As you consistently seek new information to learn, your mind will stay active and work well for you.
3. Listen to books on audio. If you don’t claim to be an avid reader, then have books read to you! After all, who doesn’t love a good story? Expand your repertoire through listening to audio books. They’re free from your library and can be loaned to you at no cost online.
4. Work crossword puzzles. If you’re an avid puzzler, you know how much you learn when you work your daily crossword. To be a good crossword puzzle worker, have a dictionary handy at all times. You’ll be looking up plenty of new words and learning them. What a fun way to keep learning all your life!
5. Join a club. Find a club that focuses on a subject in which you’re already interested. So, if you’ve always wanted to know more about woodworking, join the local woodworking group. You’ll learn by observing and also by doing. Plus, you’ll have a beautiful piece of work to admire when you finish a project.
6. Get out more. When you’re relating with others, you gain new knowledge. And you discover and experience new things. Make it a point to get out and about at least weekly.
7. Go window-shopping. It’s not spending money that expands your mind; it’s going in the stores and exploring what’s new. New items are being invented every day. You’ve probably never thought of window-shopping as a learning exploration, but at the rate technology is growing these days, it is.
8. Play video games. Even video games can help you sharpen your attention span, memory, and increase learning. Trivia games like Jeopardy or those that simply ask questions and then reveal the correct response keep your mind sharp. Find educational video games to suit your interests.
9. Explore educational software. From Rosetta Stone, which teaches you to speak different languages, to National Geographic’s Explorer 3D, that provides 3D maps of national parks, what you can learn at home on your computer with a good software program is pretty much unlimited. What a beautiful work-out for your mind!
Make it your personal mantra to never stop learning. It’s fun, it will keep your mind working, and you’ll never run out of fodder for interesting conversation. Put the above strategies to work now and continue to expand your mind. Stay open to the wonders of learning for the rest of your life. You’ll enjoy the results!