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Learn Something

Learn Something

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Learn Something infographic
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Description

Learning something new generates new neural connections, and optimizes existing ones. It helps prevent cognitive decline that is normal during the life cycle. You can practice a new physical activity, read something different from your regular interests, or visit a new place amongst various other things.

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Possible Benefits

  • May protect cognitive function
  • May improve mood
  • May reduce stress 
  • May improve motivation
  • May increase productivity
  • May improve thinking skills
  • May increase happiness
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How to Do It

Set a weekly goal to learn something new. You can schedule a specific time to do it. Ideally, it should involve something different from your common routine, your usual places and people. 

To get more benefits, try to match the new activity or knowledge with your goals. For example, if you are an entrepreneur, try to learn something new about your industry or a related field.

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Why it works

  • It has been demonstrated that the brain has the capacity to generate new neurons, a process called neurogenesis. By learning something new, you take advantage of these new cells and your cognition can improve. 
  • Learning something new can change the balance of available neurotransmitters, which can optimize brain functions. 
  • When more knowledge is acquired, your brain has more resources which help to make judgments, decisions and see new perspectives. 
  • Learning something related to your goals increases motivation and improves mood.
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Time Commitment

1-3 hours

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Suggested Frequency

Weekly

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Time of Day

Choose the time that best suits your routine.

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Possible Side Effects

None known.

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Tips

  • Try to learn something that you can use in your daily life. 
  • To get more benefits, combine this habit with socialization from time to time. 
  • Try learning a new language! 
  • Learn to play a musical instrument. 
  • Podcasts and online classes are great for learning new things.
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Supporting Studies and Articles

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  1. Rev up your thinking skills by trying something new. https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthy-aging/rev-up-your-thinking-skills-by-trying-something-new
  2. Learn new things without leaving home. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/learn-new-things-without-leaving-home
  3. A powerful way to improve learning and memory. https://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2016/06/learning-memory
  4. The 40 Best Places to Learn Something New Every Day. https://medium.com/marketing-and-entrepreneurship/the-40-best-places-to-learn-something-new-every-day-68d7faf2dcf6
  5. How to learn something new. https://towardsdatascience.com/how-to-learn-something-new-27b950f16f33
  6. Interaction between emotional state and learning underlies mood instability. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5338993/
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Category

 Mood  Confidence  Productivity  Focus  Creativity  Memory  Sharpness  Motivation
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