You can learn in many places other than the classroom. You can learn from your work, the internet, a book, and from human interaction. It is essential to keep learning to keep your brain sharp and to become a wiser individual. Retirement is an excellent time to really excel in learning, as you will find that you have an abundance of free time and you know what truly interests you. But why else should you keep learning? Here are five reasons it’s a great idea to learn in your golden years.
1. Improve brain health
There are many changes that happen to the brain throughout your life, especially in your senior years. Seniors can experience a cognitive decline when they age, which is why it’s important to continue exercising the brain to improve cognitive function.
Although it’s hard to alter your brain, there are lifestyle changes you can make that could make a difference. According to the Women’s Brain Project, education is one of the biggest adjustable factors to enjoying better mental health. The education you can obtain doesn’t have to be out of a textbook; it can be learning a new skill or learning through a hobby.
When you learn something new, the neurons in your brain stimulate, which can help you retain new information and enhance your overall thinking and problem-solving capabilities. For example, a study published by NCBI states that older adults who learned a new hobby, such as quilting, had more memory improvement than those who did not learn a new skill.
2. Enhance your creativity
One of the greatest aspects that come along with learning is creativity. Being creative helps stimulate the brain, and the more creative you can be, the more your brain benefits from it. When you try and learn new things, your brain must maneuver in a new way, as well. For instance, if you learn how to paint or take up photography, you may notice that new ideas keep popping up in your brain, which is what you want.
Being creative and thinking of new ideas can improve both your physical and mental health. For example, researchers have found that creativity in your golden years can help you with personal growth, independence, human interaction and improve your overall health.
3. Overcome challenges
If you are always on the go or the designated babysitter for the grandkids, you may find that learning in your golden years can be challenging. However, being challenged is a good thing! When learning is challenging, you are learning new skills while also learning your subject. The learning will never end!
Taking on challenges can help improve your problem-solving, as well as time management. The more you take on daily challenges by learning, the more you will improve your self-confidence and creativity, and not to mention, it will add to your list of achievements.
4. Meet new people
Learning in a classroom is a great way to meet new, diverse people from various backgrounds. When you attend a lecture or seminar, you are surrounded by people who obviously have similar interests as you – hence why they are there. For example, if you take a crocheting class, you know that everyone there is also interested in crochet.
A classroom setting is a great ice breaker when it comes to making new friends. You can speak with your classmates about the different topics and gather their opinions and viewpoints on said topics, which can benefit you in the real world. Learning in your golden years can keep you entertained and open the door to many new friendships.
5. Enjoy yourself
One of the greatest aspects of retirement is having time for yourself and focusing on yourself. If there has been a subject or skill you have always wanted to learn, now is the time to do it. Whether it be cooking, swimming, writing, or learning a new language, now is the time to master it and enjoy yourself while doing so.
Studies have shown that your overall mood will boost when you engage in a hobby you enjoy while your stress levels decrease. Learning a new skill can also teach you more about yourself. When you engage in something you are not used to, you can un-veil your true talents, which can improve your self-esteem.
We will continue to learn throughout our lives, but your golden years are the ideal time to learn something for you and no one else. If there is a subject, skill, or sport you have been dying to learn your whole life, what better time than your golden years to master it?