“Unlike physical progress, which is subject to natural restrictions, the qualities of the mind can be developed limitlessly.”- Dalai Lama

Expanding your knowledge, and keeping your mind active, is indeed, as the Dalai Lama points out, something you can do every day of your life. There are excellent reasons for doing so, many of them even backed quite conclusively by science. Here we are going to take a closer look at those, as well as at some easy ways you can (literally) learn something new every day.

The Health Benefits of Lifelong Learning

Learning new things is beneficial to our brains. According to current research, learning keeps brain cells functioning at their best, which can help prevent cognitive and memory deterioration as we age. The best thing is that the education can take any form. We are keeping our brains healthy as long as we are learning new things, whether that’s how to play a new song, how to speak a new language or even how to play a new video game.

Lifelong learning is good for your mental health, too. Lifelong learning can improve our emotional equilibrium and help us avoid depression, in addition to increasing our chances of feeling fulfilled. This is especially advantageous for older persons, as depression is a common side effect of aging. While there is no cure for aging, lifelong learning can help us stay joyful as we move through life’s stages.

How to Learn Something New Every Day

Taking a six-week course or attending a formal lecture every day is out of the question for many of us. But taking advantage of ordinary opportunities to gain new knowledge, broaden your perspectives, or push your thinking in new areas is something we can all do every day.

There are numerous opportunities to learn something new every day All you have to do is keep an eye out for them and make an effort to take advantage of them. Here are some of our favorite suggestions for learning something new every day:

  • Reconnect with your inner child. Children enjoy trying new things, but as adults, we often ignore the chance to learn something new or assume we already know everything there is to know about it—which is almost never the case with anything or anyone. Imagine yourself as a child again. Examine an unusual object, or subject, from every angle. Pose inquiries. Put it to the test. See what other people have to say about it. Find out what your true feelings are regarding it.
  • Treat errors as learning opportunities rather than failures. When you’re solely concerned with the end result, you’ll pass harsh judgment on your mistakes. Instead, look into the error and see what you can learn from it. Treat figuring out what went wrong as a win in and of itself, and you’ll be more likely to learn from your mistakes and put that information to good use in the future.
  • Get out of the office (whatever you define “office” in your daily life). Break up the routine by going for a walk, eating lunch with someone from a different department, or taking a new route to your next client appointment. If you perform the same activities every day, you’ll miss out on chance interactions and discoveries, as well as the crucial “mind wandering” time that allows you to develop new ideas and make mental connections.
  • Make use of your phone. Let’s face it, you’re already staring at it. Install an app that will provide you with a daily reminder, prompt, question, or tip. You might be inspired by something as simple as a fun learning game, or you might want a more linear planning tool, depending on your tastes. Find a system that works for you and use it to keep yourself on track.
  • Listen to a podcast, view a video, sign up for a newsletter, or read something that challenges you or is about a subject outside of your knowledge. Look for folks that don’t necessarily validate your point of view for variety. Make it a point to keep your thoughts open after that. Every time you meet with them, make a plan to take away one tangible thing.
  • Use your present abilities and hobbies as a springboard to something new. Do you enjoy cooking? Try a recipe from a different cuisine or with a different piece of equipment. Are you someone who likes to tinker with cars? Consider repairing an old one or creating a detailed model. Do you write a lot? Experiment with a literary form you’ve never used before. Consider where you could go next to get inspired.
  • Take a walk. Learning is a cerebral process, and a recent study reveals that physical activity has many more brain benefits than previously thought. Staying active, whether it’s through sports, the treadmill, or dancing, keeps your brain poised for absorbing new information. The goal is to choose activities that you enjoy and that you will continue to do.
  • Play a new game. Whether you like video games, board games or sports games, taking up a new one can provide a learning challenge that even those who think they are averse to learning every day can enjoy!