Why Learning New Skills Will Make You Happier

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We come into this world, as blank slates. We do not know how it works or what perils it holds. Maybe that is why we cry when we are born; maybe the fear of the unknown is hard-wired into our DNA. What we learn from that point on is what makes us the person we are today. Every experience the good ones and the bad. The ones that were happy and the ones that left scars are all lessons. All of them are part of our knowledge base and all of them play a role in shaping our behaviours and our progress in life. Hence, the process of learning about the world and all its rules and dangers is a lifelong endeavour. We grow as we learn and we learn as we grow, it goes both ways.

Despite this we don’t always want to learn in our free time, this is mostly due to our inherent laziness or disinterest. But once you get past this you will realize that time spent learning is time spent well. It might also help if you remember that whatever you learn be it a big doctrine or a small skill it is always useful and that no knowledge is too small.

Even after knowing all of this you may still be on the fence about learning. So, let us look at the vast benefits you will earn through learning.

Increased Self Confidence

This is one of the perks of learning something new. Once you learn a new skill or a new language, you feel more confident as you have more control over the unknown. This feeling the same for everyone and it can be traced back to a natural root. We as humans have a natural desire to learn and progress. This desire is called ‘Mastery’ in psychology. The more you learn the more you feel at ease in the world and in the society.

Research has also shown that adults who indulge in some form learning experience an increase in self-confidence and self-esteem. This is especially true if the learning is to meet the needs of the individual. It has also been observed that this positive impact is larger if the individual is ready to learn and is receptive toward the knowledge being imparted to them.

Increased Feeling of Control Over Your Life

This is another common phenomenon where the individual who learns something new feels more in control and is more confident due to this feeling. Biologically speaking, the neurons in our brain are said to be able to remain healthy as long as we indulge in some form of learning. Hence, in order to promote good brain health, you must keep learning.

But it is okay if you are not up for going back to school or for opening up a book, as learning is not limited to just academics. So, you can pick up a self-help book or watch a tutorial to learn a new skill or to master an old one. Or you can share your knowledge. This will also help you learn. As it is said that the knowledge is the one thing that increases as you give away. Not only this, you will also become more social with your peers as the sharing of knowledge invites new conversations. You will also gain new knowledge from others if you keep your mind and your senses open.

Increased Willingness to Take on a Challenge

As mentioned earlier learning something new increases your self-confidence. It also makes you more open toward stepping out of your comfort zone. This, in turn, makes you more open toward new challenges and opportunities which will eventually pave the way toward you being a better version of yourself. It will make you more successful and respected.

It might also be worth noting that psychologists believe that learning can help to create a feeling of being in a ‘flow’ or a feeling of ‘being in the zone’. This means that you become so engrossed in what you are doing that you lose track of time. The main benefit of this is that when we are in the ‘flow’, the level of challenge in the activity exceeds the level of our skill. This, in turn, will increase our skill as we will be getting feedback from the activity on whether what we are doing is working or not and we would adjust ourselves accordingly. Hence, as our skill increases, the challenge will increase too.

In most cases, we don’t feel anything while we are in the flow because our focus on the task at hand is too intense. But we will get a feeling of euphoria or a deep satisfaction after we complete the task. We will feel a great boost, both from having increased our skill and from having achieved some goal.

Photo by Edu Lauton on Unsplash



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