Is exercising your brain the key to a longer, happier life?
We’re often sure to work the muscles in our arms and legs. We feel proud when we get to the gym and get a good workout in—but how often do we think about the muscle activity that happens in our brain, and about giving it a good workout, too? As someone in education, you likely think about boosting students’ brain function all the time. The benefits of a healthy brain are huge. It’s time to think about your own, too.
Like any other muscle, the brain flourishes when it’s put to work. Using it regularly to learn about new ideas and delve into fulfilling experiences keeps it healthy, and studies have repeatedly shown that stimulating the mind not only improves its function, but also reduces the risk of developing all sorts of diseases and suffering from cognitive decline.
Seize your inner smarty-pants
When you think about smart people, you often think about Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking. There have been many people who have been termed “genius” over the years according to society, and all of these individuals have something in common: they never finished learning. They continued to work their brain into their later years, and always pushed to gather more information. Forbes stated that one of the top five traits of extraordinarily intelligent individuals is that they are consistently driven by their curiosity. They ask questions and seek answers on a regular basis. Grow your brain by doing the same.
Take advantage of technology
With the technology of today always at your fingertips, it’s easier to learn new things consistently than it has ever been before. Between videos on YouTube, smart phone apps and websites, you can learn about almost anything that interests you—from how to play a new instrument to how to learn a new language and more. Chances are, the teachers at your school tap into these technologies on a regular basis, but start considering them for you as well. You may be surprised by what’s available. For example, did you know that you can take free online courses from both Harvard and Yale? Also, websites like Open Culture gather exciting courses from leading universities across the world and break them into easily-digestible, downloadable video and audio snippets. Carve out time for delving into the things that have always interested you. Your brain will thank you.
Perks for professionals
Boosting your brain with regular learning can help boost your professional performance, too. When you are focused on continual growth and learning, you also line yourself up for potential promotions. A dedicated commitment to honing your craft is always impressive to supervisors, peers and parents alike. It also shows students that you care about being at your best for them.
The benefits don’t stop there, though. A commitment to being a lifelong learner and giving your brain regular exercise has amazing benefits:
- Lowered Stress Levels – Working in education can be stressful. It comes along with a huge amount of responsibilities. When you learn new things, though, your brain is better at handling stress. People who exercise their brains regularly are shown to have significantly reduced stress levels. Cutting stress has tremendous benefits, too. From being healthier and more energetic to living longer—all good things come from a reducing your stress levels.
- Improved Mental Health – Think of learning new things as the kryptonite that helps break up depression, blues and other mental health issues. Regular learning has even been shown to help postpone the onset of debilitating cognitive diseases, including Alzheimer’s.
- Greater Memory Function –NPR showed a link between learning new skills later in life and improved memory function. What could you do with a top-notch memory?
- More Happiness – Everyone knows that a stimulated brain is a happier brain. Not only can learning help battle anxiety and depression, it can help you to feel happier and more satisfied overall.
- Increased Earning Potential – As you learn and absorb more information, you become more qualified professionally. When you become more qualitied, you can do additional work (for additional income.)
Have you ever been injured and unable to use a muscle for some time? Not only does the muscle lose mass quickly, but it can also atrophy. The same sort of thing can happen to your brain when you stop working it. It can rapidly lose its strength and endurance, and can be more susceptible to mental health issues and cognitive diseases.Just as your school does for its students, you can start by making a commitment to yourself to regularly exercise your brain. Investing in your mental well-being by committing to lifelong learning is truly one of the most valuable things that you can do for your future. Increase your success and tap into unused potential—you can accomplish things that you may have never thought were possible.
Lindsey Elias, Marketing
As our Marketing Content Manager, Lindsey is passionate about producing quality content. When not at the office or planning her next Disney getaway, she loves hanging with her husband, family and fur babies and indulging in the two c's: carbs & coffee.
Although easy, staying in your comfort zone can do more harm than good. Push yourself to experience new things — the benefits could prove worthy.