Motivating the Mind Through Learning

By Angela Jenkins, MA, Wellness Consultant, AllOne Health

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

—Benjamin Franklin

When I was growing up, I always wanted to be a teacher. I loved the organization, continuous learning, and helping others. To me, teachers are the epitome of lifetime learners.

Although I chose a different career path, being a lifelong learner is something that has stayed with me, personally and throughout my career. Learning has always motivated me and has been a top priority for me, and I have received many benefits from choosing to be proactive about enhancing my knowledge.

Google defines learning as “knowledge acquired through experience, study, or being taught.” Learning is essential to human existence. Just as food nourishes the body, taking in new information nourishes the mind. 

By taking advantage of learning opportunities when they arise, you can enhance your quality of life, gain confidence, reduce stress, and improve your mental well-being. Learning new things can also improve your memory and focus, and increase your resiliency and self-efficacy. 

How to become a better learner

  • Discover your learning type. There are seven learning types according to visual, auditory, reading & writing, kinesthetic, verbal, social/interpersonal, or solitary/intrapersonal learning. Try to figure out which learning methods work best for you (and there may be a combination of methods that resonates with you).
  • Be intentional and motivated. Even though life itself presents learning opportunities, being intentional and motivated about learning is essential to becoming a successful life-long learner. Think about what motivates you to learn (maybe a new hobby or class) and use that motivation as an advantage.
  • Read. This is a timeless way of learning. The more we read, the more we learn. With today’s technology, we now have more learning methods, including videos and audible options that weren’t available in the past.
  • Listen to music.  Harvard Health states that “listening to and performing music reactivates areas of the brain associated with memory, reasoning, speech, emotion, and reward.” Make a new music playlist by downloading your favorite songs and challenging your memory on the lyrics.

Increase learning through wellness activities

  • Incorporate physical movement. Challenging your brain to learn a new workout routine or adapt to a jogging route enhances the numerous benefits of physical movement. Whether the goal is cardiovascular, toning, stretching, or agility, learning new physical movements can help the brain make more whitespace, which is essential to learning. 
  • Make meditation a habit. Meditation is a way to help calm the brain and the numerous thoughts that flow through it daily. Quieting the brain provides more opportunities for the brain to expand and learn new things.
  • Practice journaling. Journaling is an effective way to release stress, anxiety, and any thoughts that may be nagging and clogging the mind. To get started, try journaling about an experience that was stressful or exciting for you. Journaling poses an immediate way to release those particular thoughts and emotions, allowing movement forward.

For additional reading and inspiration, consider the following:

  • We Are Teachers – Free online learning resources and tools.
  • Kahn Academy – Content and resources for all ages – free!
  • Canva – Free design marketing tool.
  • YouTube – Free video clips that enhance learning and provide “how-to” videos.
  • Coursera – Choose from a wide variety of online courses. (Some are free, others aren’t.)

If you’re looking for additional help, reach out to your Assistance Program for Member Support. Or, if your organization is considering a Wellness Program, AllOne Health also offers a variety of Wellness Solutions to fit your needs and goals.

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