Why you need to always learn new things (not what you think)
October 13, 2019
The human brain is a constantly growing living organism that regenerates new brain cells (neurons) constantly. It craves to learn new things.
We've all heard the expression that the brain is like a muscle - if it's not exercised, it becomes weak.
This is of course true. But the surprising thing is, it doesn't become strong just in that certain area of the mental exercise. E.g., when we learn a new language, our brain doesn't just get more fit in terms of acquiring a new language, but it becomes stronger in general.
For our brains, it doesn't matter so much what we learn - be it a new instrument, a new language, or any other new skill. As long as you're learning something new - may it even be juggling - our brain will be growing and becoming stronger.
Similar to lifting weights or running - you don't become just better at lifting weights or faster but stronger and more fit in general.
Therefore the benefits are actually two-fold: you learn a new skill, and you upgrade your brain. And the more you learn new things, the easier it will be to learn new things.
Many people, however, do the exact opposite. They don't seek out new experiences and surroundings. They do everything not to get out of a daily routine.
Instead, it's important to be constantly curious about our surroundings and explore new areas, smells, surfaces, tastes, sounds. Meet new people. Constantly observe - do not shut down your curiosity. This will keep your brain from growing.
Research has also shown that people who don't give their brain sufficient amount of exercise are more likely to get mental illnesses such as Alzheimer's.
Do not let your brain become the equivalent of a fat person eating Cheetos all day and dying of a stroke.