As Mental Health Awareness Week is well underway, I want to take this opportunity to talk about how learning can support your wellbeing. Did you know that research proves that learning can help improve your mood, reduce stress, and make you feel more confident? That’s why NHS England cites learning a new skill as one of their 5 steps to wellbeing.
Personally, over time, I’ve become acutely aware of the correlation between my current mood and outlook and whether I’m in a ‘learning zone’. I can often gauge my own happiness and wellbeing levels by whether or not I am learning something new or engaged in self-development. From listening to a new book on Audible, to researching the latest business trends or mastering a new recipe in the kitchen, usually when I’m in a learning mood, I am in a good place.
Here, I’ll share five ways that I think learning can help improve your mental health.
Generating that winning feel-good factor!
Learning can help improve your mental health by giving you a sense of accomplishment. Learning new things can be challenging but ultimately the act of learning is rewarding. The sense of satisfaction you get from gaining new insight and skills can boost your mood and confidence. As well as this, achieving something you’ve been working hard at can give you a much-needed sense of hope. At Agent Academy, we’ve all experienced palpable positive energy that comes when our learners host their final client presentation or event, their feeling of achievement is infectious and everyone leaves on a high.
Making new connections to combat loneliness.
Learning often brings social opportunities too. When you engage in learning activities, like gaining a place on Rise by Agent Academy, you open yourself up to meeting new people who share your interests. These social interactions give valuable support and connection. We love the sense of belonging and purpose that our learners gain by being part of Agent Academy’s learning community and going on to join our extensive alumni network.
A welcome distraction from your stress.
Learning gives you a chance to escape from the day-to-day stress that life brings. When you’re focused on learning something new, it can be easier to forget about the things that are causing you stress. Taking a break from your worries can help improve your overall mood and make it easier to cope with your difficulties when you do have to face them again. Learning can give you an enjoyable distraction from the things that are causing you stress and anxiety, allowing you to focus on something positive.
A structure for building more good habits.
Learning can improve your mental health by bringing a sense of structure and routine to your life. If you’re struggling with mental health difficulties, having a set schedule can support you to move forward. Learning new things can give you a sense of purpose and help you to stick to other healthy habits, like getting enough sleep and exercise. I would recommend reading Atomic Habits by James Clear to learn how you can build a framework of good habits.
Giving you the confidence to progress.
Learning can help improve your mental health by boosting your self-esteem and confidence. When you learn something new, it’s a chance to prove to yourself that you’re capable and competent. This can be especially helpful if you’re struggling with low self-esteem. We see this transformation first-hand and witness how much progress our Rise learners make in just 12 weeks. The confidence boost that they gain is the key ingredient to propelling our learners into landing their first industry job.
You know what to do next.
It’s been good to reflect on the positive impact that learning has on our personal wellbeing. I hope this will inspire you to take some time out to learn something new. We are fortunate at Agent Academy to have weekly dedicated learning time to give the whole team time from busy schedules to up skill. The power of learning is priceless.