By Samantha McKenzie
I’ve always been a huge fan of learning new things, but when I stumbled upon an article that suggests it leads to greater happiness, I was reenergized to find better ways to make my 24-hours more meaningful.
According to Vanessa King, a positive psychology expert at Psychologies and Action for Happiness, human beings have a natural desire to learn and progress which lead to happiness and wellbeing.
“It’s actually a core need for psychological wellbeing. Learning can help us build confidence and a sense of self-efficacy. It can also be a way of connecting with others too,” wrote King. “Psychologists call it mastery.” Studies say that adult learning has a positive impact on self-esteem when it meets the need of the learner and when the learner is at a stage in their life when they are ready and receptive to benefit from it.
This happiness takes place when new learning opportunities meet up with your creativity. Together the two stimulate ideas and connect us to other areas of interest. The experience is similar to going on a first date with someone you have chemistry with. We all can remember that feeling: It made us happy.
I was motivated to dust off my list of things I still wanted to learn. Like playing the flute. My dad was a master French horn player. When he was recruited by the Bahamian Police Band in the late 60s, he was the only person in the Western Hemisphere qualified to train others how to play the unique horn. I learned later in life from relatives that while we knew him for his incredible book smarts, people he grew up with knew him for his reputation for mastering multiple instruments. I wanted a small piece of his gift, so the flute landed on my list. Next to it was learning archery, the Tango, knitting and snowboarding.
Learning can be intoxicating. It’s that feeling of giddiness and smarts, all balled up into one. The more difficult the task, the more excitement it generates.
Read the entire article and check out King’s advice on starting your own Happiness Club.