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Sharing the Joy of Learning

We have talked before about the importance of learning for your mental wellbeing. Pushing ourselves to learn new skills, increase our knowledge of a subject or try new things can boost confidence and self-esteem, generate a sense of pride in our accomplishments, and generally make us more resilient. It can also help channel our thoughts into something productive instead of dwelling on our worries, helping to decrease anxiety and stress, and instead can help motivate us and provide a sense of purpose. It could even help you change career! All in all, dedicating time to learning, whatever guise that takes, is going to have a positive impact on your mental health.


But there’s another aspect to growing yourself as a person that can get overlooked, and that’s the benefits to sharing the experience with other people.


Firstly, there is the potential social aspect of trying something new – it’s often an opportunity to meet new people who share similar interests to you. You can widen your social circle and reap the benefits of connecting with others: less loneliness and isolation, more confidence and sense of belonging, all of which is a wonderful boost to your wellbeing. Learning alongside others can also help you learn better: studies show that learning collaboratively can deepen our understanding, as well as helping us develop better social skills along the way.


But sharing your experience also refers to the way in which you can pass on what you’ve learnt to others. The feeling of joy at seeing others learn, seeing someone grow and develop and experience more of the world, lifts and enriches us. Having a positive impact on someone else by helping them learn a new skill or fulfil their potential gives a huge sense of reward and the satisfaction to have contributed to something more than yourself.


There’s another aspect to this, and that’s seeing things through someone else’s eyes. This is commonly experienced by parents who see everyday things (like learning to read, going on a train for the first time, learning how to tie shoelaces, etc) through their children. Fairly banal things that we wouldn’t normally give a second thought are turned into wondrous moments of joy where you’re really seeing things and can fully appreciate them. Witnessing your child comprehend that three letters put together in the right order make a word that they can read and understand by themselves not only makes you feel incredibly proud, but also gives you an appreciation for the value of language and how amazing it is that we can all communicate using just 26 letters.


Seeing things through someone else’s eyes can also help you see things from a different perspective than your own, which is a great way to help contextualise things so that you can appreciate them for what they truly are. Imagine you’re someone who struggles with self-esteem, who always puts yourself down, even when you’re doing well. If you can see someone else’s reaction to what you’ve learnt, or even better, teach them too and see how much value they gain from it, it can help you realise how much you’ve achieved in a way you probably wouldn’t be able to on your own.


Sharing our learning is a two-way street that not only allows us to positively impact those around us, but also encourages us to continue to grow ourselves. By enriching our minds and passing it on, we nourish our own wellbeing with a sense of purpose, satisfaction and confidence.


So next time you try something new, bring others along for the ride and you’ll all share the positivity!


Photo by Alexis Brown on Unsplash

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