Learning benefits us as we age
As we grow older, learning new things is essential for maintaining cognitive health and quality of life. According to research from the University of California, Riverside, something called “broad learning,” can help us avoid the mental decline that was previously seen as inevitable. The research suggests that getting out of our comfort zones, getting connected with teachers, having a belief that we can learn and having a serious commitment to learning are all key to increasing basic cognitive functioning. For this week’s Healthy Habit, let’s look at some courses to support this growth mindset.
Tele-courses can help you break out of old patterns of thinking. Try one such as Psychic Development, where author and intuitive Michelle Beltran teaches students how to process the world using more than just what we can determine using our five senses. Or “Master Your Mind, Master Your Life,” where author Dianne Collins takes the information from her book, Do You QuantumThink? New Thinking that Will Rock Your World, and distills it for students. Spirituality & Health's columnist Rabbi Rami offers The Sacred Art of Forgiveness, where he says, "learn how asking others for forgiveness is a true spiritual act."
The Bernard Osher Foundation supports the Osher Lifelong Institutes, which operate on 122 college campuses across the U.S. For these, the colleges and universities create programs specifically for adults ages 50 and up, who want to learn for the thrill of it rather than for college credit. Here’s an example from the University of Southern Maine, which has ‘ukulele, 19th-century history, film studies and geologic hazards among its many other Winter 2019 class offerings for Osher learners.
Whether you want to shore up your skills for work, Lynda.com might be a good fit. It’s online learning specializing in software, creative, business and tech skills. Classes are taught by industry leaders, and available in five languages, including Spanish. Topics like “Choosing an E-Commerce Platform” or “Photoshop CC 2019 Essential Training,” would also be of special interest to small-business owners.
Do I want to frolic with goats in Greece? Yes, yes I do. And the perfect excuse is taking classes in figure drawing, oil painting or digital photography. The Aegean Center for The Fine Arts has small-group training at either its Greece location, on the island of Paros, 100 miles southeast of Athens, or in the Tuscan city of Pistoia in Italy. The bulk of students are of traditional college age, but the Center welcomes students of all ages, as well as beginning to advanced levels. One that particularly catches the eye: Old Masters’ Innovation for the Modern Oil Painter: The Solvent Free Studio.
So what will you learn today?