Treat Your Brain: Learn Something New for Yourself

Treat Your Brain: Learn Something New for Yourself

If you’re around kids much these days, you’ve probably heard about “growth mindset” at least once. I don’t remember learning about growth mindsets growing up, but it’s definitely something I’m focusing on with my children.

Growth Mindset, as coined and defined by Carol Dweck is where, “…people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.” This is opposed to a fixed mindset: where we believe see struggle as a sign that we just aren’t good at something and it is what it is.

The beauty of teaching about growth mindset lies in teaching how the brain works – that as we work to learn new things, our brains are creating new neural pathways. That’s legitimately hard work that burns calories (but probably won’t be the next fad diet), so we teach the kids (and ourselves) to have patience with our brains and realize that working and feeling frustration learning something doesn’t mean we’re “bad” at it. We learn to give ourselves grace.

Why is this so important?

This leads to a love of learning, which leads to life-long learning, which leads to new neural pathways constantly being formed. New neural pathways allow our brain to work more quickly and efficiently...and also creates denser brain matter, which makes our thinking even quicker!

All this to say: TREAT YOUR BRAIN! Set aside some time to learn something for you. Not for work. Not for your kids. For you. Find something you’re interested in: a new skill, a language, an art or craft, a sport, whatever! Learn it. Learn how it works, the nuances. Let it bring you joy as you build your brain, because that will not only fill your self-care cup, but it will also strengthen your brain for all aspects of your life!