Pathways to Mental Health & Happiness: Curiosity, Learning and Discovering

by Nancy S Buck, PhD, RN

These days there is much talk and attention being given to brain science, health and growth. It wasn’t all that long ago that the world believed your brain never repaired or regenerated itself. We now know this is not true. Once our brain is damaged, it is possible for new and altered pathways to develop. Now the concepts of a changing and growing brain are better understood. We are living during a time of considered research and understanding of what is actually happening in our brains.

Words like Human Brain Plasticity and Brain Activity and Connectivity  are not only being talked about and studied, there are now products to be purchase to help keep your brain in good working order and at optimal shape and conditioning.

Not only can you purchase a program or game to support brain health and Mental Health & Happiness, you can also rely on your own inherent genetic instruction and achieve the same thing. There is growing research to support Dr. Glasser’ idea that curiosity, learning and discovering are examples of our basic need for fun! Glasser stated that when we are having fun we are learning and when we are learning we are having fun. Now there is research supporting a positive brain state associated with learning.

In order to verify this thought for yourself, think back to something that your have learned, or are  learning now. I wouldn’t use the example of learning algebra in school unless algebra is something you wanted to learn. But it might be learning a musical instrument, a sport, a different language, photography, painting, astronomy, riding a unicycle or juggling. Were you enjoying yourself, playing and having fun while you were learning? Even though it may have taken time, concentration and perseverance, you also experienced joy, satisfaction and happiness. If this was not the case for you, then it’s time you started learning something that provokes your curiosity.

Here is one more example from my own life. In a recent conversation I had with my 4-year old grandson, I was once again talking with him about who my son is and how he’s related to Malakai? Who is another of my sons who is Malakai’s uncle? Figuring out who is who in a family via the son, daughter, mother, father and second cousin twice removed is a sophisticated concept. Who is my son? How is he related to you? I asked. Suddenly there was a bright smile and a knowing gleam in his eye. That’s my Dad he said to me with great satisfaction and pleasure. That was learning and discovery. And that contributed to his Mental Health & Happiness.

If you want to create a new pathway for your own Mental Health & Happiness, pursue your curiosity by learning and discovering something new today!

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