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Learn something new & boost your mood

Posted by Lucy Gill Page 1

Neom Psychologist, Suzy Reading told us why a new skill can boost more than your CV. Do you live to learn? Here’s why you should...

Most of us have at least one skill that we wish we were better at, says Suzy, or have promised ourselves that this will be the year we finally learn (conversational Italian, anyone?). Before you write it off under, “No time,” think of ways to express your currents strengths in daily life: cooking a new dish, re-designing the garden or improving existing photography skills can all boost self-esteem (i.e. ‘Wow, I’m better at this than I thought!’).

FOUR WAYS TO BROADEN YOUR HORIZONS AND BRING LEARNING INTO YOUR LIFE – NIGHT-SCHOOL NOT NECESSARY

1. Find Your Flow

To boost happiness, it’s important to find something that really excites and interests you so it becomes wholly immersive. Psychologists call this ‘flow’ or being ‘in the zone’ – we are very actively ‘doing’ what we’re doing, so our minds no longer wander. They are completely engaged and pleasantly challenged – mindfulness in its happiest essence! Writing, colouring/painting, carpentry, gardening, playing an instrument and singing are all high on the ‘fow’ list. What takes your fancy?

2. Fill The Passion Pot

Minimise time spent on things you don’t love, and pay that time into your Passion Pot instead:

• Make more food than you can eat – then use leftovers for a speedy, nutritious meal that takes the drudge out of dinnertime

• Swap regular, time-consuming supermarket sweeps for a weekly online shop or food-box delivery

• Invest in a Virtual Assistant (from £15/hour) to tackle boring admin (think tax returns), freeing you up for what you love

• Nix a tricky work issue in one scheduled phone-call, rather than dozens of contradictory emails

3. Swap Your Skills

One of the fairest and most satisfying ways to learn is to look to your friendship pool. There may be a great cook among you, a design whizz, a confdent public speaker or an expert DIY-er. You could offer to design a fyer or help with a website in exchange for cookery lessons, or be coached in public speaking in return for some DIY help. It’s a mutual self-esteem boost – and studies have shown that friends and partners who learn together have relationships that last longer.

4. No Pressure, Just Pleasure

Remember, this is your time and your choice – there’s no obligation and the only impetus should be your own desire. If you’re always cancelling things due to other commitments, avoid signing up for a structured course. Instead, fInd just one hour to put into the Passion Pot every week, and begin at home. Online tutorials offer endless scope for learning – we love Drawspace for budding illustrators and Craftsy for everything from jewellery-making to oil painting.

You’re welcome..

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