To learn is to acquire knowledge or skill through study, experience, instruction, etc. Learning is a lifelong process that helps us grow and understand the world around us. It can also be a fun, exciting way to challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone.

Learning new things can be a great way to stay mentally sharp and increase your happiness levels. Research shows that learning and retaining new information stimulates the substantia nigra and ventral tegmental areas of the brain (SN/VTA), which is associated with feelings of pleasure, well-being, and contentment. Whether it’s learning a foreign language, taking a cooking class, or getting into a new hobby like coding, you’ll be surprised how much your mental health benefits from lifelong learning.

Everyone learns differently, so finding the method that works best for you is important. Some people prefer to learn on their own, while others thrive in group learning environments. Try exploring a variety of resources—from free online courses to local workshops and even finding a mentor—to find the right fit.

To maximize your learning potential, try breaking down your goals into smaller parts—what do you need to know in order to achieve the bigger goal? Mind mapping can be a helpful tool for this as it allows you to see the end goal, what goes into each section, and how each piece connects to one another. In addition, practicing the Feynman Technique—developed by Nobel Prize-winning theoretical physicist Richard Feynman—can be a highly effective method for retention.