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Why Learning New Things Is An Important Part Of Self-Love

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Self-love is to millennials what butter chicken and naan is to our parents’ generation. We do it when we’re exhausted, when we are celebrating a victory, or as a periodic ritual (just like how a decadent meal was a once a week thing for many of us growing up). It is precious to us, and enriches our lives. But, just like butter chicken and naan, our body and mind get bored if we stick to the same old self-care routine. It is human nature to want novelty, but that’s not the only reason why learning new things is an important part of loving yourself.

Doing the same thing over and over again, no matter how good it may be for you, puts you into a rut. After a point, we crave something new not only because it starts to feel boring, but also because it stops being a challenge. Take exercise, for instance. If you keep doing the same routine of push-ups, bench presses, burpees or whatever, no matter how intense, it will stop working because your body gets used to those movements. This is why instructors and fitness programs always keep changing things up and adding new challenges. The same thing applies to the mind and to the soul.

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Researchers have learnt that the human brain is elastic – what this means is that it keeps building new neuronal pathways (keeps changing and growing) pretty much all our lives, as opposed to what we thought earlier – that the brain is fully developed by the time we hit our mid-20s. All the elderly folks who keep up with the world and keep their viewpoint evolving are testament to this. So, when you try something new, you develop new connections in your brain, and keep it active and healthy.

Doing new things that are good for us is an excellent way of keeping ourselves out of trouble, too. You know how they say that an empty mind is a devil’s workshop? When you get used to a routine, you get into autopilot mode (like when you’re driving). The brain works passively, and you don’t feel as involved in the activity anymore. Hello, boredom and the urge to do something “fun”. How about a fun new activity like rock climbing?

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