Pillar 4: Intellectual Wellness

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”- Henry Ford

Intellectual wellness is defined as recognizing one’s creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills. Keeping the mind active keeps us motivated, stimulates conversations, and brings discovery and meaning to our passions, interests, relationships, and vocations. Thinking critically allows us to enjoy daily tasks and encounters from new perspectives. 

Many people find that doing the same things every day can become mundane, and adjusting your perspective can help keep your daily routines and activities exciting. According to CCSU Business & Development, practicing a new skill increases the density of your myelin, or the white matter in your brain, which helps improve performance on several tasks. Additionally, learning new skills stimulates neurons in the brain, which forms more neural pathways and allows electrical impulses to travel faster across them. The combination of these two processes helps you learn more effectively. It can even reduce your risks of dementia.

Listening to podcasts, subscribing to informational YouTube Channels, watching documentaries, doing research, and reading are positive examples of this pillar of wellness. Learning from new sources, listening to new philosophies, and developing a better understanding of your interests brings a new depth of meaning, knowledge, and understanding. 

Exercise: Choose two brain stimulation activities from the list below. It is important to note that learning does not have to be a daunting task involving hours of studying, preparation and stress. It can be as simple as having a conversation or reading an article.

Brain Stimulation Games: 

  • Crossword puzzles
  • Angry Birds
  • Sudoku
  • Lumosity
  • Happy Neuron
  • Braingle
  • Scrabble 
  • Peak
  • Wordle 

Tip: Make the process enjoyable by learning one new thing about something that interests you or something that you enjoy every day. When you learn something new you exercise your brain. This can help improve cognitive functions such as concentration, attention to detail, memory recall, and problem-solving. Learning also has a positive effect on mood and confidence. 

Bonus Challenge: In your search engine browser, search “Fun Fact of the Day.” Every day, our search engines create fun facts. Although the information is random, you may stumble across an interesting or valuable piece of information!

Learning brings fulfillment, purpose, and wisdom to not just yourself, but also those who you interact with. We never quite finish our quest for knowledge and meaning, and there is always something new and valuable to wonder about. Keep wondering, researching, understanding, and keeping an open mind to all of the information at our fingertips.

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