learning something new

The mental health benefits of being a beginner

Embracing the role of a beginner can feel daunting in a society that often celebrates expertise. 

However, stepping into something new can be incredibly beneficial for mental health. Learning new skills, trying new activities, and allowing yourself to be a beginner can bring joy, reduce stress, and enhance overall well-being. 

Have you been feeling like trying something new lately but don’t know where to begin? You’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn why being a beginner is good for mental health and the new things you can try without feeling overwhelmed.

3 mental health benefits of being a beginner

There are three main benefits of learning something new:

1. Reduces stress and anxiety

It might seem counterintuitive, but engaging in new activities can be a powerful stress reliever. 

That’s because when you focus on learning something new, your mind shifts away from daily worries and stressors. And this mental break allows you to recharge and return to your regular routine with a fresh perspective. 

2. Boosts self-esteem and confidence

Mastering a new skill, no matter how small, can significantly boost self-esteem. Think about how proud you are when a new recipe turns out to be a household favorite or a DIY craft project becomes your most asked-about item. It’s the process of learning and improving that provides a sense of accomplishment. 

Even small milestones, like learning a simple yoga pose, can instill a sense of pride and confidence. 

3. Encourages mindfulness and presence

Being a beginner requires a certain level of focus and presence, which actually aligns closely with mindfulness practices. That’s because when you are fully engaged in learning, you are present in the moment, paying attention to the task at hand. 

Plus, the novelty of a new activity keeps your mind busy and curious. It's exciting—even a little consuming—making it easier to forget about other stresses and just enjoy the process.

How to learn something new as a busy adult

If you want to try something new but are short on time as a busy adult, consider these four ideas:

Short meditation sessions

Meditation doesn’t require hours of your time. Start with just five minutes a day. 

Apps like Balance offer guided meditations tailored to your needs, helping you develop a regular practice without feeling overwhelmed. 

Quick cooking classes

You need to eat, so why not turn it into a way to try something new? Experimenting with new recipes or taking a short cooking class can be a fun and rewarding way to do just that. 

Many online platforms offer quick, beginner-friendly classes that fit into a busy schedule. Cooking not only provides a creative outlet but also results in delicious, homemade meals that you can enjoy with your family.

Crafting and DIY projects

Engaging in simple crafting or DIY projects can be a relaxing and satisfying way to spend your free time. 

Whether it’s knitting, painting, or building small projects, these activities allow you to express creativity while learning new skills. Start with easy projects that don’t require a significant investment of time or resources.

Learning a new language

Language learning apps like Duolingo or Babbel make it easy to start learning a new language with just a few minutes a day. 

This not only enhances cognitive function but also provides a sense of accomplishment as you gradually build your language skills. Plus, it can be a fun way to connect with different cultures and people.

Conclusion

Trying new things and being a beginner can do wonders for your mental health. It can help you relax, boost your confidence, and keep your mind engaged. For busy adults, the key is to find activities that fit into your schedule and that you enjoy. Start small, be kind to yourself, and remember that every little bit counts towards feeling better.

Want to see how new experiences can improve your well-being? Download the Balance app today for personalized meditation guidance and explore a healthier, happier you. And the best part? Your first year is completely free!

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