As we age, it’s important to keep learning. Lifelong learning is essential for good brain health. That doesn’t necessarily mean staying in school for the rest of your life. But it does mean facing the world with an open attitude, ready to learn and to look for challenges.
An important thing to keep in mind is our particular learning style. This is really the way we learn most optimally. Knowing our optimum learning style and using it, can make learning a lot more effective and just generally more fun!
Seven Learning Styles
Aural – An individual who uses this style learns most effectively through listening. If they hear something it seems to get into their brain better than using another sense. To optimize this learning style, you might make up rhymes or learn facts to music.
Visual – An individual who is most comfortable with this style of learning, learns through seeing. Pictures and images seem to stick best. Creating mental images of things we want to remember will optimize this style of learning.
Physical – Using your hands and learning through touch and doing are essential for an individual who learns best this way.
Verbal – Writing and speaking are the hallmarks of this style of learning. Some individuals learn things when they write it down. This is where good, old-fashioned cursive writing can make a big difference.
Logical – Learners who are logical in their approach need to understand through reason and logic to learn.
Solitary vs. Social – Some individuals learn in groups through group interaction and others learn best on their own in a quiet environment.
While we have a dominant learning style, we should not abandon or avoid the others. You can think of the non-dominant learning styles as a way to cross-train your brain. Exercising your brain in different ways is a great way to challenge yourself with the novel and complex.
Cross-Train Your Brain
Some suggestions to exercise different learning styles are:
– Logic puzzles or pattern solving puzzles like Sudoku to exercise a logical learning style;
– Mapping or mazes are a good exercise for the visual learning style;
– Poetry or music is good exercise for the aural learning style; and,
– Word games are a great way to exercise the verbal learning style.
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