Well-being and learning have a mutually reinforcing relationship. Well-being is an important enabler for effective learning and improves learning outcomes. Conversely, learning can have direct and indirect impacts on well-being . The direct influence is derived from improved skills such as confidence and the indirect influence from improved employability and earnings.
Well-being theory was developed by Martin Seligman MS Martin Seligman to define the contributors to human flourishing. He identified five contributors: positive emotion, engagement, meaning, positive relationships, and accomplishment. Learning can be considered an important element in several of these contributors, without which well-being would be reduced. Without curiosity about others, we would not deepen our relationships with others. Without learning, we would not be able to improve competence and master new skills. If we didn’t learn, we would struggle to achieve our goals, the resulting lack of significant accomplishments would likely impact well-being.
Learning may be particularly important for older adults. Studies indicate that learning new things may help prevent the cognitive decline that generally takes place during normal aging and delay the onset of the symptoms of neurodegenerative disease. Learning can be a way to reduce feelings of depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Learning new things promotes cognitive fitness through the stimulation of neurogenesis, the development of new neurons, in some parts of the brain.