Learning and Anxiety

April 11, 2022

Have you ever noticed that it is hard to concentrate when you are anxious?

Although the simple answer is not always correct, and the details can be a bit complex, in general anxiety takes precedence over thinking about other things, like learning. The majority of the brain’s learning capacity (that unfortunately is limited) is taken up to create and process stressful or worrisome thoughts. This means that there is less brain power available to learn new things.

Given the complexity of information surrounding our health, this puts us at a serious disadvantage when we want greater health awareness and a strong foundation of health knowledge to build upon.

So, the next time you find yourself having to learn something new about your health, whether it’s a new healthy eating guide, medication or tips for understanding your lab values, remember that you want to reduce your anxiety before you start to learn. Doing this will go a long way in helping you learn and remember what you need to know, especially when it’s a new routine to help take control of your health.

Now you might be saying “That’s nice but how can I reduce my anxiety!?” Well we have some good news! Next week we will be talking about a few quick, evidence-based ways to reduce our anxiety so that our brain is ready to learn.

If you’re curious to get ahead of the curve, head over to our resource hub and explore our collection of short mindfulness exercises ― if you give one a try, you’ll be ready to learn just about anything.

Dive Deeper with suggested reading:


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