Being curious — apparently it’s good for learning.

Professor Charan Ranganath, the senior author on a recent study on curiosity, says that “curiosity recruits the reward system” of the brain. It puts us in a state where “we are more likely to learn and retain information.”

Cool! I love the feeling of curiosity. When I’m curious, apparently the research shows that dopamine goes to work in my head. From my experience it does; I can feel it coaching my neurons right now. I can feel it calling out to the universe of knowledge, “Come in here! Come into my brain too!”

According to the professor, dopamine is the information sucking chemical, enhancing our curiosity rushes, aiding stuff in settling in.

This week I ran into the word “kerfuffle.” I got a dopamine rush out of it. It put me in a kerfuffle. A kerfuffle is a commotion, uproar, tumult or brouhaha. Love it! My brain is an uproar.

This week I also came across the word “apricity.” It was love at first sight! Apricity refers to the warmth of the sun in the winter. Think an old dog laying in the sun in January.

Nice! Think of the apricity of a beautiful smile. It wakes up and warms the freezing cold heart.

Not everything wakes up the brain. This week I got a little frustrated, and a bit angry. I upgraded my smart phone and lost my account password and a bunch of documents.

I’ve noticed that being angry, getting frustrated, does the opposite of being curious.

At first anger or upset may stimulate a pay-attention state, but the angrier we get, the less effectively we tend to think.

About the tenth time I tried to reset my password on my smart phone, my brain went on strike!

At some point anger decreases our ability to think, it gorgonizes our ability to take in new information. Anger kills data intake. Anger is the enemy of curiosity and learning.

Yeah, what to do?

Thinking about it, I think I’ll fight anger and frustration with curiosity and wonder. I think I’ll ask what I can learn about myself and about others, from everyone of life’s frustrations. And I think I’ll keep looking up new words on my new and improved smart phone!

Come to think of it — when I am tempted to be angry or frustrated — I will to rebelliously revel, bask and sun in the opportunities for learning present there.

I plan, pledge and commit to get goofy-good at enjoying and learning from the winter-warmth of life.

Curious, I will sit at the hearth of the apricity resident in every single one of life’s wonderful, frustrating, kerflufflng upgrades!

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