For many of us, education is just a means to an end. With many students pointing to school when asked about the source of their deteriorating mental health, how can furthering your education improve it? Read on as we examine the intricate links between mental health and education.
Learning Is Like Exercise for Your Brain
Just like your muscles get stronger the more you use them, your brain gets sharper the more you learn. Studies have shown that learning a new skill improves your self-confidence, which plays a major role in many mental disorders.
Knowing more about something will make you more confident when trying to put it to use in the real world. This also increases the chance that your peers will congratulate you, or come to you for advice in the future.
Furthering your education means furthering your critical thinking skills and improving your abstract thinking. If you’ve ever wondered why you have to learn subjects you’re not that interested in, this is why.
Going to high school and college is also how you make connections with people. Many adults don’t know how to make friends after college for this very reason. In school, you see the same people almost every day. It can’t be overstated how important human connections are to your mental well-being.
Isn’t Going to College Stressful?
Going to college can be quite stressful. Spending more time away from family and getting used to the more demanding coursework can be stressful. Another factor that is extremely stressful is college expenses. You have to find out how much does college cost in your area, and it’s usually not an amount people would happily give away. Despite this, studies show that taking further education courses can help adults with moderate to severe mental illnesses.
They claim that learning gave them a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Learning can also be distracting due to the concentration it requires. This might seem negative, but it’s a welcome change for people who are prone to overthinking. Studying alongside others also fostered positive connections between the participants and their fellow students. This is a great development as people with mental illnesses can become socially isolated for months on end.
The Advantages of Lifelong Learning
Did you know that higher levels of education are associated with better cognitive functioning in your old age? Age-related diseases are on the rise. However, academics showed significantly fewer signs of brain degeneration.
This is because individuals who had chosen to further their education had an increased level of neural and cognitive networks. These networks which they built up in their adulthood helped them compensate for what they were lacking in their old age.
It’s never too late to become an academic. The world of academia opens up countless possibilities, but they don’t have to come at the price of your mental health. School doesn’t have to be an unendurable experience that you look back on with bitterness.
Higher education is where you really get to study what you’re passionate about. If you make room for your emotions and are passionate about your field, your mental health doesn’t have to suffer. You can thrive in academia.