There are many career benefits to education, as on a very simple level, people tend to be compensated based on the amount of value they provide an employer – meaning, the more educated you are, the higher the perceived value of what you can bring to the table is.
There are, of course, many forms of education and today even prestigious universities are accepting “experiential learning” as a means of accessing undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Once upon a time, learning was much more linear in the sense that you would go to school, college and/or university to receive education in a taught format where the teacher would deliver insight that you would receive and process.
Today, however, particularly due to the prevalence of online learning we are accessing learning in a much less linear format – where akin to the pick n mix model used by Chinese buffet restaurants, we can pick and choose what we want to learn as it relates to our interests and preferences.
You can learn for free, from videos on YouTube created by those that have achieved the tangible results you wish to achieve – focused much more on actionable advice rather than the tedious nature of long-form academia.
Indeed, when you think about your school education and the rigors of mathematics, for instance, where you learned about concepts you are unlikely to use in your everyday life unless you are an architect or engineer… the idea of picking and choosing only the relevant components you wish to study is a much more liberal and engaging way to study.
The point being, that “education” in the context of this article does not relate solely to academic courses delivered by educational institutions. It’s just as relevant to online education that you can learn for free YouTube content creators or by attending Spanish school to improve your language skills.
Now, let’s take a look at why continuing education is good for your mental health:
SELF ESTEEM & SELF CONFIDENCE
Self-esteem is something that must be generated. There’s a myth that some people have high self-esteem and others don’t; mostly due to genetics and upbringing. Whilst there is some truth to this, in the sense that our childhood experiences can impact upon who and how we are today… your level of self-esteem is something that is ultimately within your control and often it comes down to small acts of self-care.
Similarly to how if you want a better body there are certain exercises, you can do, the same is true of self-esteem and one ways to generate more self esteem and a feeling of confidence is to increase your level of education.
The better you feel about yourself, in life, the more self-worth you tend to have. Whilst self-worth isn’t directly linked to education – anything you do to expand yourself will impact on your feeling of self-worth. The person who has a higher level of education is not “worth more” than someone with a lower level of education; it’s more that the person with more education tends to recognise and appreciate their value more – as they are conditioning themselves through the expansion of education to feel more valuable to society.
The majority of people that suffer with mental health issues tend to spend a lot of time on their own, in an isolated environment, very much trapped in their own mind. The technical term for this is “rumination” where they think about things chronically to the point of overthinking – in part, this is because they don’t have a very “busy” life.
The social benefit of education, therefore, is to get this person out of their own head and into the outside world. It leads to more personal social interactions that lead to a sense of less isolation and there’s a commonality between people (in the sense they are all studying the same course) that bonds and unites.
In summary, whilst education of itself is not a cure-all for mental health issues, nor is it something that automatically fills you with more confidence, self-esteem and self-worth… it is a useful instrument and process to help you connect with others, feel more valuable in terms of the person you are and the value you can provide; all of which have significant benefits to your state of positive mental health.
That’s not to say that someone who is highly educated must therefore be super confident and have high levels of self-esteem. Indeed, there’s the concept of “over-achievement” which is where people feel the need to achieve in order to justify their value and win the love / respect of others… but that’s for another article.
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