3 Important Things That School Should Have Taught You
I have expressed my unfavourable views on the education system in several of my articles, especially in The Ugly Truth About The Education System You Were Never Told.
The points I discuss here in this post may sound strange and unconventional, and some may argue these things are not the responsibility of schools.
But I believe many of us would agree that the education system has some fundamental flaws and leaves a lot to be desired.
Here are three things that I believe can make a world of difference in people’s lives if they are taught these things right from school.
To take good care of health
We think about health the most when we don’t have it, and so in school when we are young and in good health, it’s barely a concern.
However, health is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of our life. But most schools hardly educate students on the importance of taking good care of their health, nor take any practical steps to promote it to all students.
Most people realise the value of good health much later in life, when serious health issues force them to take better care of themselves. Unfortunately, after decades of neglect, this could prove to be too late.
Research shows that sitting down for lengthy periods at a stretch is unhealthy for our body, yet ironically this is what we are trained to do in school. Even just one hour of sitting decreases the blood flow from your legs to your heart as much as 50 percent.
Moreover, having a sedentary lifestyle can have serious implications for our health and is a major underlying cause of death and disease.
Lack of physical activity is the fourth leading cause of deaths and causes an estimated 3.2 million deaths according to the WHO.
Millions of deaths due to such causes can be prevented if students are properly educated about diet, lifestyle, and exercise — all of which play a vital role in physical and mental well-being.
To deal with emotions in a healthy way
Many of the subjects taught in school may not have much practical application in our daily lives, but everyone in this world needs to learn how to deal with their emotions effectively.
Yet, most schools barely touch upon this subject in a meaningful manner. But why is learning to deal with emotions so important, and why should it be taught in school?
Because many of us don’t know how to deal with our emotions effectively, our mental and physical health suffers, suicides occur, relationships suffer, substances get abused and, crimes get committed.
The way many of us usually deal with uncomfortable emotions is to resist, avoid or suppress them. This may provide us with temporary relief but makes things worse in the long run.
Some of us may cope with uncomfortable feelings by eating comfort foods, shopping, binge-watching, or by abusing substances such as alcohol or drugs.
Various studies have shown that suppressing your emotions affects your body and your mind. A study by the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Rochester showed people who bottled up their emotions increased their chance of premature death from all causes by more than 30%, with their risk of being diagnosed with cancer increasing by 70%.
As I explain in detail in one of my earlier articles, the way to effectively deal with emotions lies in accepting them and feeling them fully as they arise. (I’ve mentioned a practical step- by- step method in the article that you can you use to effectively deal with uncomfortable emotions.).
The words “focus” and “pay attention” are words you may have heard often in school. It’s undoubtedly a skill we will need throughout our lives.
But do you recall anyone actually teaching you how to pay attention?
Since practising meditation involves paying attention moment to moment, it’s one of the best ways to develop your attention span and your ability to focus.
Meditation is not just for yogis, monks, hippies, or people who are dealing with stress, but there are tremendous practical benefits to be gained for anyone who practices it.
Schools around the world that have adopted a structured practice of meditation in their curriculum have seen some remarkable changes in their students, and it does a lot more than improve focus.
Research shows that students who are taught meditation at school, report higher optimism, more positive emotions, stronger self-identity, greater self-acceptance and experience reduced anxiety, stress and depression.
This was compared to before the meditation programs and compared to peers who were not taught meditation.
Studies have also showed that meditation helps the social life of students by leading to increase in pro-social behaviour (like helping others) and decrease in anti-social behaviour (like anger).
I believe what’s taught in schools should help people for a lifetime and should help them thrive mentally, emotionally and physically.
After all, most people spend around 15 years or more in educational institutions, so I think that shouldn’t be too much to expect.
Note: I could go on and on about various things that schools should teach, whether it's critical thinking, financial literacy, empathy etc. but, that would make this post too lengthy. So I decided to stick to three.
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