How studying can help with your mental health
May 21, 2020 / Libby Barrett
Studying can often have the opposite effect people may think, particularly if you have chosen to study something you are passionate about or have an interest in. It can be an enjoyable and positive experience.
Whether you have chosen to study full time at university or college, or if you’ve decided to study a course alongside your job or family commitments, if you are studying something you love, this will serve as a major benefit to your mental health.
During these uncertain times, many people have been furloughed or have had hours reduced, which brings about negative feelings and lots of free time to dwell on these. It might seem counterproductive to you at first as studying can bring on elements of stress but one sure way of focusing your mind is to study for a course.
Here’s how studying can actually help you with your mental health.
As mentioned before, studying gives you something to focus your mind. In uncertain times like these, where many of us have been furloughed and are off work and can’t see family and friends, it’s very difficult to wake up every morning with a purpose.
Even if you are still working, a course can bring focus to your evenings and weekends, swapping focus from work to something else. This will help you feel less overwhelmed with your work, as it’s not your only focus.
If you are studying for a course, you have something to focus your mind. This means you can sit and study and really get stuck into doing some work for a few hours in the day or evening. You don’t need to think and worry about anything else but the course your studying for.
Gives you a goal
You must have chosen to study for a reason, hopefully with an end goal in mind. Whether that’s to get to university, change your career or get that promotion you’ve always wanted, keep this goal.
This goal gives you the motivation to achieve whatever it is that you set out to do. You will also have smaller goals as part of your studies, no matter how little or big. For example, in a week you might have a goal to complete a certain module, or to write a specific amount of words for an assignment. Having a goal to work towards helps boost your motivation and confidence.
Occupies your mind
Nothing is worse than suddenly having a lot of free time on your hands, with not much else to do. It can lead to overthinking and in turn can have a really negative effect on peoples mental health.
When you are studying, you have something to do. It challenges and occupies your mind. You’re learning something new and putting this into practice
Helps you take back control
During this pandemic, there is now quite a lot of things in our lives that we just cannot control. A way to help you take back control of your life is to study.
You can set your own goals, timetable and it’s probably one of the only things you are able to control in your life at the moment. It’s something you can own.
If you have low confidence and self esteem, studying might seem like the last thing you want to do, but actually studying can really build your confidence up. When you’re studying something you are passionate about, the more you read and learn, the higher your confidence builds.
If you are finding yourself struggling, don’t suffer alone. Talk to people, whether that’s family, friends, colleagues or neighbours. Everyone copes differently with things and that’s okay. There are also various websites that can help you with different coping mechanisms such as mind.