Never underestimate the benefits of a good education. Thomas Jefferson would have hit home if instead of inserting “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” into the Declaration of Independence, he had written the words “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Health and Education” instead. “
Education, health and happiness are inextricably linked, according to a growing number of studies that point to a direct connection between education and quality of life. A conversation about quality of life should definitely include references to strength, stamina, vigor…all byproducts of good health.
The education highway is paved with a fundamental and far-reaching approach to learning that forges knowledge in a variety of subjects, including health. Once you have the knowledge, it becomes much easier to make the right lifelong decisions about health and everything in between.
“Knowledge is power,” wrote author Veronica Roth. Knowledge opens doors, breaks down barriers and levels the playing field. Without it, we wander through life unaware of the possibilities around us and unsure of the decisions before us. With it, we are able to recognize the good and the bad in things and make decisions based on observation, intelligence and informed judgement.
After learning the concept of a healthy life, and as happens with many of life’s daily responsibilities if accompanied by knowledge, an education process starts within us. Since our brains have absorbed information that is important for being healthy, we begin the process of learning how to be healthy. The cycle continues.
To answer the questions introduced by this new awareness, we then focus on those things that help us achieve our goal of achieving and maintaining well-being. Suddenly, our brain pushes our body to make necessary changes that can promote a healthy lifestyle in us. In a short amount of time, health becomes something you think about more than just when you have to.
Health is primarily defined as “a state of complete emotional and physical well-being”. Achieving optimal health and wellness is a challenge for everyone, educated or not. However, having the knowledge needed to achieve and maintain good health is a perfect example of how learning can positively impact every aspect of your day-to-day existence.
Dr. Seuss was right: “The more you read, the more you’ll know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
Ideally a lifelong process, learning stimulates the brain, triggers a physical response, and helps identify nearly limitless educational pathways. Education, in turn, creates a foundation for life that translates, almost unconsciously, into unlimited aspects of life, including health and well-being.
Numerous studies have established the importance and long-term benefits of early childhood education on a person’s well-being. According to the Economic Opportunity Institute, “Early childhood learning plays a crucial role in primary education. By focusing early on on prevention and protective factors, quality education and care can help children grow up healthy “.
The report went on to state: ‘…the quality of early learning and pre-five care has been found to be associated with improvements in a range of educational and social measures, some of which have been documented many years after the assistance”.
While the genetic characteristics structured in our DNA have been shown to certainly play a role in health and longevity, addressing the core issue of education – early and continuous learning – can provide a wide range of positive benefits for the brain, the body, and for society in general.