London – Getting good grades and going to university makes us no happier than failing exams and dropping out of school, a study claims.
Even the researchers who conducted study admitted the results were surprising, given that previous research has found the opposite.
Until now, it was accepted there was a clear link between level of education and mental health problems.
Poor education has traditionally been associated with a lower income, living in less desirable areas and problems such as crime, drinking and drug taking.
Yet a good education was found to do little to improve levels of happiness – or ‘high mental wellbeing’, as the study called it.
The researchers say this is because many people who didn’t do well at school still have a good work ethic – or are in communities with a good support structure. Having others around them can help them cope better with any problems they face, the study found.
And high mental wellbeing comes not from having fewer problems - but being able to deal better with any problems that one does have. For those who get good grades, it can mean a better job and more income but this in itself does not necessarily equip them any better to deal with personal issues that arise.
The team, from Warwick’s Medical School team examined the levels of high and low mental health from government health surveys conducted on 17,000 UK adults in 2010 and 2011.
They then matched them to factors like educational achievement and income, which are known factors in mental health problems.
They study found that among any given level of educational attainment, the odds of poor mental wellbeing were the same.
Lead study author Professor Sarah Stewart-Brown said: ‘These findings are quite controversial because we expected to find the socioeconomic factors that are associated with mental illness would also be correlated with mental wellbeing.
‘So if low educational attainment was strongly associated with mental illness, high educational attainment would be strongly connected to mental well-being. But that is not the case.’
You can make your life happier. It is a matter of choice.
It is your attitude that makes you feel happy or unhappy.
We meet various situations every day, and some of them may not contribute to happiness. However, we can choose to keep thinking about the unhappy events, and we can choose to refuse to think about them, and instead, think about and relish the happy moments.
All of us go through various situations and circumstances, but we do not have to let them influence our reactions and feelings.
If we let outer events influence our moods, we become their slaves. We lose our freedom. We let our happiness be determined by outer forces. On the other hand, we can free ourselves from outer influences. We can choose to be happy, and we can do a lot to add happiness to our lives.
What is happiness?
It is a feeling of inner peace and satisfaction. It is usually experienced, when there are no worries, fears or obsessing thoughts. This usually happens, when we do something we love to do, or when we get, win, gain, or achieve something that we value. It seems to be the outcome of positive events, but it actually comes from the inside, triggered by external events.
For most people, happiness seems fleeting and temporary, because they allow external circumstances to affect it. One of the best ways to keep it, is by gaining inner peace through daily meditation. As the mind becomes more peaceful, it becomes easier to choose the happiness habit.
Tips for Happiness in Daily Life:
1) Endeavor to change the way you look at things. Always look at the bright side. The mind might drag you to think about negativity and difficulties. Don't let it. Look at the good and positive side of every situation.
2) Think about solutions, not about problems.
3) Listen to relaxing, uplifting music.
4) Watch funny comedies that make you laugh.
5) Each day, devote some time to reading a few pages of an inspiring book or article.
6) Watch your thoughts. Whenever you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts, start thinking of pleasant things.
7) Always look at what you have done and not at what you haven't.
Sometimes, you begin the day with the desire to accomplish several objectives. At the end of the day, you might feel frustrated and unhappy, because you haven't been able to do all of those things.
Look at what you have done, not at what you have not been able to do. Often, even if you have accomplished a lot during the day, you let yourself feel frustrated, because of some minor tasks you didn't accomplish.
Sometimes, you spend all day successfully carrying out many plans, but instead of feeling happy and satisfied, you look at what was not accomplished and feel unhappy. It is unfair toward yourself.
8) Each day do something good for yourself. It can be something small, such as buying a book, eating something you love, watching your favorite program on TV, going to a movie, or just having a stroll on the beach.
9) Each day do at least one act to make others happy.
This can be a kind word, helping your colleagues, stopping your car at the crossroad to let people cross, giving your seat in a bus to someone else, or giving a small present to someone you love. The possibilities are infinite.
When you make someone happy, you become happy, and then people try to make you happy.
10) Always expect happiness.
11) Do not envy people who are happy. On the contrary, be happy for their happiness.
12) Associate with happy people, and try to learn from them to be happy. Remember, happiness is contagious.
13) Do your best to stay detached, when things do not proceed as intended and desired. Detachment will help you stay calm and control your moods and reactions. Detachment is not indifference. It is the acceptance of the good and the bad and staying balanced. Detachment has much to do with inner peace, and inner peace is conductive to happiness.
14) Smile more often.
Advice? I don’t have advice. Stop aspiring and start writing. If you’re writing, you’re a writer. Write like you’re a goddamn death row inmate and the governor is out of the country and there’s no chance for a pardon. Write like you’re clinging to the edge of a cliff, white knuckles, on your last breath, and you’ve got just one last thing to say, like you’re a bird flying over us and you can see everything, and please, for God’s sake, tell us something that will save us from ourselves. Take a deep breath and tell us your deepest, darkest secret, so we can wipe our brow and know that we’re not alone. Write like you have a message from the king. Or don’t. Who knows, maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have to.”