What I wish I’d learnt at School

I loved school. I was one of those weird people that actually really enjoyed getting up in the morning to go and learn...and I learnt many useful things in my time at school. Yet thinking back, it seems as though there were a few very crucial areas where our UK curriculum falls short. There are some things that I wish I had learnt at school because they would have transformed the state of my mental and physical health over the long-term. Here are a few things that I wish I had learnt at school:

How My Brain Works

I never learnt how my brain works. Now maybe it is a bit ridiculous to expect neuroscience to be on the school curriculum - but perhaps some basic understanding of what the different parts of my brain are and how they work would have been beneficial. In my experience, even many adults have no idea how their wonderful brains work - and yet by understanding what our brain can do, we are able to train our brain, manage our emotions and even change our habits/patterns of behaviour. Understanding how my brain works helps me to understand why I am more anxious when I am tired, why I am less rational about situations when I feel emotional and how stress can affect my willpower. I think that we should all learn more about this amazing brain of ours.

How to Manage My Thoughts and in Turn My Mental Health

I never learnt what mental health was - or that I had the power to train my thoughts and in turn feel much better day-to-day. I used to think that my thoughts were my personality, without realising that thoughts are often just the result of my childhood and previous life experiences. I had no idea that my belief systems affected everything about the way I viewed the world and even how I perceived myself... or that there was anything that I could do to change these thoughts or these beliefs. I now help many of my clients to completely change their thinking patterns and belief systems and in turn feel much better every day - optimising both their mental and physical health. However I wish that this was something that I had learnt about at school. We know that most mental illness begins before the age of 18 and that most mental illnesses are preventable - so equipping children with tools to manage their mental health could stop mental illnesses from ever developing.

The Dangers of Comparisons

Fortunately I grew up in a time before social media made it big. Yet even before social media - it was very normal at school and university for people to compare themselves to each other or to some celebrity that they had just seen on the TV. Yet nobody ever told me how toxic making these comparisons is for the state of my mental health. You think that someone else is happier/healthier/smarter/funnier/more attractive etc. - but when you meet someone you only get a very small part of who they are or what their life is like. Now children are even comparing themselves to people on social media - air-brushed, filtered, “perfect” showreels of individuals and it is easy for them to feel inadequate. It is important to communicate to children and young adults regularly that what makes t