Whether you’re studying psychology as a major, have aspirations of becoming a therapist, or only casually delving into reading psychology texts or taking a course as an elective, there are some amazing benefits of studying psychology that translate into real-world advantages in your personal and professional life.
One of the first things every student of psychology learns in the classroom is that there is beauty in effective communication. What is more, you can begin to grasp how important it is to master the art and skill of it. Gaining a deep understanding of how individuals express themselves allows you to develop a greater awareness of your own. Whether you look at speech patterns, rules of dialogic engagement, or general habits of speaking, understanding how these play out in relationships helps you become a better, more powerful, and more effective speaker. It can also help you avoid the pitfalls of poor communication habits like making assumptions and fostering misunderstandings. In the real world, this study will carry over into interviews, relationships, and even raising a family and dealing with children.
Whether you are setting a goal to quit smoking or lose weight or adopt a new skill, the lessons you learn from psychology can help you get and stay motivated. Psychology teaches us about how motivational levels wax and wane when approaching a task that is particularly difficult, so there are important things to remember from your psychology classes. Introducing new or novel elements throughout a process can help you keep your interest high, and you can vary the sequence of learning to stave off boredom. Learning new things is easier when you build on pre-existing knowledge that you already have. Setting clear goals that include both a long-term aspect and shorter, easier-to-reach benchmarks increase motivation over time. And psychology also reminds us that positive reinforcement for a job well done is also important.
Studying psychology opens your mind to possibilities of all kinds and in all situations. By learning the functionality and processes of the brain, you can begin to understand how yours works and why it works the way it does. It allows you to see that you are not alone in your thoughts, issues, or problems and promotes empathy. By looking at situations from both a clinical and emotional perspective, you find resolutions to issues more easily and can handle negative circumstances and emotions more logically. Imagine how useful this skill could be in relationships, both personally and professionally.
People often do some rather confusing and inexplicable things. Without the benefit of psychology, it would be unlikely that some of these things would ever be explained. Studying psychology allows you to gain deeper access to the human mind, understanding how people express emotion, handle stress, learn to give and accept love, and why some situations affect certain individuals more than others. It may help you predict and understand the behaviors of others with whom you must live, work, or engage. While gaining this insight does not necessarily mean that you will automatically become mentally healthier, it does mean that studying psychology has the potential to help you become more cognizant of the thoughts and actions of others so that you can form better relationships. Knowing about the inner workings of the mind can help you understand how to better navigate society.
Research in cognitive psychology has provided a wealth of information about critical thinking and decision making. Applying these strategies to your life can help you learn to make wiser choices. When a big decision is looming, you can look at the situation from different perspectives, including rational, emotional, intuitive, creative, positive, and negative. You can also step back and analyze the potential costs and benefits of any given decision or use a grid technique learned in psychology that provides a score for how a certain choice will meet the requirements you may have. The power of psychology lies in the ability to carefully process information, especially from various angles, making the critical thinking process accurate and reliable. When your mind is sharpened, you can react and process information quickly, overcoming challenges that may present itself. Imagine how important critical thinking will be in times of professional or personal turbulence.
Studying psychology has many surprising life benefits, including the ability to understand how to use and interpret data and improve your capacity for change. It allows you to operate effectively throughout channels of an organization and manage difficult, high-stress environments. Studying psychology is more than getting psychology homework answers. In the real world, it can help you show persistence in challenging circumstances and help you over the course of a lifetime.
What are some other life benefits to studying psychology? Feel free to share your thoughts.