Walking in Wonder: How Curiosity Encourages Your Health
Curiosity and the Classroom: Developing Lifelong Well-Being The classroom is about more than just education. As teachers set up the foundations for their students' futures, it becomes an environment that cultivates habits, beliefs, and perspectives that students may never have at home. But where is it—the boundary where life and education meet? As we watch the school environment instill values that make the societies of tomorrow, we find one at the center of it all—curiosity. Here, the lessons of a classroom extend beyond school walls, making a difference in student lives. With it, we can affect the well-being of the students psychologically, socially, and emotionally. In a world that harbors such pain and frustration, we can find these benefits, even if they are small, to be of great importance. So, I bring you the benefits of curiosity on our well-being. 6 Components of Psychological Well-Being Our psychological states are the bedrock in our ability to sustain our maturity throughout our lives. If too fragile, students may become a forgotten part of society outside the walls of what's considered normal. If it is too rigid? This closed perspective can lead to independence far beyond the limits of personal health. Autonomy: As students lead a life of wonder, many of the world's standards become antiquated. Giving students the tool of curiosity, they can venture forth on their own as they become innovators, inventors, and healthy components to society. Environmental Mastery: Having an ample understanding of the world leads us toward a steady life. This sturdy foundation is crucial in supporting psychological well-being. Purpose in Life: Without purpose or direction, students may become lost in the complexities of society. As they wonder about their internal and external environments, they have a reason to be better individuals and find happiness. Personal Growth: Closely related to having a sense of purpose in life, curiosity often leads to a road that helps students grow on all sides of their lives. In the classroom, they may be curious to find the solution. Emotionally, they will be interested in solving any turbulence. They will want to become all-around, better people. Positive Relations: Much of what we see is what we believe. Developing positive relations with the self and others helps students build foundations to help them when they fall. Self-Acceptance: The benefit of living in a complex society is that we have clear guidelines, but this also comes with a significant weakness—ignoring parts of the self that rarely fit in. However, if we encourage our students to be curious, it helps in two ways: The first is that it pushes them to find the parts of themselves that they have kept hidden while simultaneously making them accept others. 5 Components of Social Well-Being Being able to stay psychologically balanced is only part of the equation. As social beings, our ability to communicate with others is vital. With curiosity, we find six benefits to our social setting. What are they? Integration: Education is all about learning added information. As a student's mental and social model grows, they will need to integrate into the world through understanding lessons in their lives while also finding social cohesion. Contribution: Any attempt at being a good citizen starts with the ability to contribute to society. When students don't take the face value of everything they see, they gain the ability to find fresh ways to add their value to the world around them. Coherence: Language, the simple task we complete every day, is something that comes with varying depths of understanding. Finding a route to how others think allows students to communicate better as both listeners and talkers. Acceptance: With curiosity, the many shades of reality become more apparent than they are to a closed mind. Much of what we do is not in our control, and discovering limits allows students to know how to accept various factors in their lives. Actualization: The highest level in Maslow's hierarchy of needs comes when people can discover themselves, socially, emotionally, and psychologically. Emotional Well-Being As we combine all these factors, we find that many of them will help students lead to richer emotional lives. With a positive influence on all of them, it brings the benefit of positive emotional effects. Our feelings and beliefs influence so much of what we see and know. As it clears the many peculiarities of the world, curiosity allows students to achieve an increased sense of subjective happiness. When the world is no longer black and white, it becomes easier to see the beauty in the chaos. As we dive deeper into the psychological components of an educational renaissance, we find ethical factors that need consideration. As we expand on the definition of modern education, we must consider what it means to garner skills beyond the core curriculum. It will not only help students in the classroom but in life. And it is this, with the outreaching effect that it could have on society, that we are becoming bound to this cause. Special Thanks! Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash Gallagher, M. W., & Lopez, S. J. (2007). Curiosity and well-being. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 2(4), 236–248.