As a student, keeping your mind sharp and staying focused are vitally important for passing your course. Thankfully, your brain has truly remarkable capabilities, and there are ways to tap into them. Try the following tips to boost your brain power!
Learn a new activity
The brain loves a challenge, and learning a new activity which requires concentration is a great way to strengthen your cognitive abilities. Contrary to popular belief, your brain is able to learn and broaden its capabilities (a process called brain plasticity) as you grow older. Challenge yourself to learn something that will support this process, such as playing guitar, learning a new language, dancing, or challenging a friend to a game of chess. Most sports also require a high level of concentration and thinking.
Focus on one task at a time
Your brain is capable of bouncing between one task and another, but it is unlikely that it will be fully focused on either task. Multi-tasking is not good for learning – it reduces your attention span, concentration levels, and short-term memory. Thus, ultimately, multi-tasking reduces your mental performance! Place your full attention on one task before moving on to the next.
Keep your body healthy
A healthy body makes for a healthy mind! Research has shown that regular exercise and a healthy diet can improve brain functions such as memory, problem-solving, and concentration. You’ll also feel the positive effects of endorphins (sometimes called happy hormones), which are released when you exercise, keeping your mood up and your mind sharp! In addition, certain foods such as fish, avocados and nuts, contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which the brain needs to function at its optimal level.
Read more, watch less TV
Many studies have shown that reading improves memory recall, empathy, concentration, and creativity. It expands your knowledge and vocabulary too. Apart from this, reading is a great way to relieve stress when you’re feeling under pressure during your studies. Instead of sitting passively behind a TV (where very little cognitive activity is needed) reach for the bookshelf and give your brain a workout!
Repeat, repeat, repeat
The surest way to remember something is to repeat it – over and over again. During your studies, go over your coursework multiple times and test yourself on it until you feel confident that it has been locked in your memory. This experience will also prepare you for the next time you need to memorise important things.
The average human brain has around 50 000 thoughts per day, so your way of thinking can have a huge impact on your mental outlook and emotional wellness. If you fill your brain with negative thoughts, then you may feel daunted by your studies and ready to give up when things get stressful. Strive to approach your work with a positive mindset at all times.
Treasure your relationships
Your relationships with family and friends are key factors in keeping your mind sharp. Talking and engaging with others helps you to offload your thoughts, think more clearly, and develop skills such as empathy and communication. Healthy relationships can also lift your mood, allowing you to approach your studies with a positive attitude.