Earlier this week, we published a post with seven general tips to help you study that you may not already know about. Since studying for finals can be stressful on your brain, we want to show you a few unique ways to boost your brainpower during this crucial time.
Here are seven tips that will help your body (and brain!) function at their best:
1. Drink lots of water.
The brain is a complex electrical system that uses water to transmit information. You need plenty of water to learn and to stay focused. Drink coffee and energy drinks if you need to, but just remember that caffeine is a diuretic–it makes you go to the bathroom more often, which will dehydrate you if you don’t replace the water.
2. Chew gum while you study.
Chewing gum while you study can increase your brainpower because the chewing motion increases bloodflow to your brain. It’s also a really good idea to chew gum right before your take your test. (Quick note: peppermint and cinnamon both make you more alert, so reach for a stick of Wrigley’s Big Red or Doublemint.)
3. Take a 10 minute break for every 50 minutes of work.
According to the Dartmouth Academic Research Center, you should study in 20-50 minute increments and give yourself a 5 to 10 minute break between each session
4. Move during your breaks.
Go for a quick walk if you can on your breaks. Swing your arms across the mid-line of your body like you are power-walking to turn on both sides of your brain. If you don’t have the space, you can do this standing in place.
5. Lengthen the muscles in the back of your body.
Take a minute or two to stretch out your hamstrings and lower back. The muscles in the back of your body tighten up when you sit too long. Tight muscles leads to unfocused minds.
Here’s one easy exercise you can do: Extend your legs in front of you while you’re sitting and cross one ankle over the other. Then, lean over your legs and reach towards your feet with extended arms.
6. Use all your senses when you study.
Using all your senses helps create more pathways in the brain. Try using diagrams and mind maps with colors. Write out your notes to get your tactile sense involved. Marching around the room while speaking out loud can help you memorize facts.
7. Don’t listen to music with words.
When you listen to music with words, even in the background, the lyrics compete with the information you’re trying to learn. If you like listening to music while studying, choose instrumental or classical music like Mozart.
Put a few of these tips to good use and then tell us which ones worked best for you! And feel free to share with your friends if these tips are helpful for you.
Woman drinking water image and woman hearing image via photoxpress.com