Training Your Brain For Excellence
With eXams just around the corner, getting your Brain in top shape is super important to help you maximise your results. Trust us to get you over the line, with these powerful 10 Rules for brain training!
*Credit Molecular Biologist John Medina for the research.
Boosts Brain Power
Exercise gets blood to your brain, bringing it glucose for energy and oxygen to soak up the toxic electrons that are left over. It also stimulates the protein that keeps neurons connecting.
Make 20 minutes of exercise a day a non-negotiable.
2. Learn Your Style
Every Brain is Wired Differently
What you do and learn physically changes what your brain looks like – literally rewiring it. No two people’s brains store information in the same way, so really there’s a best way for you to learn, which could be completely different to everyone else.
Figuring out how you learn best is a game changer.
3. Make it Fun
We Don’t Pay Attention to Boring Things
Contrary to popular belief, the brain can only “spotlight” or pay attention to one thing at a time: no multitasking. Try to make emotion connections with your work (think of narratives to add richness and detail), to help you have a deeper connection with the material.
Emotional arousal is one of the most powerful ways the brain learns.
4. Repeat to Remember
Short Term Memory
The more elaborately we encode memory during its initial moments, the stronger it will be remembered.
Tip: You can improve your chances of remembering something if you reproduce the environment in which you first put it into your brain. An easy one is to burn oils whilst studying (the best for memory are: Rosemary, Basil & Lavender), AND then find a way to replicate that scent during an exam (i.e. Place some Rosemary oil on a hanky).
5. Remember to Repeat
Long Term Memory
Not altogether essential for exams, but really handy for life. Long-term memories are difficult to form, and rely on incorporating new information gradually in repeated time intervals.
Sleep Well, Think Well.
The neurons in your brain show vigorous rhythmical activity when you’re asleep- often replaying and reinforcing what you learned that day. Loss of sleep hurts attention, executive function, working memory, mood, quantitative skills, logical reasoning, and even motor dexterity.
Tip: A mid-afternoon nap can help your brain digest the morning’s information, and reset for the afternoon (Report by NASA).
The amount of sleep people need varies, and you’ll know how much you need. DON’T skimp on sleep come exam time. You won’t benefit.
7. STRESS LESS
Stressed Brains Don’t Learn the Same Way
Chronic stress dangerously deregulates a system built only to deal with short-term responses, and can cripple your ability to learn and remember (cortisol damages the cells of the hippocampus).
Individually, the worst kind of stress is the feeling that you have no control over the problem – you are helpless. RECOGNISE this and find a way to put yourself back in control. You’ll feel less stressed and increase your ability to learn and retain information.
Stress can be a great motivator, but chronic stress is very dangerous. Find a way to put yourself back in control.
8. USE FIVE SENSES
Stimulate More of Your Senses
Our senses have evolved to work together (vision, hearing, smell etc.), which means that we learn best if we stimulate several senses at once.
Smells have an unusual power to bring back memories, maybe because sell signals bypass the thalamus and head straight to their destinations, which include that supervisor of emotions know as the amygdala.
Stimulate all your sense when studying – that means audio, pictures, diagrams, and smells.
9. LOOK FIRST
Vision Trumps all Other Sense
50% of our brain’s resources are dominated by vision. We actually learn best through pictures, not through spoken words.
Draw diagrams, and flow charts wherever possible, to enhance the learning process.
We are Powerful and Natural Explorers.
Babies are the model of how we learn- not by passive reaction to the environment but by active testing through observation, hypothesis, experiment and conclusion.
Keep questioning what your reading and how it relates- why it’s important.