Scientific study provides tips for acing your classes
By Kenneth Lewis, Staff Writer
With quizzes and tests becoming abundant across campus, it is that time for everyone to buckle down with their books and study. However, studying the specific content of a course is only half the battle. You have to remember it too. To make the most of your studying time, there are a plethora of techniques and habits that will help improve brain activity and health. Here are a couple of tips that have been shown to increase brain health by scientific studies.
First is to keep up with your health physically. Working out, sleep and eating healthily is shown to increase brain activity. Working out will increase the amount of oxygen that goes to your brain, reducing risk of memory loss and enhancing the effects of certain chemicals that protect your brain. Sleep is an obvious one, but something we all need to be reminded of. Without the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep, cognition, problem solving skills and creativity are all compromised.
Sleep is also necessary for memory consolidation and will process all the information you have taken in while you were awake and will allow you to understand a lot more after you sleep.
As for nutrition, keeping a well-rounded diet with vitamins and omega-3s that is also low in saturated fats can improve memory and cognitive thinking. For those 21 and over, there are also studies that show a glass of red wine a day improves cognition and memory since it is high in resveratrol, which has been shown to increase blood flow to the brain and will reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Second is to maintain your social life. This does not mean go out every chance you get or that you should neglect studying, but simply keep your friends close and make time to relax with them. Healthy relationships are keys not only to having fun, but also to our existence as humans, so it is only natural that keeping these kinds of relationships in tact will help improve our brain activity.
In a study conducted at Harvard School of Public Health, it was shown that students with the most active social lives had the slowest rate of memory loss. Laughter is also linked to brain health, and maintaining healthy relationships is sure to increase laughter. Make sure you keep involved with clubs, make time for your friends, and see a comedy every once in a while.
Finally, to really maintain your brain’s health, you have to meditate. College students will find this one to be one of the more difficult ones. Classes alone have us stressed, but all the aspects of social life, looking for jobs and internships, trying to get to the gym, and perhaps working at an on-campus job tend to only make that stress double and triple. However, meditating can help alleviate this stress by increasing activity in the area of your brain that increases feelings of joy as well as increasing the amount of connections in your brain.
Feelings of anxiety, depression, and chronic worrying can really put a strain on the brain, so meditating and keeping a healthy balance in your everyday life can do wonders for your brain’s health.