Ever wonder how many hours of study do the university toppers do? Do they study hard, or study smart? In a recent study on college graduates, it was found that good students don’t only study hard but also study smart. And the low-performing students are more likely to study, depending on the deadline rather than for learning, and they were also more likely to indulge in late-night studying.
But how to study for long hours effectively? Well, there are three main aspects of keeping the mind healthy so that you could study both effectively and efficiently–diet, mental activity, and rest.
Studying for a longer duration can be mentally draining. Just like your cell phone runs out of battery after heavy usage, so does your mind, and the mind needs charging too. Fortunately, there’s more than one way you can change your mind; sleep, rest, listen to music, go for a walk, surf online, whatever is it that you need to do to take your mind off of your studies, do it.
Three important aspects:
- Healthy food: Right nutrients support the healthy cognitive functioning of the brain and help improve memory.
- Blueberries: A cup of blueberries daily can significantly improve the functioning of the brain and protect the brain from oxidative stress.
- Nuts and Seeds: Great source of vitamin E and essential fatty oils such as omega-3 and omega-6. Cashews, almonds, walnuts, peanuts, flax seeds, or even peanut butter are healthy fats essential for the mind and body.
- Whole Grains, Beans, Pomegranate Juice, Avocado also supports the functioning of a healthy brain.
- Caffeine: A good quality coffee, green tea, and not to miss dark chocolate are a good source of caffeine. With powerful antioxidant properties, natural stimulants, caffeine can help focus and concentrate.
In order to have a strong and healthy mind, it’s important to have a healthy body too. Can you imagine studying for regular hours if your neck hurts, or you are having a headache, or your semester exams are just around the corner and you catch the flu? Would you be able to concentrate for long hours then? I don’t think so.
To boost the performance and functioning of the brain, it’s important to do at least 20 minutes of exercise. But whether to do weight training, cardio/aerobics, or yoga? In a recent study in an American University, it was found that the participants you did yoga were able to focus better, concentrate better, and process information more quickly and also learn.
So taking a short break to do some yoga exercises will help refresh the brain for the long study hours.
Do some meditation and breathing exercises in the morning. Not only will it enhance your concentration, but will also help you relax and get rid of anxiety.
On average, an adult needs 7.5-9 hours of sleep. Sleep as much as you can before you can get up fresh, there’s no reason to force yourself to get up and start studying unless it’s necessary. During the exam time, you may be tempted to study late nights, but your brain performs better during the regular cycle. Instead, try to wake up early.
During the initial period, you may find it difficult to concentrate for long hours and it’s completely fine. Avoid distractions as much as you can and focus on one thing at a time. If you find your mind wandering here and there, or you get tempted to check your favorite social networking app, avoid it.
Take short breaks at regular intervals but after completing your study topics. Many people suggest studying for 30 minutes and then take a 5-minute break, or study for an hour and then take a break. Instead, decide the topics you would like to finish first, focus on them, and take breaks once you are done with them.