Whether you’re in secondary school or college, keeping your mind sharp can be a difficult task. There are so many things competing for our attention these days, not to mention the mental strain we place on ourselves through our mobile devices. Thankfully, there are some easy adjustments you can make in order to improve your memory. These are particularly helpful before a big examination or test, but they work more effectively if practised as part of your everyday lifestyle.
Eating for Memory
Experts have suggested that the Mediterranean diet – lots of whole grains, fish and vegetables – can help boost memory. However, a cash-strapped college student isn’t going to have the extra money for wild-caught salmon 3 times per week. What can we do?
While it’s always best to get as much nutrition as you can from actual food, supplements can play a role in helping to improve your memory. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish like salmon, are available as supplements and can be easily purchased. Try to choose a reputable brand that uses only cold-water fish (preferably salmon) for their supplements.
You can also try supplements containing Vitamins D and B12. Some studies have suggested that these vitamins can help boost memory. But remember to check with a doctor first before taking any supplements or vitamins.
For years, multitasking was the sign of ultimate efficiency. A person who could simultaneously answer emails, talk on the phone, text and write a paper was a dedicated, hard worker – something which our culture tells us we must be at all times.
Unfortunately, this concept is totally false!
Recent studies have proven (nearly unanimously) that, when we multitask, we actually get less actual work done. Our memory suffers as well. This makes sense – how can you possibly expect to remember something you’ve studied when you were texting and binge-watching Netflix at the same time?
As difficult as it sounds, studying needs to be the only thing that you’re doing when you’re studying. Turn off anything that may distract you, with the exception of some memory-boosting classical music playing in the background. Direct all your attention to what you’re studying and take the time to let the information sink in. Later on, when you have a friend quiz you or when you take a mini-quiz in a textbook, you’ll be amazed at how much more you can recall when your brain wasn’t distracted by a million other things at the same time!
To obtain the full effects of single-tasking, try to tune out unwanted noise. A good pair of noise-cancelling headphones can be an invaluable study tool; they let you listen to that memory-boosting classical music and cancel out your loud-mouth roommate at the same time!
Create Quality Sleep
One of the most time-honoured ways to boost memory and concentration is to get quality sleep, and enough of it. This can be tricky in college, but it can be done. Invest in a good pair of ear plugs designed for comfortable use while sleeping, and use them to drown out roommates or other noise when needed. Keep your room as dark as possible. Wear a sleep mask to block out unwanted light, and be sure to hit the sheets for at least 8 hours per night, or the amount of time needed before you wake up naturally. It’s impossible to do this every day, especially during college, but try as often as you can, and especially before a big test.
Credits pic: askmeoneducation.com