healthy habits improve memory

There you are… sweat rolling off you the night before the first leaving cert exam. It’s three million degrees outside, all your favourite films are just starting on TV and you happen to find loads of interesting stories and conversations online. You know that’s the way it’s gonna be, no matter how hard you work or how well prepared you are…

That’s normal, you’ll be nervous, you’ll feel unprepared, you’ll be focusing so much on trying to study that you don’t actually study anything at all because you’re trying to study too hard. So how can you improve your memory and make stuff go in?

First things first… time is irrelevant when it comes to study. You can say you’ve spent all day studying but you might have spent maybe 10 minutes learning and remembering things. Big difference. So it’s quality not quantity. Don’t feel like you have to spend ‘x’ amount of time studying.

Regular Excercise

Earth Day 5K Sierra Club - Quiet Waters Park - 11
photo credit: David Clow – Maryland

Excercise helps increase the flow of oxygen to your brain. That makes you more alert & relaxed and increases the chances that the stuff you’re looking at will transport itself in to your head.

Manage Stress

Beheading can cause kids stress
photo credit: creativedc

You know this already but it’s worth pointing out…. if you’re stressed out, you’re gonna be slower, angrier and not balanced in your attitude or approach to something. That’s common sense. You wouldn’t walk in to a lion’s den after he’s just ripped up another human right in front of you…

So if you’re stressed out, shut yourself off from study mode. You are that lion and anything that comes near you will be terminated on sight. Get outside, get excercising, watch TV, sleep… do whatever it takes to get out of that mood and get rid of stress (or at least reduce it).


photo credit: t3mujin

Tempted to pull an all nighter? Not now you’re not… there’s still two feckin’ weeks to these exams so there’s something wrong if you’re pulling all nighters this early :mrgreen: But as June 9th draws closer, you will be tempted. Or you’ll be tempted to stay up later than usual. However, if your body is used to ‘x’ amount of sleep per day and you start to starve it of that sleep it’s used to, it’s gonna throw a strop in the middle of the day and drain you of all your energy. That’s the last thing you want.

Keep your sleeping patterns steady throughout exams. You need to concentrate and focus and without proper sleep, you’ll struggle. Sleep is something you *think* you can cut because you can’t measure it’s impact on your performance. But if you want to get a taster of what it’s like, trying memorizing a random sentence now, then try memorizing another one in 24 hours time after you’ve gone without any sleep.

I remember going to a concert a few years ago having been up for about 60 hours non stop (after long drive, flights etc…) i literally couldn’t read what was on my ticket because i wasn’t able to gather enough energy to focus on it. From that day on i started respecting sleep more 😉


Social Commentary
photo credit: fatedsnowfox

Put things in perspective. It will calm you. These are exams. You have a roof over your head, you have food, water, electricity… if you pass or fail you’ll still be loved and you’ll still have a future. You’re young, you’ve more education already than most of the world and you’ve already got a higher standard of living than the rest of the world. Chances are, both your parents didn’t get this far in their education and they’ve gotten on ok…

Stop worrying… you’re not dying, you’re not sick, you’re not slumming it… it’s not doing you or anyone else any good so just get on with it and let time flow naturally… enjoy it, savour it. Even if you don’t know how to write the question number down, laugh it off and relax… stressing out never solves anything.

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