Tips for training your brain to become a faster study
**The Edvocate is pleased to publish guest posts as way to fuel important conversations surrounding P-20 education in America. The opinions contained within guest posts are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of The Edvocate or Dr. Matthew Lynch.**
A guest column by Brooke Chaplan
Every student wants to learn faster, but it seems like your brain doesn’t always cooperate. Along with healthy living and brain health supplements, developing smart study habits can really make you a more productive study. Studying effectively and keeping those facts stored and ready to access is a skill not many are privy to. If you want to further define and develop good study and memorization habits, following the four tips below can help.
Research from Harvard Medical School shows that regular exercise improves both memory and thinking skills. Researchers have long known that regular exercise has excellent emotional and physical health benefits. However, exercise not only gets the heart pumping, but also temporarily boosts the size of the hippocampus, which is the brain’s memory and learning center. Additionally, intense exercise also stimulates the body to release important chemicals, such as endorphins that fight stress, and other chemicals that stimulate brain cell and blood vessel growth. Exercising also reduces common cognitive impairments, such as stress, anxiety, and poor sleep quality.
Weight training involves increasing muscle mass through controlled, repetitive movements. The brain also grows through cognitive exercises and students should practice memorizing new information according to their own personalized system with custom pneumatic techniques. For example, you can practice quickly memorizing other people’s names or things you see in public. In a boring class you could practice memorizing details about students and then trying to recall them. This is important because the brain naturally resists information overload through protectively ignoring random details. Try to systematically train your brain to memorize this unfamiliar information instead.
Explore Different Skills
Learning new skills or information actually creates new neural pathways. The famous cognitive psychologist Howard Gardner postulated that there are actually different types of intelligence, such as spatial, logical, and kinesthetic intelligence. Therefore, IQ tests inaccurately reflect an individual’s intelligence because they primarily test factual knowledge. However, music expands a students’ ability to translate visual information to physical performance. On the other hand, studying art or architecture increases the students’ spatial comprehension. Therefore, students should explore different skill sets in order to increase the time and quality of their brain’s learning.
One of the most comprehensive ways to become a better learner is to formally study education. A degree in education is a great way to learn the fundamental principles of education through teaching others. In fact, an education degree will lead to greater understanding of the socio-cognitive learning processes. Students will learn the most effective techniques for increasing memory, creativity, and comprehension. For example, education degree programs and education masters degrees online provide students insight into how the learning process is highly individualized and as a result, you will be able to assess and understand your own learning preferences.
Clearly, there are proven ways to increase the brain’s learning effectiveness, such as exercise, memorization, skill expansion, and studying education. Don’t fall behind this year in school. If you take the time to rewire your thinking system, you can find new ways of studying faster.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening.