With the increasing demand of different industries for better professionals, the pressure of doing well in school is now at its peak in this generation. In this regard, the competition is getting tougher and rougher with every school year. This is the same reason why at a young age, people should establish good study habits that almost always equates to good grades, and eventually a brighter future.
However, contrary to what most students believe in, studying is not always sleeping on a book and pulling all-nighters every day. In reality, better academic performance is a product of a well-balanced life that includes stress management, socialization and the usual physical and mental activities.
Several factors contribute to a comprehensive study habit for teens. This can be better seen when young people are put in situations unfamiliar to them, such as a project given today that is due tomorrow or impromptu speaking activities. Without a balance of one’s mental, physical and social aspects, young people tend to find it harder to cope with activities in school that may cause them to perform poorly.
As such, exactly how can a teen get the best of school? What are the things that should be done to create the best study habits that would entail a balanced teen life? Here are four ways that young people can follow to achieve academic success that they truly deserve.
De-Stress to Impress
With the amount of stresses that this life has to offer, the human psychology has become more prone to more strain than ever before. This is why it is vital that people take time to stop, be still, breathe in and relax.
Simply put, any stressed individual may find it hard to focus on the lessons he should be learning when his or her mental state is thrown out of balance. For a teenager who is just starting to find out about the realities of life, the academic world may tend to be a challenging world when he or she has undergone, or still undergoing, stresses and pressure from his or her immediate environment. This notion is backed up in numerous investigations done by experts, confirming that stress is indeed detrimental to a person’s study habits.
For this reason, teens should learn how to manage the stresses that they will definitely encounter in their lives. One good way to achieve a less stressful life is by establishing a clean and less cluttered environment. The truth is that cleanliness and organization can have a huge impact not just on one’s surroundings but on a person’s mental and physical well being, too.
After a long, hard day at work, the last thing a person would want to come home to is a messy, dirty, cluttered house. According to a study in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, people who described their homes as “cluttered” or full of “unfinished projects” tend to be more depressed and fatigued. They also show higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol as compared to those who felt their homes were “restful” and “restorative.” Overall, a clean house equates to less stress, and subsequently, better study habits.
Another stress-relieving activity is traveling. It can bring about many benefits for the human mind as well as the spirit. For one, a person becomes more adventurous and outgoing, able to tackle tasks on hand. Their decision making skill is also enhanced as traveling provide the opportunity for the wandering teens to rely on their intuition and experience.
Diet and Exercise to Get your Prize
It is similarly important to take note of the food intake of young people who want to establish an effective study habits. This is because food gives energy (obviously), which is what a person needs to fuel his or her mind for studying. In essence, there are important nutrients the body needs in order to keep the brain healthily functioning.
The brain functions by way of the neurons or nerve cells found within the organ. Keeping neurons and its connections maintained allows the brain to work steadily. This can be achieved by eating foods that are rich in Docosahexaenoic acid or DHA.
DHA is the major polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) in the brain and a structural component of neuronal membranes. An adequate level of DHA in cell membranes is important for many functions of neural cells. One of the best foods that have DHA is fish. Fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and other fish are also rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids which are very good for the brain.
Vitamin E is also necessary for better brain function. Kale, collard greens, spinach, and broccoli are good sources of vitamin E and folate. Also high in healthy fats, peanuts and peanut butter are also packed with vitamin E. Almonds and hazelnuts are also good choices for the essential nutrient for the brain.
To complement the diet, young people and their parents should consider the best supplements for studying which can increase mental performance. Taking these supplements can help improve memory and focus, both brain functions that are important in learning.
Regular exercise is also imperative for teens who want to have good study habits. This is because regular physical activity induces better mental activity. Lower oxygen levels in the blood reduce a person’s ability to concentrate. When one can’t concentrate, the ability to learn new information becomes harder to accomplish. As such, physical activity is necessary to increase the flow of oxygen to the brain, which helps the brain function improve on their level of concentration.
Research has also shown that intense aerobic activity can actually grow new brain cells in a part of the brain responsible for memory, the hippocampus. Most of this research had been done on rats and mice, until recently; human studies are starting to show that a regular program of cardio exercise several times a week could produce up to 30% more cells in the hippocampus. In one study, participants has also performed better on memory tests after three months of exercise than they had before
Higher Scores with Mental Exercise
What people do not realize is that some other mental activities aside from studying can help improve learning habits. Experts recommend sticking to brain training that involves real-world activities. Exercises to strengthen brain function should offer novelty and challenge. In fact, most of the things a person does in everyday life may be consiered as brain training.
Brain training includes activities that offer any form of concentration challenges for a person. This includes activities such as choosing chopsticks to eat lunch rather than spoon or fork, and learning how to tie a different knot on one’s shoes. In doing so, the brain works through associations, and the more senses a person involves, the better it is for the brain.
There is continuing research that doing brain aerobic exercises can help to “age-proof” a person’s brain and slow the onset of symptoms of brain aging. It can also help keep the brain functioning at peak capacity. For young people, the effects can be more significant if they are introduced at an early age.
Many mental health experts would suggest that a person start with reading the morning newspaper. Simple games like Sudoku and word games can be a form of training, as well as comic strips where a person finds things that are different from one picture to the next. It is also noted that music can be a very good platform to have the brain exercised. This is because studies show that learning something new and complex over a longer period of time is ideal for the developing mind.