Optimizing Brain Health for Effective Studying

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Have you ever asked yourself what it would be like to have a brain that functions like a computer, where calculations can be easily done in a matter of milliseconds and you can store information without forgetting it? Well, we obviously can’t achieve any of those, seeing as we are all human beings. However, there are ways with which we can improve our brain’s function by keeping our brain in optimum health and condition. This article is dedicated to educating individuals as to how to keep their brains healthy and in optimal performance so that they can effectively learn and study.

Importance of a healthy brain

Various benefits come with a brain that is performing at an optimal status. Here are a few of the benefits having a healthy and well-maintained brain has to offer:

1. Provides better focus

Have you ever experienced being so stressed out or deprived of sleep that it gets progressively more difficult to keep your focus on things as the day goes on? Well, this is a common occurrence once an individual’s brain is not in desired health.

A brain that operates at an optimal status will have no problem keeping focus on the tasks an individual does or the lectures they attend. Having a brain in tip-top shape may even improve the focus of an individual. Especially if that individual has been going day by day without proper care for their brain’s health.

2. Improves memory storage and retention

A healthy brain not only leads to better focus but will also provide an individual with a better time storing and remembering information. If a brain is fatigued, the electric signals that the brain utilizes to retrieve information from the numerous neuron links get considerably slower. This makes memory retention and even storage a harder task than they should be.

However, once an individual’s brain operates at optimal status, the electric signals that travel from neuron to neuron travel far better than a fatigued brain. Thus, improving the memory storage and retention of an individual.

3. Allows better absorption of knowledge

Another huge benefit in the field of academics that comes with having a healthy brain is that it allows for better absorption of knowledge. This not only includes facts and trivia but also theories and formulas that will be taught to an individual.

This is due to the improved rate of electrical signals that travel from neuron to neuron within the brain. Once an individual can retrieve information from their memory quickly, they will be able to piece together simpler theories in order to understand more complex theories and thus, is able to absorb knowledge better.

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How to keep your brain in good shape

Now that we have discussed why it is desirable to have a brain that is in good shape, let us now move on to the methods as to how to keep your brain in good health.

1. Mind your diet

When one talks about the health of any body part in the human body, the most probable first thing to come to mind would be the diet one takes in. However, this is not the regular cutting of calories type of diet that should be done but is instead the type of diet where the nutrients and vitamins one intakes are controlled and monitored.

For your brain to be healthy, you also need to eat a combination of food that are rich in vitamins and minerals that will help your brain function better. The most basic of which would be a diet consisting of complex carbohydrates, lean protein, vegetables, and healthy fats.

However, eating healthy foods is not the only thing you should keep watch of in your diet. You also need to stay away from deep-fried comfort foods and junk foods in general. Not only do these foods have a high concentration of unwanted fats and salt which are bad for your health, but will also make you feel sluggish and fatigued after you consume them.

Another thing to keep in mind is to stay away from alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant that, when taken in large doses, will result in feelings of sluggishness, disorientation, slower reaction times, and even a less responsive nervous system. These are all bad results that you should avoid if you want to have a brain that is healthy and in tip-top shape.

2. Remember to hydrate yourself

Hydration comes hand in hand with an individual’s diet when it comes to maintaining and improving one’s health. Hydration is so important that it is one of the primary reasons life has existed and evolved on this planet. Hydration is one of the necessities of the human body which plays such a large role that not getting enough of it can actually cause death in some cases.

Hydrating yourself regularly by drinking the recommended 6-8 glasses of water (or roughly about 2 liters worth of water) per day not only provides your body with benefits but your brain as well.

Your brain is made up of approximately 73% water, which indicates the importance of regular hydration towards keeping the brain healthy. If you happen to lack a sufficient amount of hydration during exam time, then you will experience symptoms such as a shortened attention span, impaired memory function, and even difficulty with concentration.

Water is also important not only for keeping your brain sharp but for maintaining the general health and well-being of the brain and other organs as well. Water helps deliver nutrients that your brain needs in order to function properly while also flushing out any waste that the body produces.

3. Get a good night’s sleep

Resting well and being able to replenish a day’s worth of consumed energy is essential for a healthy and well-maintained brain. Not only does getting enough hours of sleep allow for better absorption of knowledge learned throughout the day, but some studies also show that sleeping can help get rid of waste products excreted by the brain which allow for better overall brain activity.

If you aren’t sold on the fact that sleep helps keep your brain performing at its best, then try to recall the last time you had a late-night cramming session without any follow-up studying the next day. If you have tried this, then chances are that you have forgotten or have trouble recalling the things you studied for the night before.

This is due to the overbearing fatigue that the brain has experienced throughout the exam period. Not only are you pumping in loads of knowledge into the brain and expecting it to remember everything, but you are also making your brain work overtime. This will inevitably result in a decrease in brain function and the brain’s overall health.

However, once you are properly rested every day by following the recommended number of hours a person should sleep, it will allow your brain to get its well-needed rest. It will also give your brain time to process and digest information that was put into it over the day which helps strengthen the neuron chains that allow for better memory retention.

Not only that but getting the right amount of sleep also keeps the body in good shape. Lack of sleep can lead to serious consequences such as a compromised immune system, high blood pressure, and even depression. All of which can affect your brain function one way or another.    

4. Try out some exercises

Another way to help maintain brain health and make sure that it performs at its best is to get your regular dose of exercise. But who has time for exercise when there are exams to prepare for? Well, the answer is you, if you can manage your time well.

Exercise offers a myriad of benefits for the body, but its benefits are not limited to the muscles in your body. First off, especially aerobic exercises, improve a person’s alertness, attention span, and also promotes positive thinking. Exercise also prepares and encourages the nerve endings to bind with one another, which makes the electrical signals traveling from neuron to neuron go faster which promotes memory retention and also helps make digesting information a whole lot easier.

The best exercises that allow a student to stay physically and mentally fit, while still having enough time to do other activities include: walking around the block for at least 30 minutes, going for a quick bike ride, doing a few laps in a pool (if you have access to any), or doing simple yoga poses at your home. 

5. Manage your stress levels

When things are getting challenging and feels like too much for a student, it can be very easy to build up stress. Stress is a natural bodily response that human beings demonstrate when they feel endangered by their surroundings. And when you are surrounded by project deadlines, exams, and piles of paperwork, it is almost impossible not to feel the slightest bit of stress.

A little bit of stress isn’t that bad. It can be considered as a spark that is a source of motivation that will drive you towards reaching your goal. However, when that spark grows into an uncontrollable fire that threatens to devour you, then it will be a huge problem to deal with.

Dealing with stress differs from person to person, but there are a few methods that you can test out to see if it will help reduce your stress levels. First is to do a quick self-examination of what things are stressing you out. Is it schoolwork? Social struggles? Financial issues? Then try to work out a solution for what is stressing you out and make it a goal to achieve that solution.

You can also try doing hitting two birds with one stone by doing yoga in order to get your daily exercise while also allowing your stress levels to calm down a bit.

And the last method is to speak with someone about your worries. Keeping what is stressing you out bottled inside you will only cause the explosion it will cause to become stronger. So, it is better to let it all out before it gets too overbearing.



Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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