CONCENTRATION AND YOUR BODY: Sound
Body = Sound Mind
pressure of deadlines and expectations may make you ignore
your body's needs...
BUT...if you don't take care of your body, you may lose
interest in your studies, and fatigue may cause anxiety
which can limit performance.
THE SEMESTER maintain good habits of diet, exercise, sleep
Take 10 minutes to relax before meals; eat well-balanced
food slowly; make mealtime an opportunity to calm down.
Choose an exercise you enjoy...jogging, swimming, yoga,
etc....and build up gradually until it's a regular part
of your week.
Schedule 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night and plan a regular
TIME YOU STUDY plan to use your body to help you concentrate.
Choose or create a study environment with a straight but
comfortable chair (but not too comfortable or too relaxing)
that fits you, a desk with all the equipment you need,
daylight or indirect light which is bright enough but
doesn't glare on your book or in your eyes.
Study according to your biorhythms: schedule your most
difficult subjects when you are at peak mental efficiency
(after 10PM? early morning?) and plan to do easier tasks,
like compiling a bibliography at the library, when you
are mentally at low efficiency.
Know and respect your own concentration span. When you
begin a study session, gather your materials, relax, plan
what you want to accomplish and energetically begin. When
your mind wanders, call yourself back to the task. But
when you find yourself consistently daydreaming or working
without comprehension, stop and TAKE A BREAK. For 5 to
10 minutes, talk to someone, take a walk, daydream, relax.
Then repeat the cycle and begin studying again.
DEADLINE AND TEST STRESS don't let pressure cause you to
ignore your body!
Make every minute count by turning meals, time spent travelling
by bus or car or walking across campus into opportunities
for relaxation and exercise.
During long study sessions, drink lots of fluids, increase
caloric intake, and eat frequent small meals. Use only
coffee, tea, soft drinks in moderation. Some people cannot
tolerate much caffeine, so be careful and don't take in
Plan breaks to include light exercise to help you stay
awake and revitalize.
Don't oversleep; if you must cut down on sleep, try going
to bed at your regular bedtime and getting up early.
If you are keyed up or anxious, relax yourself periodically.
If you can't sleep, exercise during the day and plan to
spend 30 minutes relaxing before you go to bed.