The new year and a new semester have begun, and many students are looking for new ways to get off to a good start. Some may try new study tools they have discovered or make changes to their routine. However, for other students, these changes might only stay in place for a few weeks before being dumped on the island of forgotten semester goals. If you’re looking for ways to start your semester strong that you can actually follow, consider these five tips you may not have considered — each involving your five senses.
If you are a person who moves all the time, try squeezing a stress ball to help you focus more. Stress balls can help you feel like you have more control and can relieve any tension or stiffness that may be in your body, leaving your brain free to focus on the task at hand and relieving any anxiety that may accompany the school work or the task you are working on.
According to ScienceDaily, certain smells connect to the emotional and memory parts of the brain and can often trigger vivid memories. If you’re studying the night before an exam and are worried that you won’t remember everything you need to, try using an unfamiliar scent while studying and use it again before you take your exam. Some scents can also affect your mood or help you relax, such as lavender, which helps you remember information, and peppermint, which helps energize you, stimulate the mind, and calm the nerves.
Taste is similar to smell, where certain foods can help you recall memories you may not remember. If you eat unfamiliar foods or chew a new type of gum while studying for an exam, you’re more likely to remember what you were doing when you try again. Again, peppermint is a great flavor if you’re trying to boost your mind, especially peppermint tea. According to Northumbria University, drinking peppermint tea can improve your mood or improve your long-term memory, compared to chamomile tea, which is more soothing.
The environment you find yourself in can have a huge impact on your concentration. If you’re in a crowded space, you’re more likely to be easily distracted and not be as productive, especially if it’s a space with lots of people or noise. Consider working in a more organized and calm environment in order to study effectively and pass any exams you may have. A change of scenery is another way to stimulate your brain and allow you to be more productive, so consider taking a break from the outdoors or changing up your usual study spots.
It’s common for students or office workers to listen to music throughout the day, entertaining them when things seem too quiet. However, there are different genres of music that can help boost your brain and keep you more focused than others. Classical or softer music is more soothing than louder, faster songs. Listening to your favorite songs can cause your brain to focus more on the music than on the content you’re studying, so try listening to something that’s not on your favorite playlist.