When you sit down to your leaving cert exams, it will be just you, a pen, some paper and your brain. The Maximum Points System is aware of the need to keep your brain in the best possible working order, so you can succeed at exam time.
Here we profile the top 5 tips for keeping your brain up to speed throughout what will inevitable be a difficult year. Stick to our tips to ensure you keep stress to a minimum:
The easiest thing you can do to keep your brain fit and healthy – get exercise. Whether you play a sport or simply take a long walk in your local park, physical movement is essential; not only for keeping your body in shape but for taking care of your brain.
New research indicates that exercise has positive benefits for the hippocampus, a brain structure important for memory and learning. It can even help to create new brain cells. (http://www.brainhq.com/brain-resources/everyday-brain-fitness/brain-fitness-tips/get-exercise
Eat dark chocolate
Adding some dark chocolate to your diet can sincerely help your brain fitness, while also being a tasty treat! Eating chocolate activates the systems in your brain that release dopamine, an essential brain chemical.
Flavanols, brain-boosting antioxidant compounds, are also found in chocolate (as well as red wine and berries!). The darker the chocolate, the better boost to your brain. Less added sugar and a higher cocoa percentage will have to good chemicals flowing in no time.
Learn another language
For anyone looking to go to university, a language subject (other than English and Irish) is mandatory. Even if your preferred courses aren’t offered by universities, trying out a foreign tongue is recommended.
Learning a new language exercises almost every part of your brain. With it, you can impress friends, learn about other cultures and make travel a far more enjoyable experience.
(HACK: Spanish is the second most-spoken language in the world)
Memorize a song
Pick a song which you like but don’t know the words too. Listen to the song as many times as you need to be able to transcribe the lyrics off-by-heart. Learn to sing along, then repeat the process with another song.
Developing better habits of active listening will help your understanding, thinking and remembering processes. Reconstructing a song requires close attentional focus and an active memory. When you focus, you release the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, a brain chemical that enables plasticity and vivifies memory.
Napping has been shown to improve brain function and enhance performance. It’s also a highly-necessary skill to master before heading off to college! 20 or 30 minutes of sleep during the day will refresh and energise your mind for study sessions.
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