Learning doesn’t stop just because we’ve left school or university – we keep doing it all throughout our lives whether we like it or not. We do it every day in our relationships, at work and as parents. We do it when we settle down to read a novel, have a conversation with a stranger, or watch a documentary on TV. Information is constant and never ending, but fortunately there are ways to enhance our abilities to absorb and retain that information.
With education comes understanding, and with understanding comes the key to a happier and more enlightened life.
Here are our three top tips for enhancing your ability to pick up and process information:
1. Exercise regularly
Both weight lifting and cardiovascular exercise (running, cycling, anything that gets your heart pounding) are known to ward off disease and excess weight, keep our bones strong and our joints supple, and of course keep us physically fit. However, regular exercise has also been found to help improve learning and memory.
The increased oxygen intake and faster circulation helps to move blood around the body and get energy to muscles and organs – especially the brain. Whenever you’re feeling drowsy and sluggish, or you start to sense that afternoon headache creeping up on you, simply take a brisk stroll outside or have a quick run up and down the stairs. One study showed that cognitive processing (the ability to think clearly) and memory can be improved after just 15 minutes of exercise.
You don’t have to be well versed in Zen Buddhism to reap the benefits of meditation. All you need to do is find a quiet spot, get comfortable, close your eyes and breathe deeply. Feel your thoughts wash away from you and focus on the rising and falling of your lungs as you breathe in and out through your nose.
Studies show regular meditation can help manage stress, improve memory and increase attention spans – perfect for staying alert during those long morning lectures/meetings/shifts.
3. Drink water
Dehydration is more common than you might think, and it can have a huge impact on your ability to think straight, react quickly and process information efficiently. By the time you’re thirsty, your body is already dehydrated. This is why it is so important to sip water regularly throughout the day, even if you’re not feeling thirsty. Invest in a water bottle to slip into your bag when you’re out for the day, and make the water cooler a regular pit stop when you’re at work.
Fruits and vegetables are surprisingly good sources of water too, so stock up on healthy snacks to supplement your water intake and stay sharp and alert throughout the day.
If learning and education is something you’ve been considering lately, why not talk to a life coach about Personal Development? These sessions can help you reorganise your life, set goals and find realistic ways to achieve your ambitions and improve your self.
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