5 Effective Techniques That Will Help You To Become A Better Learner
- 2019-10-30 14:25
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Our brain is an amazing thing. A number of surveys showed that the neurons in the brain are able to create new connections throughout life. It means that people can learn new things no matter what age they are. Think about the brain like your muscles. To train them, you need to go to the gym regularly. The same thing happens with the brain. The more you learn new information, the easier you will remember new things in the future. Regular brain training allows you to avoid embarrassing situations, for example, when you forget the name of someone you’ve recently been introduced to, be a faster learner and, as a result, a more valuable employee. The scientist even proved that brain training helps people to avoid the number of age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s. So what are the techniques with which you can become a faster learner and remember more information?
Technique #1: Become a teacher
No, we do not advise you to change your profession. We are sure that you do what you like the most. Therefore, it doesn’t matter what your profession is: every industry requires constant training from you. What does your learning process usually look like? Most likely, you are looking for information on the Internet, reading several sources. Perhaps some of you even take notes. In addition to everything described above, we suggest that you add one more item — become a teacher for someone. For example, you work in advertising and, for the first time, come across programmatic advertising. Read, study this question, and then tell a friend, wife/husband, or someone else about it. Tell them what you understood, and where the gaps remained, where you are confident in your knowledge, and where you need help. This approach has several advantages. In addition to repeating everything you have read recently, you can hear someone else’s opinion, as well as additional questions.
According to a study by Washington University, people using this technique tend to speed up their learning and, as a result, remember more. “Participants expecting to teach produced more complete and better organized free recall of the passage and, in general, correctly answered more questions about the passage than did participants expecting a test, particularly questions covering main points, consistent with their having engaged in more effective learning strategies”, - is written in the study.
Technique #2: Watch your diet
Food is our fuel, from it we get the energy to perform our daily activities. Very often, people who watch their figure and appearance, limit themselves to food and are more stringent in their choice. Only they will give a slack how extra pounds will immediately appear on the body. However, not all people know that our nutrition affects not only the body but also the mind. A lot of studies, such as a 2005 study in the International Journal of Obesity, found the connection between food and our emotions. Also, you may probably have noticed that when you are hungry, it is much harder to solve difficult problems or remember new things. Here are some basic tips to ensure you are eating right:
- Do not miss breakfast. It is a good start for your day;
- Divide your meals into small portions. Eat more often but less;
- Avoid food with a high glycemic index. These products increase sugar level in your blood;
- Stay hydrated. The rate of water consumption for each of us is different, it depends on gender, age, weight, and other factors. Overall, it is recommended to drink at least 6 glasses of water every day;
- Eat fruits and vegetables. They are full of vitamins and minerals for your brain;
- Manage the caffeine consumption. People with urban life are used to drinking a few cups of coffee a day. We recommend taking control of it. Although immediately after consuming coffee, you will feel full of energy, coffee drinking is accompanied by a gradual increase in anxiety and depression.
Technique #3: Sleep well
Despite a huge leap in medicine over the past few decades, scientists have not been able to invent a pill that would immediately improve all the functions of the brain. Therefore, the work of your brain depends on a number of factors, for example, a sufficient amount of rest. A number of surveys have proven that not having a proper sleep affects your brain reducing its flexibility. As a result, you work slower and tend to forget the important things. Just sleeping 7-8 hours per day can significantly change the situation.
But much more important is not the length of sleep, but its quality. You probably could have noticed that you seemed to have slept for 8 hours, but you still feel sleepy. This is because the quality of your sleep was poor. It is influenced by many factors, including nutrition. But there is one among them that we would especially like to focus our attention on—the use of gadgets before bedtime. It is proven that they reduce the quality of our sleep. Try not to use either a phone, a tablet, or a laptop at least half an hour before bedtime. Give your brain a rest and prepare for sleep. Another factor is the time you spend on working. A lot of people do not know when to stop, they work like there is no tomorrow. Of course, there are days when you are required to work at night. But overall, create the regime and define the hours for working and sleeping. It is best to go to sleep before midnight and wake up earlier.
Technique #4: Try the meditation
If you have ever read the books about successful people, you have most likely heard about meditation. Let's see in more detail how it affects the brain. Due to some of the modern technologies like fMRI scans, scientists can see exactly what happens with our brain and what brain regions are activated during the meditation. This is where things get really exciting. The main advantage of mediation is that it forces our brain to stop processing the information, and people start to show a decrease in beta waves. This is what happens during the meditation with each part of the brain:
- Frontal lobe: responsible for planning, awareness, and emotions. It goes offline;
- Parietal lobe: process the information about surroundings, navigate in time and space. Its activity slows down;
- Thalamus: helps to focus, the gatekeeper for the senses. Meditation reduces the flow of incoming information;
- Reticular formation: receives incoming stimuli and prepares the brain for the respond. Meditation is gaining an arousal signal.
As a result, meditation increases our focus and concentration, reduces the level of anxiety and depression, makes you more creative, increases the compassion and empathy, improves rapid memory recall, and so on.
Technique #5: Use the mnemotechnics
Mnemotechnics are not something new or unusual. It was used by ancient Greeks and Romans to remember things. You can browse on the Internet, and find hundreds of different mnemotechnics. We want to elaborate on the main principles:
- Dominance of the visual sense in combination with placing of ‘seen’ objects in a particular place;
- There is an order of positioning images in visual space;
- Forming the groups of images which have similar features;
- Building associations;
- Affecting the emotions;
- Regular repetition.
The most well-known techniques are architectural mnemonic (the using of virtual place to remember the things), graphical, and textual.
What is your secret of remembering?
As we mentioned, our brain is an amazing thing. Scientists still do not understand exactly how it works. That is why we discussed only those things in which we are confident and which action has been confirmed by many studies. So, eat quality food, sleep well, meditate, talk about new things with somebody, and use the mnemotechnics. And do not be discouraged if something does not work out the first time. A habit is something that develops over time. How do you remember things? Share with us in the comments below.