Smarten up and score high on tests
You can do it
Effective learning starts with the knowledge that you can reach most any goal you set out to attain, if you believe in yourself.
Your brain's capabilities are unlimited and powerful, no matter what your past experiences have been.
Everybody, even the smartest people on the planet, deal with subconscious voices that spread negativity, reduce self esteem and stoke the fire of doubt and fear.
If you find yourself saying "You'll never succeed/be as good as.master this." "You're not good/smart/talented enough,"
"Why bother?" - know that it's buzz,
not the truth.
Everyone has these negative thoughts, but some have learned to manage them.
Those inner voices trying to discourage and depress you are merely mental mosquitoes... parasites that like to grow on your energy.
And just like you would use a repellent for real-life mosquitoes, you can learn to apply negativity-repellant to your mind set.
Practice affirmations, and learn to say
"NO!" to the negative voices in your mind. Surround yourself with affirmations or "self-talk":
"I can do it," - "I will keep trying and succeed," - "Nothing can stop me"
... you get the idea.
Memorize them, write them on little stickers and place them wherever they can lift you up... your monitor, your door, your bedside table.
| You can do it
|No more naggies
| Get a road map
| Meet new words
| Feed your brain!
| Sleep on it
| Scent sense
| Talk to yourself
It's also useful to give those voices hiding in your sub-conscious a physical appearance, and it should reflect the ugliness of what they have to say.
My "naggies" are small, hunched, alien looking critters. They have slimy, cold skin and are colorless, except for the green hue in their cross eyes.
Ones I had created this mental image, it was much easier for me to notice when a "naggy" was visiting and to immediately kick them out.
With practice, you'll recognize a negative voice from miles away and will be able to prevent those energy zappers from dragging you down.
Why is this on top of this list?
Because you always will fulfill your own thoughts.
If you believe you have a good memory... can improve, or grow or find success... your brain builds neural networks that support that belief.
If you believe you have a bad memory, or are bound to fail, or are unworthy or doomed... your brain builds neural networks that will turn these thoughts, too, into reality.
You become what you think you are.
So start by replacing "I can't do this" with "I can't YET do this. If I want to,
I can accomplish anything I want."
To stay motivated, keep on track and reach those big lofty goals you cherish, sit down and break them up into tiny steps. Don't expect to reach your goals overnight, but notice and praise yourself for every little step you take in the right direction.
Making a plan by breaking your final goal up into easy-to-complete steps will guide you through times of frustration and will keep you going.
"I will study 10 minutes every day with eSpindle," "I will read the newspaper or five pages in a book every morning" are possible stepping stones towards gaining a confident command of the English language.
Write these steps down.
Reward yourself for every step you take.
Spend some time dreaming, too...
imagine what it will be like when you finally reach the end of the road and accomplish your goal!
Read! That's how you'll meet new words.
Every new word is a treasure.
Notice it, learn it, use it.
Search for new, useful words just like you search for new friends, ideas or treats.
Log in to eSpindle every day - simply set aside some time for it and stick to your program.
Turning your focus to the discovery of new words will turn your life into one big opportunity for learning, and make it that much more interesting.
You can train your brain to notice and treasure words.
It will soon start retaining words at a rapid speed.
Because the process of memory-based learning can be arduous and tiring, we have created eSpindle:
It manages the process for you, and makes sure any difficult content is repeated until it is reliably learned.
Most people can only recall about 30% of what they know. Psychologist Douglas Herrmann, Ph.D., author of Super Memory , emphasizes regular repetitions as the key to great memory.
"If you want information at your finger-tips," he writes, "practice remembering it." Learning, memorizing and repeated practice build mental capacity.
Some stress is important - it gets you "into gear," preparing you to do your best. Too much, though, will drastically reduce your performance.
Most of us have experienced how severe stress makes it hard to think clearly.
During stress we focus our energy into the body rather than the mind... our blood starts racing, we sweat, we get fidgety. This reaction stems from times when we used to solve our stressful situations by fighting or running away.
Chronic or severe stress reduces the rate at which learning is converted into long-term memory.
Chemicals produced naturally during chronic stress seem to actually damage our brain over time.
So, take breaks! Make a reasonable plan for achieving your goals and praise yourself for work accomplished.
Yoga, exercise or meditation are great ways to keep your stress under control.
If you are feeling overly stressed, stop what you are doing to take a few calm breaths. Notice how good a few calm, deep breaths feel, giving new energy and oxygen to your mind.
Your brain, just like other parts of your body, needs a balanced diet to produce the building blocks needed for learning and memory.
Various tests have proven that students supplying their body with the proper amounts of vitamins and minerals score higher on IQ tests and have a lower occurrence of brain wave abnormalities.
Harvard neurosurgeon Vernon Mark, M.D., prescribes the following nutrients in his book Reversing Memory Loss
(Houghton Mifflin; 1992).
Make sure you get enough of these:
B1, B3, B6, B9, B12
Iron, Copper, Zinc
Calcium and Magnesium
People who sleep about eight hours a day are not lazy, but smart.
They know that the brain does not sleep but clears the path for a new day of learning. The little extra time you may gain by cutting into your sleep time will be lost the next day in reduced performance.
If you want to use sleep to your best advantage, know that it is the best time to convert content stored in short-term memory into long-term learning.
Print out your eSpindle "words to practice" list - all the words that "spelled trouble" for you over the last few quizzes.
Review the words a few times before going to sleep... reassuring yourself that you will remember these with ease in the morning.
Then cuddle up and let the brain do its job!
Using all of your senses is the best way to improve your memory. We have designed eSpindle to accommodate your hearing, visual and tactile senses to a high degree.
Do you want to improve your memory? Then learn under conditions that stimulate all your senses, and in particular take advantage of one sense that is commonly ignored - scent.
Research has shown that learned content is remembered more easily if the same aroma present during study is also present during recall.
The scientific explanation:
While you study new information is randomly scattered in the brain, and then slowly linked into the existing structure via solid neural connections.
The more "clues" or stimuli you provide along with the content to be learned, the better the brain can "root" them into its memory structure.
Pick a scent that you find pleasant and inspiring. Use a little aromatherapy diffuser or drop a little on a tissue to surround yourself with that scent while studying.
Then provide the same "scent-sation" at learning recall. Two essential oils are especially famous for enhancing learning: Rosemary, with its stimulating properties and bay laurel.
Bay laurel (botanical name: Laurus nobilis) was once used to crown Greek scholars, which is the historic background of the academic "baccalaureate" title.
Repeating words aloud while you study gives the brain additional information.
As you articulate the word, your brain hears the sounds resonating inside the head, and associates the movements of tongue and throat with the word, creating additional "anchors" to secure the word in long-term memory.
Some students like to close their eyes while memorizing a difficult word.
They visualize the word in the most expressive way they can - with colors, animation, rhythm, etc.
These creative bits of information can make recall much easier.
In addition, as you memorize and recall something with your eyes closed, you're not distracted by your surroundings.