It is the time of year for students to come to the practice. They may have a history of being insecure; they may have a nervousness about the future or an issue from early years in education. The common thread is being unable to focus on studying for exams, panic at the prospect of sitting the exams and sheer terror at the thought of failure.
So, we work on the problem, we empower the young person in coping strategies, and we resolve past trauma if it is present. Then the real work starts, the home study, cramming of data, revision of information making the little-understood topics well-rehearsed.
I provide Entrainment recordings to help them concentrate and focus on the subject matter. I use software to multilayer sound that can be pleasant to the ear, relaxing and provide a small change in how the brain works so that it is functioning in a state that is optimal for the task being employed.
There are many frequencies available from sub 1Hz to plus 40Hz; these are Delta, Theta, Alpha, Beta and the higher conscious perception frequency of Gamma which can go up to 100Hz.
Although Alpha is arguably the best state for learning new information, Theta state allows the neuron pathways to slow below the level of Alpha to around 5-8Hz which affords a stronger connection between the conscious and subconscious mind. Intuition and spontaneity become the norm which creates a platform for problem solving and creativeness. This deeper state is where artists and great thinkers do their work. It is also where emotions are muted, the panic alarm is silenced allowing for information to be better accessed and the absorption capacity is optimised.
The old rules apply and need to be practised continuously. Sleeping at least 8 hours during the night, this means not studying past 9 o’clock. Giving the mind a hormone boost while reducing adrenaline and cortisol levels can be achieved with healthy activities such as walks, swimming, yoga or simple meditation. During the study sessions, adopting a regimen of 20 to 30 minutes in-depth study with 10 minutes breaks allows for processing, storage and recovery between data input, overload is the enemy.
Diet should be a key factor throughout the study with regular meals that provide “Brain Foods” to assist in the process. These include Seeds, Nuts, Apples, Leafy Greens, Oily Fish, Eggs, Broccoli Stems, Blueberries and Green Tea.
The most important of all when ensuring optimal efficiency is Water. The brain works best when hydrated; it isn’t so complicated.
The lack of Carbohydrates in the list of foods is not by mistake. Sugar and Carbohydrates require a lot of energy and fluids to digest and have an almost yoyo effect on the energy available. The sugar rush will be followed by an energy slump, and this provides a poor environment for optimising the Brain activity needed. Compensate with a little natural Honey in Green Tea, Dark Chocolate and Fruit, which are healthy alternatives to the Processed Sugar and Carb Cravings.
Alternative breakfast options such as Natural Yogurts (Skyr) or an Omelette. Healthy fibre, low in sugars cereal with milk and honey are good options.
Eating a varied and balanced diet will achieve two very important tasks. Firstly, the lack of distraction when hunger is manifest will provide optimal processing. So, eat small portions often. Snack between the sessions and drink continuously. The second is Hormones; the balanced and varied diet will keep this teenager’s nuisance quiet which has the advantage of reducing anxiety levels and providing the brain with the freedom to absorb as much information as possible.
I wish all students luck in the coming months and hope this helps in some way.
“It is not that I am so smart, it is that I stay with problems longer.”