Got the Study Blues?
Author: Karen Gray, Certified Hypnotist and Director of Green Mountain Hypnosis
What Did I Just Read?
Have you ever been reading or studying, and found yourself suddenly thinking "What did I just read?" This is a very common occurrence. It happens often to people to who have a lot of material to absorb. Often, the result is a feeling of anxiety and frustration.
The key to understanding why this happens is in knowing what hypnosis really is. One way to think of this ‘unintentional’ hypnosis is that it is an escape mechanism from mental or physical overload. This overload could result from intense mental concentration for too long, such as cramming for an exam or researching for a project.
A person can actually put themselves in a hypnotic trance by studying intensely for too long a period of time.
Surprised? Sound strange? It shouldn’t. This is actually a very common occurrence. We can slip into and out of hypnosis many times throughout our day. This is exactly what is happening when we daydream while driving, when we lose something that we just had in our hand, when we lock our keys in our car or lock ourselves out of the house or apartment. And, of course, when we are reading something and find ourselves thinking "What did I just read?"
Many people set themselves up for this experience by deciding to study non-stop for an hour or two, or even longer. The truth is, after about forty or fifty minutes of intense studying, our concentration begins to wane. This has nothing to do with intelligence, but with how the mind works. When we try to take in too much information at a time, the mind begins to wander, and we lose focus. It is a defense mechanism against impending mental overload.
So a good, workable strategy is to study for no more than about fifty minutes - just under an hour. An easy way to keep track of time is to use a simple kitchen timer. Then take a break and refresh yourself. Stand up and move around, do some light stretching, change your scenery, or have a healthy snack. Doing this will also give your mind a chance to absorb the material you just studied.
Eye-Minded, Ear-Minded, or Kinesthetic
We all have our own learning style. Some people can easily read silently with excellent comprehension and retention. This type of person is what is known as Eye-Minded. Others are Ear-Minded and learn better by reading out loud or by listening to a lecture. Some people are Kinesthetic, and retain information better by writing out the things they want to remember. Most people are a combination of two of these styles.
It's important to know what your personal style is. It can be easy to experience frustration if you are studying in a style that doesn't serve you well. To find your own most efficient style, experiment a little. It won't take long for you to find the right one, or combination of styles, which suits you best. Once you know how you learn best, use it consistently.
Another obstacle to effective studying is when people experience a blood-sugar drop. This can occur if you don't eat often enough, or if you consume too much sugar.
Regardless of the reason, when a person experiences a blood-sugar drop, it can seriously affect their ability to maintain concentration. Indicators of a drop in blood-sugar include feeling irritable, anxious, or nervous for no apparent reason. Of course, not being able to concentrate is a possible indicator of a drop in blood-sugar.
The solution to this is simple. Make sure you have had a balanced meal or snack before you study, and remember to drink enough water.
If there is information, facts, or formulas that you need to remember there is a simple way to set that information into your memory. Just use the number 21. Anytime we repeat something 21 times we "burn" it into our memory. One of the ways the mind learns is through repetition. Of course this takes some effort but it is well worth the time.
Speaking of recall, did you ever notice that when you're trying to remember something, like a name, date, or a phone number, that the harder you try, the more difficult it becomes? A good tactic for when this happens is to allow yourself to rely on your memory. By exercising that ‘muscle’ in the mind, you help to make it stronger. So, let it go. It will come back to you.
Use Hypnosis to Your Advantage
As we said in the beginning of this article, we tend to go in and out of hypnosis several times a day without ever realizing it. You might not know that using hypnosis can help you to improve your focus and retention.
Hypnosis is a well-established method of enabling students to overcome problems and barriers in their academic performance. Skilled, qualified hypnotists can treat phobias, control bad habits, and significantly enhance performance.
Hypnosis is a method of allowing you greater control over your own mind and body. This can enable you to not only overcome stress and anxiety, but also improves study skills and gets rid of self-sabotaging behavior. Hypnosis also helps you to learn how to feel calm and in control of yourself.
On many occasions, academic difficulties have less to do with learning subject matter than with the ability to study correctly and absorb information effectively. For many it is a daunting challenge to focus on studying, with a mind that is easily distracted or filled with anxieties. Hypnosis can provide a student with a calmer, more relaxed mindset, enabling a more efficient use of study time.
So, to cure the study blues, make sure you limit each study session to forty to fifty minutes, find your study style, keep your blood sugar stable, use repetition to memorize, and learn more about hypnosis. ▉
Karen Gray is a Certified Hypnotist, a Registered Nurse, and the Director of Green Mountain Hypnosis, a solution-oriented hypnosis practice in Hanover, New Hampshire. Her goal is to help her clients to empower themselves to achieve changes such as reducing stress and anxiety, overcoming fears, eliminating procrastination, removing unwanted habits, and relieving pain. For more information, visit www.GreenMountainHypnosis.com or call (802) 566-0464 for a Free Confidential Consultation.