Mind over Matter
With exam season nearing, studying could be essentially stressful. You could find your mind pondering over things out of your control. Thoughts about your success or failure engulf your mind. But this is a choice that you make when you listen to your negative thoughts and you let your mind linger over them. People usually suggest stopping negative thoughts or the usual “Think Positive”. But, having tried it myself, it wouldn’t work. I simply cannot start thinking positively when my mind is surrounded by negative thoughts. What can be done?
Our mind has been conditioned by repeatedly thinking probably what our parents have told us.
The first thing that you should do is to accept your current situation. You need to realise that whatever situation arises, change is inevitable and instead of reacting, you should accept it wholeheartedly. The next is deconditioning our mind to change the thinking patterns. This could be done with the help of meditation and practising it regularly. You could change your negative thoughts to healthy ones by constant practise and a firm belief.
A recent example of how mind overcomes matter is of Avanish Kumar Singh, a Delhi student with Cerebral Palsy who bagged an AIR 25 in the physically handicapped category at the IIT-JEE Advance. He says, his constant belief and confidence coupled with meticulous study helped him achieve this feat. Thus hand work coupled with the right attitude will help you succeed.
Here we present some techniques that you could use to help you tackle negative thoughts and instil confidence and also boosting your abilities to learn in a better way. These are some tried and tested methods, which would surely help you.
- Practice Mindfulness
This is simply the art of fully being in the present moment. Meditating for only 10-15 minutes a day can help you practice mindfulness. Also, by constantly feeding positive thoughts as you meditate will break your negative thought patterns and will develop a new outlook. This will help you to focus and use your time efficiently. It will align all your thoughts towards your studies and won’t let them linger. Your retention capacity might improve substantially. This will also help you study without getting tired. You won’t even realise but suddenly you will be able to understand, comprehend, analyse better as your mind is free of the junk and it has ample space for other important stuff. And as to practise this, your self-belief will proliferate.
- Try going for a brisk walk before you study
A recent study showed the benefits of a brisk walk before revising when compared to sitting still. Students who had a short, moderately paced walk before the session had shown significantly higher successful recall rates as compared to those who hadn’t. So, getting some fresh air helps and clears your mind.
- Teach someone
As you study something new or fascinating, try sharing it with your friends. Peer learning is a popular technique which is used by multiple teachers and universities to enhance knowledge. It will firstly improve your confidence as you polish your own concepts, at the same time, you might just stumble upon something that you possibly weren’t aware but somebody else was. So, it is a mutual growth.
- Say things out loud
If you have ever observed, when you are quietly reading, your mind tends to digress easily, then again you tend to start from scratch. But if you try and say things out loud it is quite difficult to let your mind meander. You could find a place where you wouldn’t be disturbed and start practising this technique. Hearing your voice will help you retain a concept and will give you confidence at hand.
- Take breaks
Studying for long hours could be really stressful and is not always advisable since your mind also needs some rest. So, take occasional breaks as per your convenience, this could be coupled with short naps. This will help you freshen up your mind and study better.
One last thing, time is really precious and you wouldn’t want to waste it thinking negative thoughts.
I hope this was helpful.