How to Stay Healthy and Calm During Exams: the Scientific Perspective

How to Stay Healthy and Calm During Exams: the Scientific Perspective

After Thanksgiving break, there are only a few weeks left to prepare for Midterms. What’s more, it is also cold and flu season. As these stressful weeks approach, it is vital to stay healthy. There are two ways to improve your health and productivity: focus on minimizing your stress levels while maximizing your efficiency.

It is impossible to remove all pressure from these stressful times, so it is essential to give yourself the best chance to stay calm. Wim Hof, an expert-by-experience on all things cold, said, “Scientific studies [such as the Radboud University study in 2011] have found that taking a cold shower increases the number of white blood cells in your body” (Wim Hof Method). White blood cells are responsible for protecting our bodies from trespassers, or viruses. With an increase in these cells, the immune response is more effective at combating colds and the flu. Hof’s methods include taking ice baths and practicing breathwork, and he even offers group classes, in which many of the customers offer personal testimonials. A 29% decrease in sickness was reported for those who took hot to cold showers compared to those who showered only in hot water(Pub Med).

What boosted those cold shower results was the addition of exercise. Regular exercise decreases sickness by 35%. Many students neglect this powerful therapy because they lack the time, especially during midterm season. However, it will actually do more good than you would think. Since daily exercise reduces the chance of sickness, this means your focus while testing and studying will remain steady. Overall, this will lead to higher scores since your time studying won’t be disrupted by sniffles and sneezes.

Not only does exercise protect you from disease, but it also has been proven to improve math and language scores. A study published by Pub Med compared children’s efficacy in the classroom when they had exercise breaks versus when they remained stagnant. Compared to the sedentary control group, children who took 10-20 minute breaks for brief exercise tested with higher language and math scores. So next time you need a break, take a walk or do a quick workout-it will serve you well.

Another area of focus is improving your efficiency, also known as accomplishing a lot in a little amount of time. Your efficiency can be compared to concentration: if you create a game plan and remain focused while studying, your productivity will be higher.

Promote your study efficiency by making a game plan. As simple as it sounds, writing down what you have to do and how you are going to do it is crucial. Most people only do the first part of this, then neglect the latter. It’s easy to know what you have to do–such as study for a test in Biology, but one way to maximize your work is knowing how you are going to study. This can be by watching online videos, doing practice questions, and going to extra help. Now, rather than looking at your to-do list and feeling overwhelmed, the list feels a bit easier to conquer.

White noise is often used to suppress environmental distractions, and while that is a great tool, brown noise is considered better among many in regards of concentration. White noise is peaceful, such as the sound of light rainfall, but brown noise may improve thinking ability. This type of sound is deeper than other “color” noises, like the sound of crashing of waves, which is why it creates an environment for profound concentration. If you are looking to fall asleep after your long day of studying, try using white noise, as about 38% of people got to sleep faster when listening to white noise.

If you are looking for more information, click on the links throughout the article. Make sure to use these tips to support your chances of doing well on your exams!