#10 TRENDING IN Student Life 🔥

Unlock Your Brain's Superpowers: the Ultimate Guide for Boosting Memory and Focus for Teens

Student Life

Wed, April 10

The human brain controls our thoughts, actions, and emotions through its complex networks and structure. Among its various functions, focus and recall are critical for managing a student's daily life. By researching the brain's structure, particularly sections like the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, we may learn more about attention and memory.

Anatomy of the Brain

Robina Weermeijer from Unsplash

The brain is divided into several regions responsible for different functions, such as the hippocampus, essential for structuring memories, and the prefrontal cortex, whose important role lies in attention and focus. The hippocampus can be found in the temporal lobe, while the prefrontal cortex is at the brain's forefront. Believe it or not, the prefrontal cortex also helps regulate attention constantly while filtering out distractions around us. These parts of the brain combine to create a dynamic network necessary for recall and focus.

Memory Boosters

Now, when it comes to academics, there are several ways in which you could enhance your memorization skills. Mnemonics, such as acronyms or visualization techniques, can be quite fun and effective for better recall. Take Sherlock's famous memory trick, The Mind Palace (or Method of loci).

This memory technique could be seen as a mental map of some sort. The place in your mind may not be real at all. It is all up to you!

You navigate this area, usually a palace, and you plot memories here and there. Theoretically speaking, this method never disappoints as you won't forget a memory; you just need to remember the place you created, where that memory is stored, and how to reach it.

Maksym Kaharlytskyi from Unsplash

In other words, envision a drawer with an equation sheet stuffed inside your mind palace. When the time comes for your exam, open the palace, locate the drawer, and examine the sheet.

Focus Enhancers

Kenny Eliason from Unsplash

Several methods have been implemented over the years to enhance your focus during tasks. The most famous is the Pomodoro Technique, where you break down the study sessions into different intervals, usually 25 minutes long, followed by short breaks. These intervals have a constant time limit, maintaining concentration and preventing burnout. Some people prefer to work for 25 minutes, others an hour and 5 minutes, it's all about what works for you.

According to a published paper in the journal Cognition, taking short breaks can help maintain your attention span. Alejandro Lleras, one of the contributors to this paper, has stated:

"When faced with long tasks (such as studying before a final exam), it is best to impose brief breaks on yourself. Brief mental breaks will actually help you stay focused on your task!" - Alejandro Lleras

Healthy Habits

Sahand Babali from Unsplash

Beyond scientific techniques and such, simple lifestyle changes can truly change the chemistry of your brain from worse to better! Planning out your meals and nutrition intake will support brain functions and memory, such as consuming foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Think fish, walnuts, edamame, and more.

Additionally, sleep quality can significantly impact the brain, either negatively or positively. Prioritizing rest is crucial for improving brain performance. According to Dr. Michael Crocetti, a pediatrician at Johns Hopkins, teenagers should aim for 9 to 9½ hours of sleep nightly.

Moreover, regular physical exercise is another lifestyle habit that can positively affect the health of your brain and cognitive function. Not only does exercising promote overall well-being, but it also stimulates the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, both of which are responsible for your mood and mental clarity. Whether it's walking, jogging, boxing, or any other form of physical activity, adding regular exercise to your daily routine can enhance the blood flow to the brain. According to the article Physical Activity Boosts Brain Health posted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

"Physical activity can help you think, learn, problem-solve, and enjoy an emotional balance. It can improve memory and reduce anxiety or depression. Regular physical activity can also reduce your risk of cognitive decline, including dementia." - CDC

Tech Tools & Apps

Gaining Visuals from Unsplash

In the digital world of 2024, so many apps and technologies have been brought to life, making it only logical for us to utilize them. The simplest of all is the Google Tasks. You can download it onto your phone and access it on various devices such as your laptop, iPad, and others.

Its ability to synchronize across several devices sets it apart from other to-do list apps. it is linked to your Gmail and Google Calendar and is very easy to use! I use it daily to note down assignments or upcoming exams. It's been a game-changer for me ever since I started using it. A few other apps include Notion, Quizlet, etc.

Another fantastic app worth mentioning is Forest, which helps you stay focused while doing your work. All you have to do is download the app and simply start the timer, which will grow your virtual tree as it ticks. However, if you leave the app before the timer is over—an indication of distraction—that tree will die.

It's a really nice app, and what's better is that Forest is partnering with Trees for the Future. This non-profit organization plants trees in real life to battle deforestation and promote sustainability. By using this app, you focus on your work to plant virtual trees and have the chance to contribute to real-life environmental conservation efforts and give back to nature!

Lastly, you need to understand that seeking help when needed is the most important factor in maintaining your grades and well-being. Asking for guidance from teachers, counselors, or healthcare professionals is not a sign of weakness but a proactive step toward improvement. Prioritize taking care of yourself, and the rest will follow. Although, don't forget to put in the work toward your goals!

Alanoud A
1,000+ pageviews

Writer since Feb, 2024 · 3 published articles

Alanoud is a high school junior Involved in various clubs around the school and has taken the initiative to co-create several others such as the book club. Enjoys STEM subjects, chess, writing, reading, and photography.