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Category: Interesting Stuff

Ways to improve your concentration power

Monday, January 11th, 2010

improve concentration powerEver seen an act of magic? They say it’s just a sleight of hand coupled with a lot of talk, which actually distracts the audience’s concentration. The entire audience is led to believe the most bizarre of things, thanks to the magician’s skill at distracting the audience’s normal concentration powers.

This actually showcases the importance of the powers of concentration. Yoga, the Indian art of maintaining a balance between the mind, body and spirit, is often cited as one of the most potent means of improving your powers of concentration. It helps focus the mind and the body, which it turn helps achieve remarkable feats. This focus of the mind and body helps to attain a kind of equilibrium. Kung Fu, the Japanese martial art, is another means of enhancing the powers of concentration. However, Kung Fu is used mostly for self-defense.

For students, honing the powers of concentration is important. For this, they need to sleep well, eat well and keep away from tea, coffee, alcoholic drinks and very fatty fast foods, which result in slothfulness. During the course of study, they need to break up the work spread over several hours. They should take breaks, say of two to three minutes after every half hour or for five minutes after every hour. This could also be done after the successful completion of a specified portion of the studies. The break should be used to walk around, get a drink of water, exercise the neck or visit the washroom.

Look at each page you read. Close your eyes and picturize the page. Try and save a ‘photocopy’ of the page in your mind. At the exam venue, again close your eyes and try to visualize the page. If you have done your exercise honestly, it will re-appear.

Jot down your ideas. For this, carry a jotting pad and a pen everywhere. One never knows when inspiration strikes. Once you develop this habit, ideas keep coming to you. And once you elaborate on them in your spare time, it could result in the writing of a book, blog, column or making a film. There’s really no end to the things that you can actually achieve with a little bit of concentration.

Brain Food; it’s good for memory

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Is there such a thing as brain food? Can certain foods really improve your intelligence or memory?

brain food for intelligence and better memoryStrange as it may sound, there really are some foods that are good for the healthy functioning of the brain. Thus, these foods may be called ‘brain food’. And when the brain functions in a healthy manner, the output naturally is superior.

It is an accepted fact that green vegetables are good for the body and the brain. These vegetables contain an array of vitamins, which are essential for the smooth functioning of the body. And of course, when the overall body functions well, the brain is able to do its part even better!

Dark-skinned fruits are also said to be good for the brain. Blueberries, blackberries, broccoli, grapes, oranges, raspberries, plums, prunes and cherries, all dark-skinned fruits, have very high levels of antioxidants and phytochemicals that are good for the brain and helps keep it sharp.

Eating plenty of fish is a good idea if you want to keep your brains in top shape. Fish such as mackerel, tuna, sardines and salmon contain huge amounts of Omega-3 acids, which help foster healthy communication between brain cells.

Proteins enhance the thinking capacity of individuals. Therefore, it is a good idea to eat a protein-rich diet for lunch as it helps perform your duties, whether it be studying or working in an office, better during the daytime. For the night, it is best to eat carbohydrate-rich food as it helps the body relax and sleep well. However, there is a danger in this for those who have the tendency to put on weight – carbohydrates increase the risk of weight gain.

Drink plenty of water. This keeps the body hydrated, washes out the acids and impurities in the body and helps the brain function properly.

According to studies, fish oil, eggs and blueberries are among the top food candidates that help improve intelligence and memory.

Why do so many Asian students do well in Math and Science

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Excellence in Math and Science has helped many Asian students reach the best of universities in the West. And from there they have moved on to take up top positions in leading global companies. Many theories have been floated about the uncanny strength of the Asian students in the tricky educational streams of Math and Science – ranging from the desire to escape from the cycle of poverty so rampant in many of the Asian economies, to hereditary strengths in numerical ability.

One interesting observation is that learning the basis of Math, which is Math tables, is so much easier in some of the Asian languages than in English. The musical manner in which Math tables are learned by rote in Hindi,  for example, makes recollection easier than in English. For instance, “2 times 2 equals 4” (this involves five words) while in Hindi it is “Do duni chaar” (are just three words) and so much easier to utter phonetically.

According to studies, the names attributed to Math numbers in several Asian languages are easier to remember than those in English.

Another major factor is parental attention. A large number of families in Asia have homemaker mothers, who are educated, in some cases well educated. They spend considerable time with their children for their studies. Fathers too, chip in when needed. 

Interestingly, in Asian countries Math as a subject in school is taught at least in two periods during the day. This increases the amount of time spent on the subject, which naturally helps hone skills.

And of course, there is the perseverance and hard work of individuals, which make the task of learning Math and Science easier.