That Smarts! Your Learning Advantage

Image courtesy of Igoghost.
Image courtesy of Igoghost.

In order to optimize your learning experience, several things need to come into play. There are the obvious things like adequate rest, good nutrition and sufficient exercise. However, there are other skills that should be practised in order to expand and enhance academic performance.

Test Smarts, Facts Smarts and Stress Smarts

Test Smarts

Includes the strategies required to write tests well – carefully reading the instructions, how to prepare, which questions to answer first and how much time to allot for each question.

Facts Smarts

Is the knowledge of the subject area and how to work with or manipulate that knowledge.

Stress Smarts

Is the key that will unlock the door to using Test and Facts Smarts to full advantage.

During times of stress, a different part of the brain is activated; you are mobilizing for flight or fight – a physiological response that dates back to prehistoric times. Rather than focusing on the work-at-hand, your attention is being diverted to whatever is stressing you. That’s a brain drain, which often goes unnoticed.

Stress can appear in many guises – that panicky feeling of having lost your wallet or cell phone, the shock of having a near-miss while driving or the less-obvious, but very real accumulation of negative feelings from emotional, mental, physical and social experiences. Peer pressure, family issues, lack of confidence or illness can all impact one’s sense of well-being and create stress for the learner.

Over time, without techniques and strategies in place, learning can be impacted; the brain, and your  behaviours, are rewired. Physiological changes occur, as does cortical inhibition – a state where the brain doesn’t work as well as it could.

Stress symptoms that hamper learning:

  • Gets upset easily.
  • Experiences frequent bouts of frustration or irritation.
  • Has the ability, but under-performs.
  • Is well-prepared for tests or exams, but does poorly.
  • Succumbs to peer pressure.
  • Hates school or just doesn’t want to go to school.
  • Is quickly bored or overwhelmed.
  • Suffers from frequent infections and viruses.
  • Has gastro-intestinal issues.
  • Struggles with ADD/ADHD.
  • Has low self-confidence.

Learn to recognize stress. Have the confidence to overcome your fears and concerns so that you can get on with learning. As you practise techniques, that include activating positive feelings, you achieve cortical facilitation – a calm, yet alert state where new information is easily absorbed, and stored information is quickly recalled.

Benefits of addressed and undressed stress:

  • Improved test/exam results.
  • Innovative problem-solving.
  • Sharper memory.
  • Enhanced decision-making skills.
  • Greater ability to focus.
  • More self-control.
  • Better relationships (teachers, family, peers).

Develop stress undresssing skills that last a lifetime and are transferable to any situation – school, home, sports, or work. Regularly transforming your stress enhances your resilience and performance.

“That smarts!” will have a whole new meaning when you learn how to activate the power of your own personal stress transformer – your heart!

Auntie at your service!

I have programs and materials available for all levels of learners. Email or call for more information. Learn skills in 8 to 10 sessions that will last a lifetime – so you can thrive in your lifetime!

2 Replies to “That Smarts! Your Learning Advantage”

  1. Marianna,

    Thank you for another wonderful post on the impact of stress. You describe so well how stress impacts our ability to think clearly and therefore, it negatively impacts our ability to learn, absorb and retain new information (and there are many additional potential physical and emotional symptoms that accompany this).

    Fortunately, there are various methods that people can take to effectively reduce stress like getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, meditating, changing how they look at some of the things that usually stress them (it is not just what happens that impacts you, it’s how you interpret what happens to you), as well as learn some of your wonderful undress your stress techniques.

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