Arguing? Take a Time Out.

Do you get “flooded” during arguments? Dr. David Penner, Clinical Director at the Gottman Institute (home of relationship experts, and The Love Lab), gave a presentation in Seattle at the annual biofeedback conference.  He shared their research on the physiological … Continue reading

Headaches ?

A division of the U.S. National Institute of Health  (the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)  has published a review of evidence concluding that relaxation techniques may be helpful for those with headache and migraine pain. After looking at U.S. … Continue reading

The Downfall of Distraction & Multitasking

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Does this look like a familiar classroom scene? 

Researchers at York and McMasterUniversities found surprising information when it comes to laptop use in class and how it distracts not only you, but everyone else around you.

Multitasking is everywhere in our busy lives. We feel that without it we wouldn’t be able to get nearly as much accomplished, but many people fail to realize that it has negative consequences on task performance. When we are dividing our attention between two or more tasks, the incoming information we must process isn’t properly stored. (Sana, Weston and Cepeda, 2013) This applies to multitasking during lectures. If we are distracted by our own, and others’, computer screens it decreases our ability to store the information being presented to us.

The study Laptop Multitasking Hinders Class Learning for Both Uses and Nearby Peers (Sana, Weston & Cepeda, 2013) looked at whether multitasking on a laptop during class would negatively affect individual learning, and also if being in view of someone multitasking would have an effect.  The results showed that students had lower comprehension of course material when they spent time multitasking during class. What is surprising though, is that students with a direct view of others multitasking on laptops had their comprehension even more negatively affected than those actually multitasking. Although those students were trying to learn, viewing their peers’ multitasking behaviour put them at a disadvantage.

Knowing these results, is it up to Universities to have more strict policies regarding laptop use during class time, or is it up to students to take responsibility for their own learning?

If you would like to read the full study, it can be found at http://www.sciencedirect.com.subzero.lib.uoguelph.ca/science/article/pii/S0360131512002254#

Sana, F., Weston, T., & Cepeda, N. (2013) Laptop multitasking hinders class learning for both uses and nearby peers. Computers & Education. 62. 24-31. Retrieved from: http://www.sciencedirect.com.subzero.lib.uoguelph.ca/science/article/pii/S0360131512002254#

Scrooge Who? Make the Holidays a Stress Free Time Of Year

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Okay, so maybe you aren’t quite as excited for Christmas as Buddy the Elf here, maybe you are completely the opposite. This is very understandable since the holiday season can be a stressful time of year.

The Mayo Clinic website has some great information about ways to ensure you have an enjoyable and less stressful holiday season.

  1. Reach out– the holidays can be a very lonely and isolating time for some. Something great about this time of year is that there are so many volunteer opportunities.  Taking advantage of these may help you feel less lonely. Volunteering can help you feel good by helping people in need and also allow you to be around others.
  2. Set a budget– the holidays can be a stressful time for those who cannot afford to spend extra money on gifts. Making a budget is a good way to identify how much you will be able to spend.
  3. Keep your regular routine– During times of celebration it can be easy to overindulge and When you are
  4. Learn to say NO– do not add more stress to your life by taking on extra responsibilities.  You are not responsible for making it a perfect holiday for everyone.  Be realistic – there may not be time to do everything you think you should, so think about what you cherish most about the holidays, and focus on attaining that.
  5. Plan ahead– Planning specific days to buy gifts, groceries and prepare meals can help with organization and prevent last minute errands.

To read the article in entirety and for additional tips visit http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress/MH00030.

One last idea….. DIY gifts are a great way to decrease stress regarding gifts and money. There are many websites that have great Do It Yourself ideas for gifts for your loved ones. These gifts are more thoughtful, original and help you easily stay within your budget.

If the holiday season so far has been more stressful than enjoyable, try implementing some of these strategies.

To Cram…Or Not To Cram??

Now that the last day of classes is upon us, many students are getting into final exam study mode. This can often be a stressful time of year because students tend to have less sleep, do not eat properly and dedicate most of their days to studying constantly. Many students feel that in order to learn as much information as possible it is a good idea to stay up “cramming” the night before an exam. If this sounds like something you might do, take some time to read the info gram posted below. You might be surprised what research has to say about cramming.

The Science of Study
Source: Best Education Degrees

Now you know more about  how our brain learns new information, and also how poor study methods can have a negative impact on grades…  what tips will you use to improve your own study methods?

Use these ideas to create positive study habits that decrease stress and improve the results of your exam!