Brushing your teeth, like many other tasks, is a habit we should have for our well-being. It may just seem like a way to keep your mouth clean, but it's actually more than that!
This may sound odd as a piece of advice for a stressed student but it's a perfect example to show how impactful actions are in different areas of our lives. Or, more specifically, habits.
💡 Did you know that by brushing your teeth before breakfast you’re removing plaque that accumulated while you were sleeping? Since plaque uses the foods you eat to produce more bacteria and acid byproducts, eating with a plaque on your teeth can, technically, increase your risk of enamel demineralization and cavities. Not nice.
We all know what habits are and how impactful they are to us everyday, but we never see them as ways to make our life easier. So, if you find yourself lost, the key to solving all your problems may be behind your habits.
If you search on google, the first definition of habits that will pop up will be the Wikipedia one, which says that: “a habit is a routine of behavior that is repeated regularly and tends to occur subconsciously”. It means that a habit is an activity that you do often and without planning, because of something called stimuli. Habits rely on stimuli to take place. For example, if you see a red button in front of you there will be a desire to press it because you feel you should do it. That’s how we learned to respond to this scenario, and it's what we will want to do.
With the right stimuli, we may automatize ways of acting that may be positive or negative for us. An obvious example is the usage of a cell phone. We all know how technology gave us new opportunities to do whatever we want, but it's hard to not lose yourself in it. Like in social media apps, where we receive the stimuli (a notification), the reward (the happiness), and the commodity to pass hours in it. With all these conveniences, you may feel you belong less to yourself and more to the stimuli around you. This internal conflict of lack of control may be the main reason you're burned out. And even if you don’t see any problem navigating the web, you may feel stressed about the lack of time you seem to have, due to hours spent on social media.
If you feel uncomfortable with your habits, there is hope. There are ways to change the situation, but perseverance will be needed.
To do so, you’ll first need to find the stimuli of your habit. It may be the simple sound of a notification, maybe the place you practice this habit, a sound, a color, the hour, there are a lot of stimuli surrounding you.
After finding out what your stimuli are, you need to be creative and try to find a way to convert these stimuli into another habit.
Maybe, instead of eating a cookie every time you feel anxious, you should try to count to ten, draw a rose, do ten push-ups or do whatever you want to. And ta-da. 🎉
I know this may not be the magical way to solve all your problems, but it’s a way to have more control over your actions. It will take some time and persistence, but you will feel good spending all the money you saved by not eating so many cookies to buy something you wanted for so long. It’s just very important to keep in mind that even though it will be hard it will pay off by the end.
But if you’re looking specifically for habits that can help you to study better, I have some:
- Have a study area. Studying in your bed or at the same desk you spend most of the time on your computer will mix stimuli, and you may want to play or sleep more than ever. If you don’t have a space to specifically study, try to have something to work as your stimuli for studying, as a study lamp that you turn on just when you’re studying.
- Take a lot of breaks. Your study shouldn’t feel abusive. Most professionals say that breaking your studies into blocks of 25 minutes with a 5 minutes pause between will make you more productive. Go drink water, listen to music on the sofa or maybe do ten push-ups if you feel like it, do not oblige yourself to be exhausted.
- Understand what you’re studying. Should you be understanding the reasons why a rebellion happened or all the important names and dates about this rebellion? Try to comprehend concepts and decor facts, by knowing what you need you will know what to chase.
1. Be creative and notice how the reason why you brush your teeth may be the solution to all your problems.
2. Create good habits, care about yourself and never forget to let yourself dream.
I know this is all vague advice, but sometimes we have the habit of forgetting what’s essential. It’s essential to care about your general well-being and try to actively change what you feel is wrong in your life.
👇 I hope I helped somehow, and if you need extra help, do not feel shy to leave a comment! 👇