How Different Learning Methods Help You Learn Effectively
Learning new techniques is part of your growth, no matter your age. When we were young, we were taught to learn alphabets and numbers through a combination of phonetics, hand gestures, and counting while repeating to embed these into our brains. Games and sports are included in most learning processes to develop our motor skills and brain to help us retain information that much better. To help people learn and remember better, there are many methods, books, guides, etc., on the internet available to you.
I have similarly read many books and articles and watched YouTube videos on becoming a good learner and efficiently improving your learning habits and techniques. Everyone has their way of better retaining information they read and comprehend. While some may work for you, they may not work for me. The working methods have lots to do with how we were raised and which motor skills we could work on.
Now more than ever, it is vital to me as I am studying for my bachelor's degree. I have understood what methods work for me to help improve my learning habits with time. Let me share the most important ones here with you.
I took this tip from the Kwik Learning course, which Jim Kwik teaches in his Speed-Reading Course to help you access information faster by reading fast. In this method, I bring my index finger in the line of vision of my eyes and start making an infinity sign in the air with my finger in one direction. An infinity sign is a horizontal 8 sign for those who don’t know what I’m saying. After making the sign three times in one direction, I started in the other direction three more times. I focus on the tip of my finger with my eyes all this time.
This focus helps me prepare my peripheral vision to pick up information faster and increase my learning efficiency. It is not just Jim Kwik; many pediatric therapy clinics use this method to help kids learn better. Some institutions make kids draw infinity signs in a mix of colours to improve their hand-eye coordination and allow them to gain a mediative rhythm with this movement that can help soothe their brains.
Play musical instruments
The second method I have made a habit of is playing the piano for around 30 minutes before I start studying. With this method, I practice my skill and improve my attention. The fun and serenity I get from practising piano charge my brain giving me more concentration for better learning.
My main inspiration was from Dr Anita Collins' book The Music Advantage, which talks about exactly how the brain brightens up when you play a musical instrument. Instead, it brightens up like a Christmas tree with all the lights and adornments. It helps our motor skills to improve along with increased hearing, reading speed, balancing with rhythm, among many things that I may enhance by playing an instrument.
One study particularly discusses the benefits of how learning to play an instrument suggested that those adolescents who were learning and practising music were more open and ambitious and performed better at school.
Alternate nostril breathing
This method is quite similar to what most people recommend when it is healthy to take walks in the morning and breathe fresh air. This method requires you to breathe in fresh air until your lungs are completely filled and then exhale. You can repeat this more than once intermittently during your walks.
Another method that I particularly use is closing one nostril and first inhaling until my lungs are filled and then exhaling completely. Then I swap to close the other nostril doing this anywhere from 3 to 30 minutes depending on my mood. This method has been studied extensively, and it has been found most of the time that it is suitable for mental and cardiovascular health, especially for younger people.
Many yogis also practice nostril breathing, and they believe it helps them increase their spatial memory and even cognitive skills. This study tested individual nostril breathing and then breathing with alternate nostrils. All these groups show they improved their spatial skills by 84%.