Maintaining psychological energy levels

In summary, this person suggests that if you are having trouble with a subject, take a break, and come back to it with fresh eyes. They also suggest that you should not focus on the big challenge you have coming up, because it will keep you from focusing on the task at hand.
  • #1
sahilmm15
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Many of you would have heard about physical energy levels. Like maintaining the physical energy throughout the day so that you do not get tired. People recommend exercising, meditating etc etc.
But I found out that my mental energy drains at a very rapid rate. I wake up with full energy but after few hours of physics or math it becomes almost 0. Even if I want to continue I cannot continue. So my question is how do I keep my psychological energy at optimal level throughout the day so that I can continue my work without having to use excess of "WILLPOWER". What techniques do mentors or scholars here use?Thanks!
 
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  • #2
Unfortunately I think this is just something you have to get used to (unless it's a serious issue affecting other parts of your life - in which case you might want to seek actual medical advice instead of asking here). But in the case that it's just general tiredness from studying - run around the garden a few times, make a cup of tea, and take breaks more often. Maybe put on some music or something.

Though be warned that with questions like this you're going to get a hundred different answers, because at the end of the day everyone has their own strategies. You kinda just need to experiment and see what works for you. Good luck!
 
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  • #3
Pepsi coke... plenty of Pepsi coke.
That blue and red thing...
 
  • #4
Mind you I didn't sleep today... closed my eyes but didn't sleep all night long.
I guess I wasn't that much tired...
My thoughts are that after exercising you'll be too tired to do maths and physics anyways.
That's how it is with me.
 
  • #5
Set reasonable expectations.

You want to independently study (based on your other threads)
  • Trigonometry
  • "Classical physics" (whatever that means)
  • Algebra 2
  • Pre-calculus
  • High school physics
This is a lot to take on, and some of this most likely requires the completion of other parts before you can start. I suspect you will have more energy if you don't try to do everything at once.
 
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  • #6
Vanadium 50 said:
Set reasonable expectations.

You want to independently study (based on your other threads)
  • Trigonometry
  • "Classical physics" (whatever that means)
  • Algebra 2
  • Pre-calculus
  • High school physics
This is a lot to take on, and some of this most likely requires the completion of other parts before you can start. I suspect you will have more energy if you don't try to do everything at once.
Well precalculus and Algebra 2 was for my younger sister. Still, I know trigonometry, high school physics (classical mechanics and electrostatic s, if you read my first few threads I asked questions about electrostatics) could be stressful sometimes. But I need to keep going on. I am 17 years old and I would be appearing for my JEE Advanced exam in June( which is very difficult if you compare with other exams in this age group.). So my teachers here advised me to keep asking doubts about problems , materials etc, so that I can be ahead. I like challenges and like to be competitive. And sometimes competitions can be stressful. Also to mention I love physics and mathematics than anything else. So standing tall against any (getting tired mentally) problem and overcoming it logically by asking valid questions!
 
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  • #7
The attention span of a teenager or even an adult is about 45 minutes before they need to break away. That is usually why lectures are typically 30 to 45 minutes before there is a break. I can never ever think of a time where I sat down for a few hours of continuous study without taking a break several times at least not in HS. This was especially true for things that seem repetitious or when I was not making too much progress. Find a pace that is right for you to maximize your throughput.

Perhaps 45 minutes is too long for you then cut it down a bit. Sometimes when studying a subject you complete a specific task. You could continue in that subject or start a different one. By starting a different one you have finished the previous one on a high note and feel good about that. This should provide a better mindset for the new task.

If you are having issues with a subject and not making too much progress then don't waste time just
staring at the material break away from it for a while, even a day, and let your mind work in the background (it does). Your mind may need a rest sooner than your body. When you come back to it, it may look at it a little differently than before and it can make all the difference.

You have a big challenge coming up. Try not to focus on that for it will keep you from putting your attention where it belongs, on preparing as well as you are able. I know that is hard but it is something you must learn since you will have many more challenges to prepare for.

“Worry is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.”
– Arthur Somers Roche , American Author

Students sometimes set high goals for understanding concepts that may not be attainable immediately. You may not be adequately prepared to fully understand some things at this stage in your education. You must first become proficient in the application of the concepts.

Good Luck in your endeavors.
 
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  • #8
gleem said:
The attention span of a teenager or even an adult is about 45 minutes before they need to break away. That is usually why lectures are typically 30 to 45 minutes before there is a break. I can never ever think of a time where I sat down for a few hours of continuous study without taking a break several times at least not in HS. This was especially true for things that seem repetitious or when I was not making too much progress. Find a pace that is right for you to maximize your throughput.

Perhaps 45 minutes is too long for you then cut it down a bit. Sometimes when studying a subject you complete a specific task. You could continue in that subject or start a different one. By starting a different one you have finished the previous one on a high note and feel good about that. This should provide a better mindset for the new task.

If you are having issues with a subject and not making too much progress then don't waste time just
staring at the material break away from it for a while, even a day, and let your mind work in the background (it does). Your mind may need a rest sooner than your body. When you come back to it, it may look at it a little differently than before and it can make all the difference.

You have a big challenge coming up. Try not to focus on that for it will keep you from putting your attention where it belongs, on preparing as well as you are able. I know that is hard but it is something you must learn since you will have many more challenges to prepare for.
Students sometimes set high goals for understanding concepts that may not be attainable immediately. You may not be adequately prepared to fully understand some things at this stage in your education. You must first become proficient in the application of the concepts.

Good Luck in your endeavors.
You just told me everything that I desperately needed. I think this was the perfect reply I was looking for. Don't know how do I thank you enough for this, also related every word you wrote.Cheers and Thanks!
 
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  • #9
gleem said:
You have a big challenge coming up. Try not to focus on that for it will keep you from putting your attention where it belongs, on preparing as well as you are able. I know that is hard but it is something you must learn since you will have many more challenges to prepare for.
Can you explain this paragraph again.
 
  • #10
gleem said:
The attention span of a teenager or even an adult is about 45 minutes before they need to break away. That is usually why lectures are typically 30 to 45 minutes before there is a break.
Can u prefer the duration of the break?
 
  • #11
sahilmm15 said:
Can u prefer the duration of the break?

No, I think it depends on a number of factors some personal, some not. The 45 minutes I quoted is a reasonable one for most people who must sit through a presentation or class. Presumably, it is relatively unfamiliar material. For personal studying, for me, it depends on my interest in the subject and extrinsic factors that compete for my attention. Studying is similar to eating if it is not interesting or boring you are not going to stay at the table for very long. You've heard the phrase, starving for knowledge? When that occurs you can go on for a long time before you become fatigued enough that you cannot maintain proper attention. You learn to pay attention to how productive your efforts feel. If you find yourself not being productive as before then break. It is about managing your abilities and skills to get the most out of them for the allotted time.

I can't give you a guaranteed recipe for success. All that I have said and others before me must be applied or modified in a manner that helps you and that you will adopt and stick with. That said you must spend a minimum amount of time on a subject with at least taking something of value away from the time spent so as to make the next encounter more productive. Setting specific goals for a session is helpful with this.
 
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  • #12
How you take care of yourself will play a role in your energy levels. Eat healthy meals, stay hydrated, and be active atleast 3-4 times a week. Even if you're only doing a 20 minute, high intensity workout, I bet you'll find your energy levels rise over time.
 
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  • #13
Here's a few tips that can help you maintain your concentration throughout the day...

Environmental Factors
Think about where you're studying. Do you need quiet? Do you have ample space for your books and devices? What things distract you? Making sure that you optimize your personal space so you can concentrate can make a world of difference for some people.

Biological Factors
The physical and psychological endurance go hand in hand in my experience. Make sure that you're getting adequate sleep. Avoid substituting caffeine for sleep. Make sure you're eating healthy. Avoid food that's going to make you lethargic. Get plenty of exercise. And allow yourself some down time to relax at regular intervals.

Social Factors
Now more than ever, I think we're learning how important socialization is. On one level this can mean simply taking time to goof off with your friends. But on another level, think about the company you keep. Some people are "energy vampires" and are best to avoid. When you surround yourself with people who have similar goals and interests, it can be surprising how much you feed off of each other. Sometimes the best studying comes from a casual argument, or a discussion about something you don't "get."

Executive Factors
Your mind only has so much bandwidth. Organizing your time can make a world of difference. This can include things like limiting the mundane decisions you have to make in a day (plan out your meals for the week, for example), and keeping a detailed calendar that helps you organize and track your time. Learn to be disciplined about the time you spend on certain projects. Start early. The less time you spend working on "urgent" assignments, the less stress you'll have.

This also includes working strategically and intelligently toward your goals. Taking a little bit of time to think about the best way to move toward your studying goals can help avoid those catastrophic upsets where you realize you've been spending hours on something that ultimately proves fruitless.

Practice
You can't expect to be perfect from the start. Discipline comes from repetition and the formation of good habits.
 
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  • #14
gleem said:
The attention span of a teenager or even an adult is about 45 minutes before they need to break away. That is usually why lectures are typically 30 to 45 minutes before there is a break.
Can u prefer the duration of the break? There is an American saying "When you are up to your neck in alligators it is hard to remember that your job was to drain the swamp." Translated when you have too many immediate worries you forget to do what you are supposed to do. But sometimes you only think that you are up to your neck in alligators. Knowing that the JEE exam is difficult is valuable knowledge but should not distract you from preparing for it the best you can. You can only do your best. If you do not focus on learning that which may be on the exam you will fail. Worrying about failing in a future endeavor can undermine your efforts to prepare for it.

Finding success with your studying will go a long way in building your confidence so that you will look at the JEE as a challenge and not a fate. Even if you do not succeed you will want to know that you gave your best effort rather than lament an opportunity lost for lack of it.

“There is a great difference between worry and concern. A worried person sees a problem, and a concerned person solves a problem.”

– Harold Stephen American Author.
 
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  • #15
my greatest motivator was poverty!
 
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  • #16
MidgetDwarf said:
my greatest motivator was poverty!
LOL, good point. One of my biggest motivators was working hard manual labor jobs during the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of university. One job involved digging ditches by hand in very hard ground on hot days, and another was stringing new barbed wire fence line on some pretty steep hillsides. I don't know if you've ever strung fence line, but it involves pounding the stakes in by hand, and stringing and stretching the wire lines. Oh, and humping all of the stakes and wire and tools up those hills as you string the fence.

I still remember to this day, standing in my half-dug ditch around noon on a hot day, and resolving to study as hard as I could so that I would not have to work manual jobs like that for the rest of my life. Talk about motivation! :smile:
 
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  • #17
sahilmm15 said:
Many of you would have heard about physical energy levels. Like maintaining the physical energy throughout the day so that you do not get tired. People recommend exercising, meditating etc etc.
But I found out that my mental energy drains at a very rapid rate. I wake up with full energy but after few hours of physics or math it becomes almost 0. Even if I want to continue I cannot continue. So my question is how do I keep my psychological energy at optimal level throughout the day so that I can continue my work without having to use excess of "WILLPOWER". What techniques do mentors or scholars here use?Thanks!
Worries and fear, even at unconscious level, have been the greatest consumers of mental and nervous energy that I have experienced.
Hard physical work or study can’t even compare regarding burning mental energy.

The best repairer I have known is sound sleep, for as long as your brain needs it.
It is tempting to steal time from sleeping to compensate for overload or poor time management, but you must be aware of the dangers of that practice.

The friends of a good night of sleep are a tired body and a calmed mind; therefore, excercise as much as you can and learn to turn your brain off and on at will, thoughts don’t need to run at all times, it is just a learned habit.

As explained by others, keep the goal in mind, but don’t let the possibility of catastrophic results control the way in which you prepare for a test.
An anxious mind can’t learn but to become neurotic, only a calmed and focused mind can learn new things, the more interesting to you, the better.
 
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  • #18
Lnewqban said:
Worries and fear, even at unconscious level, have been the greatest consumers of mental and nervous energy that I have experienced.
Hard physical work or study can’t even compare regarding burning mental energy.

The best repairer I have known is sound sleep, for as long as your brain needs it.
It is tempting to steal time from sleeping to compensate for overload or poor time management, but you must be aware of the dangers of that practice.

The friends of a good night of sleep are a tired body and a calmed mind; therefore, excercise as much as you can and learn to turn your brain off and on at will, thoughts don’t need to run at all times, it is just a learned habit.

As explained by others, keep the goal in mind, but don’t let the possibility of catastrophic results control the way in which you prepare for a test.
An anxious mind can’t learn but to become neurotic, only a calmed and focused mind can learn new things, the more interesting to you, the better.
Yeah, I too know the consequences of experimenting with my sleep. Sometimes I do think that I am wasting time, but it is a hard fact to swallow that you are most productive when you are sleeping.
 
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Related to Maintaining psychological energy levels

1. How can I maintain my psychological energy levels?

To maintain your psychological energy levels, it is important to prioritize self-care activities such as getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and engaging in stress-reducing activities like meditation or spending time in nature. It is also important to set realistic goals and manage your time effectively to prevent burnout.

2. What impact do negative thoughts have on psychological energy levels?

Negative thoughts can significantly impact your psychological energy levels by draining your mental and emotional resources. Constant negative thinking can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and fatigue. It is important to challenge negative thoughts and replace them with more positive and realistic ones to maintain healthy psychological energy levels.

3. How does social support affect psychological energy levels?

Social support can have a positive impact on psychological energy levels by providing emotional and practical support during difficult times. Having a strong support system can help reduce stress and increase feelings of happiness and well-being. It is important to cultivate and maintain healthy relationships with friends and family to maintain psychological energy levels.

4. Can my environment affect my psychological energy levels?

Yes, your environment can have a significant impact on your psychological energy levels. A cluttered and chaotic environment can lead to feelings of overwhelm and drain your mental energy. It is important to create a calm and organized space to promote a sense of peace and reduce stress.

5. How can I prevent burnout and maintain consistent psychological energy levels?

To prevent burnout and maintain consistent psychological energy levels, it is important to practice self-care regularly. This includes taking breaks, setting boundaries, and prioritizing activities that bring you joy and relaxation. It is also important to regularly assess your workload and make adjustments as needed to avoid overexertion and burnout.

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