Studies have repeatedly shown that a positive mindset can improve well-being, strengthen your immune system, and help you cope with stress. Therefore, it is not surprising that a positive attitude can even help you learn better. Training ourselves to develop a positive mindset has physiological and physical benefits.
If you are studying for a challenging degree, your learning environment and mindset can profoundly impact your academic achievements. When we think positively, we feel more relaxed and happier. This makes it easier for us to focus on our studies and learn new information easily. This is one of the reasons educators strive to ensure that classrooms are positive spaces for students to feel supported and happy.
How a positive mindset can help improve academic performance
A positive mindset toward studying can help boost your performance and enhance your memory. Your attitude toward challenging subjects, such as math, can affect your learning. Students with a positive attitude toward a difficult issue will be more engaged and dedicated to education. This will help them understand the subject better, improve their memory, and help them achieve better grades.
Students feel motivated to study and work harder when they feel connected, engaged, and safe. When they feel connected, active, and secure. When you are more positive, you tend to be interested in a subject and are more likely to read and practice more. This positive attitude leads to improved performance.
Challenges to developing a positive mindset
There can be many reasons you feel unmotivated and overwhelmed when studying. Developing a positive mindset may seem impossible, but knowing why you think a certain way can help you find a solution. Here are some of the most common challenges you may face.
I do not know how to start.
If you find yourself procrastinating and putting tasks off, it may be because you don’t know how or where to begin. If you have a deadline for a paper, you might not know where to start researching. One of the best ways to deal with this challenge is by breaking up a large task into smaller components. This will help you develop a positive attitude toward a mission. Having smaller jobs to work on is easier than facing a large project.
Start by making a list with smaller chunks of work. Create a schedule of when you will work on each item. Once you have the list, take the first small step and start working. Achieving a small goal will help you feel motivated.
Subjects may feel too challenged.
Students commonly feel dejected because they find a particular subject too challenging. If you find a specific topic too difficult, you may put off even attempting to work on it. However, procrastinating will make your life more difficult as work starts piling up.
Find one small thing to start with and build momentum. This will make you feel productive and will motivate you to keep going. Ask for help when needed, and look for resources to help you improve the subject.
Being prepared for hard work
Many students struggle with the workload, or the difficulty of the work, that comes with studying for a degree, and they may put off certain assignments. There’s no denying that certain degrees can be challenging and require a lot of effort, so a lot of self-discipline will be needed to meet your deadlines. Researching a course in-depth and ensuring it’s the right fit for your interests and goals before signing up can help ensure you know what to expect.
Suppose you have enrolled in a healthcare degree program, such as the accelerated BSN program at Elmhurst University. In that case, you must be prepared to work hard and study regularly. Online degrees, such as this one, will give you further flexibility to complete courses in your own time and at your own pace – as there’s no need to spend any time commuting to attend classes in person.
Reminding yourself how completing your degree will lead to opportunities you have been dreaming about is a good way to develop a positive attitude toward learning. Ultimately, with higher education, you get out of it what you put in. When you are mentally prepared to work hard, you will find a way to move forward and complete your degree.
One particularly common challenge faced by students today is relentless distractions. You may be feeling unmotivated to work because there is always something else that needs your attention. It is easy to check social media, read the news, and check emails even when you don’t need to.
If you find yourself in a slump, it could be because negative news and social media posts are affecting your mental health. Having a schedule for everything in your life can help. Set aside a fixed time for managing your emails and checking social media. You can also use apps that control your screen time and block websites. This will help you focus better when you study.
Having a dedicated, distraction-free space to study will also make it easier for you to focus. You can convert a part of your home into a study room or go to a library or café without getting distracted.
Tips to help you develop a positive mindset
It is normal to find yourself overwhelmed and under pressure as a student. You may find it difficult to relax, sleep, or think positively about your situation. When worrying about upcoming deadlines and exams is unavoidable, there are ways you can develop a positive frame of mind.
Stress can have several negative consequences for students. You may be unable to focus on your studies, learn new things, or feel engaged. It is important to develop strategies and learn new coping methods. When you find yourself feeling stressed, take a few deep breaths. Use relaxation techniques such as controlled breathing, mindfulness, yoga, and meditation to help you feel calmer. Learn how to view things positively and see situations as exciting rather than stressful.
Have clear goals
Students need to have clear goals so they can develop a positive mindset. Having clear objectives will help you track your progress. This is one of the best ways to feel motivated and view your achievements positively. Setting goals has several benefits. It will enable you to self-monitor and improve your determination and performance. Clear learning goals will help you stay on track and give you something to look forward to.
Believe in your abilities and in what you can achieve. Don’t be afraid to push yourself a little more to test your limits. This is an effective way of maintaining a good attitude as a student. Work hard and try to do a little more than you did yesterday to prove to yourself that you are talented, skilled, hardworking, and capable. This confidence will motivate you to continue. Preparing for hard work will make things easier for you because you know what to expect when enrolling in a particularly challenging degree.
Surround yourself with the right people
If you want to develop a positive mindset, you will have to surround yourself with like-minded people. The people you spend time with will greatly impact your mood. When you spend time with people who are always complaining, you will likely adopt a similar attitude.
Make friends with people who believe in lifting each other. Friends who think positively will motivate you to achieve more each day. You can also join a study group to benefit from the group’s collective effort. You can share notes, discuss difficult topics, and motivate others to perform better. Collaborating with like-minded people is a great way to feel motivated and have a better outlook for the future.
View your mistakes as learning opportunities
Everyone makes mistakes, but it is important not to feel discouraged. Learn to look at your mistakes from a different point of view. Making mistakes allows us to learn what works and what doesn’t. They help you learn to do things differently. When you acknowledge this, you will learn to use mistakes to grow and progress instead of feeling like a failure.
Think about each mistake you make and look for a lesson. Re-evaluate them so you can find new ways to do things. When you answer questions incorrectly, think about ways you can prevent that from happening in the future.
One of the best ways to develop a positive mindset is by practicing it regularly. Use techniques such as visualization, affirmations, and positive talk to change the way you think. Like anything else, you will need to practice regularly to change your mindset.
Make a list of all your strengths and weaknesses, and develop a plan to improve things about yourself that you are not satisfied with. When you have goals for self-improvement, you will feel motivated to work toward them. Start a new hobby, an exercise program, or a journaling habit. Abandon the need for perfection and try to do a little better each day.
If you have unrealistic expectations, learn to set them aside. Instead of self-criticism, treat yourself kindly when you fail to achieve a goal. Put aside any self-doubt and focus on what you can do instead.
Visualize yourself completing a challenging degree and graduating. Have a clear idea about why you are studying, and commit to staying on track with your goals regardless of obstacles. As you continue to practice, thinking positively will become easier for you.
While pushing yourself and working hard is important, taking breaks and rewarding yourself is equally vital. Setting rewards for achieving goals is a great way to motivate yourself to study. Pick a few good tips that you would enjoy. Consider a few prizes for smaller tasks, such as a good chocolate bar or bubble bath. For larger, more important goals, the tips should be truly indulgent.
Think of all the things that you enjoy and have been putting off. Make a list and devise a reward system you will not feel guilty about. When you see yourself achieving goals and earning rewards, it will be easier to be confident in your abilities and feel more positive about the situation.
Learn to be silly
Sometimes the best course of action is to let go of all your inhibitions and just be silly. You may feel easily overwhelmed, exhausted, and burned out as a student. You will need to put some time aside to refresh your mind and feel re-energized. Make a list of things that help you relax, such as your favorite funny TV show, music, yoga, or going out with friends.
Regardless of how busy you may be, it is important to take frequent breaks to stay productive. If you schedule breaks in your day, you will be less stressed. Go out on lunch dates with friends and laugh over silly jokes. Laughter is one of the best ways to feel immediately happy and positive.
Daydreaming is an easy, quick pick-me-up that can distract your mind and help you quickly detach from stressful situations when needed. Although you can never completely abandon your studies, it is important to let go of all your worries and indulge in silly fun. Make plans for dreamy destinations, even if you are not planning to travel.
Use distraction techniques
It isn’t possible to control the thoughts that come into your mind. For example, you may think about how badly a particular test went. You may have another test to prepare for, but your mind keeps dwelling on the difficulty you’ve already taken. Even when you push aside these thoughts and concentrate on their task, they keep circling back to those negative thoughts.
You may have to try various distraction techniques to deal with this problem. When you feel overwhelmed, take a break and think about things that are not stressful. Take some time to indulge in relaxing hobbies, such as coloring or watching a TV show. After some time, you will feel less stressed and better equipped to study for your next test.
There are many distraction techniques you can try. Not all of them will work for you, so you must experiment a little to find effective designs.
Congratulate yourself on a job well done
When you are stuck in a negative loop, you may become too self-critical. If you find yourself constantly berating yourself for the things you didn’t do well, you should take the time to congratulate yourself when you do something right.
Studying can often be frustrating. When you are working on challenging topics, you may feel especially discouraged. You may work hard to achieve good grades, but they may continue to elude you. These are all normal circumstances, but when you are in the middle of a challenging situation, it may not be easy to find anything positive about it. If you feel there is no point in studying because none of these concepts may be useful in the future, remind yourself that they are useful right now.
There may not be much to make you feel better when you are currently struggling with a subject beyond continuing to work hard. However, you can focus on the issues that you are good at. Congratulate yourself on tests where you performed well, and take every opportunity to feel good about your talents and skills. Be proud of your abilities, and remember that people in your life love you and admire you for what you have achieved so far.
The key to staying positive is to celebrate every small occasion and victory. Plan a party for yourself to celebrate the goals you achieve, and indulge in a little cake or any other treat you like. Sometimes it may be best not to worry too much about a grade on a paper. When you stop worrying about it excessively, you’ll free your mind of the burden you’ve placed on yourself. This will better equip you to improve in the future.
Developing a positive mindset is a skill that will serve you well beyond your student life. When you graduate and start your career, a positive outlook will help you deal with the constant pressures of work and stress so you can continue to excel at every stage of life.