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Summer term is here and you know what that means. Exams, summatives, stress, oh my! Next week the sessions of the Wellbeing Project Summer Term Edition will be helping everyone pick up the tips they need to get through the exam period. If you can’t make it in person, here are the key facts in writing.
1. Slow, deep breaths are the key to achieving a state of calm. Breathing exercises can slow or stop the production of stress hormones. While rapid breathing triggers a flight or fight response, slow breaths engage the opposite reaction. This reaction is controlled by the Vagus nerve, described by physicians as the body’s brake system.
2. Deep breaths also trigger the release of endorphins. These endorphins remove toxins and improves blood flow. The resulting oxygen increases energy levels, so you won’t feel sluggish come exam time.
3. Over time, controlled breathing and meditation may actually spark brain growth. Research has found the brain grows in areas associated with attention and sensory processing. While it won’t happen over night, the results suggest breathing exercises are a key to fostering long-term healthy living.
4. Avoid the sugar high. While it may feel satisfying to consume sugary snacks at first, the blood sugar crash that will follow will result in fatigue.
5. Don’t sit for an exam on an empty stomach. A small carb snack will boost concentration and brainpower. Reach for something whole wheat, a complex carb, rather than a candy bar and your brain (and score) will thank you.
6. Stay hydrated. In addition to focusing on nutrition, it’s crucial to keep up water intake. Water is necessary for the chemical reactions taking place throughout our bodies, including in our brains. Want to recall the concepts you’ve been packing into your head? Water is the key.
7. Get up and move before an exam. Just 20 minutes of walking, running, or another form of exercise can improve cognitive ability and attention, increasing the chance you’ll do well on that test.
8. Feeling exhausted? Marathon library sessions can result in fatigue and the best way to battle it is to stay active. Exercise improves energy levels, leaving you feeling lively and ready to take on your work.
9. Like deep breathing, exercise promotes better blood flow to the brain. The blood to the brain increases oxygen, antioxidants, and glucose, a powerful combination that improves clarity of thought.
Need more information to help you perform at your best during exams? Check out the Wellbeing Week schedule.
The Wellbeing Project - Summer Term Edition - Schedule
LSE Wellbeing Services
The Active Lifestyle sessions kick off Week 1 of Summer Term with a bang! More details:
For more sessions, browse the What’s On page on lsesu.com and look for the Active Lifestyle logo!
From cracking jokes to acting, to his current activism (all arguably self-proclaimed), is there anything Russell Brand can’t do?
Now the Englishman can add producing the documentary The Emperor’s New Clothes to his list. Working alongside Michael Winterbottom, known for his cult fiction and social commentary such as The Shock Doctrine, the duo presents a witty and approachable attack on the divide between the wealthiest few and everyone else.
Brand makes it clear that none of the information he provides is new. Instead he reinforces the idea that #ThingsCanChange through revolution. Starting from his home town of Grays in Essex and moving into the City of London, Brand interviews families living on pensions, climbs over Lord Rothermere’s gate, and attempts to get into bank buildings in his true fashion.
It was clear that the documentary was well researched, with segments such as support of social housing, thoughtful conversations with Tesco workers, and discussions of the Fire Brigades Union. The film also includes a brief minute focusing on student debt, interviewing a group of UCLSU students on how they’ve been affected by a rise in tuition fees.
Repeated cries of “It doesn’t have to be like this” interjected with “The Creme Eggs are sh*t now [after Cadbury’s American takeover]” remind us that Brand’s comedic streak is not long gone. Strangely-entertaining snippets of the public shoving to take selfies with the celebrity and descriptions of Thatcher as “Jesus with a hair helmet” pull the film together.
However, some parts left me feeling puzzled: primary school children on inequality, and people wearing paper face-masks of the top 1% driving around London on a single coach plastered with ‘Shop A Banker’ in an attempt to satirise the 2011 England riots…
Given the politically-sensitive timing of the film’s release and the Cameron Osborne Rap, it is clear who Winterbottom will not be voting for in May. Whether you agree with Brand’s plea not to vote or his motives for making the documentary, The Emperor’s New Clothes provides an easy to access, entertaining showcase on the inequality that is tearing us apart.
- Janis Wong
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