Knowledge is the key to many kinds of success. But if your brain isn’t healthy when you study, then it will be like pouring water into a bucket with holes. You’ll forget easily. God said he gave many simple but valuable principles to become wise in the Bible (Deut. 4:1-8). 100s of studies show that dozens of habits such as the food you eat, exercise, sleep, happiness, church and other habits affect memory, brain efficiency, clear thinking and other aspects of brain function every day. Below is a brief summary of 12 habits from God that have helped many people to have higher grades, creativity and more success in various areas of life and they can help you too…if you follow them! There is a much longer article after that with Bible verses and more habits and many scientific references confirming their value.
- DREAM BIG/BE HAPPY ( 29:18): Have big dreams and break them into small steps to succeed more. Spend time with friends, family, make memories, laugh and have fun. Being happy increases brain efficiency ~20-30%.
- EAT HEALTHY MEALS ( 31:14-15, Genesis 1:29, Genesis 3:18): A healthy breakfast improves grades up to ~10-25% because it gives you important energy for the whole day. Fruit gives you quick energy in ~30 minutes. Grains give you energy all day. Energy helps you study better. Eat a fruit and a whole grain every morning. Avoid/reduce meat because it has too much arachidonic acid which can cause memory problems (and many diseases).
- CONNECT WITH GOD & PEOPLE & TAKE A BREAK (1:7, Ps. 111:110, Mark 2:27, Deut. 16:13-16, Lev. 23): God wisely said to rest from work once a week and have ~7 festivals a year. Science shows that going to church weekly can help improve grades 14.4% or more. Why? Because people learn important truths from God. It makes families stronger and builds community (and connections to wiser people). It helps people avoid smoking, alcohol, gangs & other bad habits better. These and many other things help improve brain function and grades.
- SLEEP (Ps 127:2): Good sleep improves grades up to 15%, reduces diseases, accidents and more. Sleep makes long term memory and cleans the brain. Most teens need 7-9 hours of sleep. If you don’t sleep well, it will take 5 hours to do 3 hours of homework and you will get lower grades.
- AVOID ALCOHOL/SMOKING ( 20:1): These 2 bad habits reduce grades ~12-19%, cause memory problems, make the brain smaller, cause mental diseases, etc. They cause ~ 7.5 million people to die every year and reduce life by ~15-30 years.
- AVOID LOTS OF STRESS (Matthew 6:25-27): Some stress is helpful. It motivates us. But if you have 8 or more big stresses life (debt, arguments, etc.), your grades can be up to ~15% lower.
- EXERCISE (1 Tim. 4:8): Vigorous exercise 7 days a week (as in hiking, sports, working, etc.), helps you get ~10% better grades and is great for mood, memory, and learning. It adds ~5-10 years to life.
- READ TRUTH/AVOID FICTION (Philippians 4:8): Read/watch mostly true stories. True stories give you more authentic vocabulary and better real life information. This can be useful in your future. Fiction is usually not useful for real life. It is also not as good for vocabulary improvement.
- DON’T OVEREAT ( 23:19-21): This hardens brain arteries and can double memory loss. Eat slowly and stop when you feel ~80% full. Chew your food ~20-30 times.
- AVOID SUGAR/JUNK FOOD (Proverbs 25:27): Too much sugar and sweeteners can reduce grades up to ~10%. It reduces clear thinking and memory. Eat sweet fruit instead. Eating many packaged things can reduce your grades by 10% or more, reduce your IQ and increase your risk of sickness and many diseases.
- DRINK WATER (Ez. 4:11): Your brain is mostly water and it needs the right amount of water to function well. Dehydration is an enemy of good memory. Drinking water before tests may increase grades up to 5% in studies.
- FRESH AIR ( 35:33, Jer. 12:4) Your brain runs on oxygen & needs lots of air. More CO2 & less O2 reduce brain efficiency. Also, don’t put your face under blankets. That is bad for memory. Get lots of fresh air and avoid pollution.
These are some important habits to help make your brain function much better which will help improve grades, creativity and innovative thinking, potential for promotion and a myriad of other benefits that God wishes you to have!
REFERENCES (only a few)
newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/scientists-learn-how-food-affects-52668 (160 studies summarized), www.webmd.com/brain/memory-loss, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4212988/ (60 references), www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081021120925.htm
TO MAKE THE SIMPLE WISE—Why God’s Simple Bible Habits for Wisdom Are Ideal for Improving Grades, Creativity and Succeeding in Your Career (and possibly getting a Nobel prize J ).
- “No other nation has laws that are as fair as the ones the Lord my God told me to give you. If you faithfully obey them when you enter the land, you will show other nations how wise you are.” Deuteronomy 4:5
- “Intelligent people are always ready to learn.” Proverbs 18:15
Do you want to get good grades in school or be more intelligent, wise, creative or maybe even win a top prize in your field someday? Many wise and successful people throughout history and from many backgrounds have said that there is a tremendous connection between the habits we follow and how wise and successful we are. For example:
- “Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” ~John F. Kennedy
- “The relation of diet to intellectual development should be given far more attention than it has received. Mental confusion and dullness are often the result of errors in diet.” Education, Ellen White, p. 204
- “To keep the body in good health is a duty, for otherwise we shall not be able to trim the lamp of wisdom, and keep our mind strong and clear. Water surrounds the lotus flower, but does not wet its petals.” ~Buddha
This is especially true of brain health and intellectual development and the Bible led both in talking about this principle and giving specific principles to achieve the highest levels of scientific development. Science has only in very recent years been confirming these specific principles as extremely valuable.
If you want to succeed, it’s very helpful to figure out the habits of people who do well in the area you’re interested in. Then try to follow those habits. So who is highest in intelligence? There are a few smart people in every worldview. But Jewish people have stunningly won ~23% of the Nobel prizes from 1901-2014 even though they are only about 0.2% of the world’s population.Christians have won ~65.4% of all Nobel Prizes including 78.3% of all Nobel Peace Prizes, 72.5% in Chemistry, 65.3% in Physics, 62% in Medicine,54% in Economics and 49.5% of all Literature awards even though they are ~31.5% of the world’s population. These worldviews may have some wise habits to consider in order to get good grades. Richard Dawkins was mystified by this:
“The number of Jews who have won Nobel Prizes is phenomenally high…Race does not come into it. It is pure religion and culture. Something about the cultural tradition of Jews is way, way more sympathetic to science and learning and intellectual pursuits than Islam…I don’t know [why]. But I don’t think it is a minor thing; it is colossal…I don’t have the answer to it. I am intrigued by it…I thought it was astounding.”
In this chapter we will learn things that Oxford scientists like Dawkins don’t know J. There are many habits that contribute to having superior grades and intelligence. The Jews do have an incredible love for learning and wisdom (as Koreans/Asian and others also admirably have). They pioneered public education as well as most human rights. They encourage testing everything objectively. Many Jews and Protestants follow the Bible which also advocates many lifestyle principles for better intelligence and wisdom.
There are many valuable study habits and methods. But there is something that may be even more important. Imagine if you spent a lot of time and energy trying to bring water from a river to your home, but the bucket you used was full of holes. How much water would make it home for people to drink? How efficient would you be? A bucket with holes would waste a lot of your energy and time. Similarly, if you study a lot but your brain is leaking the information you put into it, you won’t be able to remember what you studied well for tests and for creative thinking and that will be harmful to getting the best grades as well as being an innovator in your career.
What helps us remember valuable knowledge best? Scientists like Dan Buettner have found that ~9 specific habits help people in some areas live much longer and healthier lives with less disease. They call these areas blue zones. But scientists like Dr. Neal Barnard are finding that
“These [blue zone] areas are remarkable for more than longevity. They are marked by robust mental health, too.”
Dr. Ehlinger is another scientist who has studied the health/mind connection. He thought that since students are investing a lot of time and money in education, they should also know the habits that will help them get the best grades and the habits that will harm grades. So he studied 9,931 students and their habits at 14 different colleges/universities. He and other scientists have done hundreds of studies and found dozens of simple habits that can dramatically improve or harm grades. He also said that if schools promote these habits and many students follow even some of them, it can have a profound impact on grades for the whole school.
Dr. Gomez-Pinilla from UCLA has analyzed over 160 studies on food-brain connections and published the results in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience. He says:
“Emerging research indicates that the effects of diet on the brain, combined with the effects of exercise and a good night’s sleep, can strengthen synapses and provide other cognitive benefits”
The evidence is getting so strong that the US Center for Disease Control and prevention similarly states that,
“The academic success of…youth is strongly linked with their health.”
Scientists are finding more and more powerful connections between our bodies and our brains. Many habits have dramatic effects on brain function and can make a big difference in many types of life success. Dr. Neil Barnard explains:
“Every minute, our brain cells are bathing in the nutrients—or toxins—we take in through food…Just as we put money in a retirement account to ensure a secure future, we can put foods on our plates today to help keep the brain in high gear well into the future.”
The studies that scientists are doing are showing that many lifestyle habits seem to have major effects on your memory, brain function, grades/intelligence. Positive habits will improve mental health by small or large amounts and negative habits can be harmful or disastrous for brain function. Scientists have found that some incredibly simple lifestyle habits are extremely important for getting good grades as well as helping creativity and career success. Following good habits such as eating healthy food that largely or completely vegetarian (esp. at breakfast), getting good sleep, taking time to be with family/friends/God every week, avoiding alcohol/drugs, regular vigorous exercise, and others can significantly improve grades and improve success in many areas of life long term. On the other side, factors such as hunger/bad diet, illness, lack of exercise, abuse, violence and others can cause a leaky brain that does not retain information well. This of course can cause serious problems with grades, in your career or even in relationships (Some people who forget birthdays or anniversaries and anger their spouses for example might be able to eliminate that problem by changing a couple bad habits that cause their brains to leak important information).
The lifestyle habits we will learn about have helped many 1000s of students get higher grades as well as being habits of many of the smartest people in history like Einstein, Tesla, Confucius and many others. I and several of my friends followed the habits you will learn about and scored in the top 1-5% in America on national tests every year. These principles and others can help you to get better grades too AND be more efficient and innovative in your career as well! A healthy body makes a healthy mind.
These habits are important for another reason too. Many of you reading this will get married and have children in the future. The mother’s lifestyle during pregnancy and the first 3 years of a child’s life has a major influence on the future health, future grades and career success of that child. Research recommends eating a nutritious diet (plant food is ideal), avoiding meat and seafood, making a low stress, positive environment for the mother during pregnancy, and following similar healthy lifestyle habits.
“Good nutrition, particularly in the first three years of life, is important in establishing a good foundation that has implications for a child’s future physical and mental health, academic achievement, and economic productivity.”
Many of these principles are very simple, but very effective. They are kind of like cell phone apps. Cell phones are easy to use, but it takes incredible genius to design cell phones and apps so that anyone can use them easily. Many wise people have agreed that it takes great genius to make very useful things simple so that all can use and benefit from them.
- “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.” Albert Einstein
- “Simple can be harder than complex; You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple.” Steve Jobs
- “Any fool can make something complicated. It is hard to make something simple.” Richard Branson
- “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Da Vinci
- “Genius is the ability to reduce the complicated to the simple.” W. Ceran
Many of these principles were given first in the Bible and many believe they came from God because it takes incredible wisdom to know which habits are best to increase wisdom, grades, intelligence and to explain them easy ways so anyone can follow them, whether they are born into a rich family, a smart family or not. All can learn and follow these simple habits quite easily.
- “The Lord’s teachings…help even the foolish become wise.” Psalms 19:7
- What seems to be God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom…God purposely chose what the world considers nonsense in order to shame the wise, and he chose what the world considers weak in order to shame the powerful.” 1 Corinthians 1:25,27
You don’t have to be a Nobel Prize winner or a Ph.D. to understand and follow them. In the past, you just needed to trust God’s wisdom. Now even if you don’t believe in God, science clearly confirms their value.
Don’t try to change all habits at once. Pick a couple habits and then follow the new habits for ~2 months until they are permanent. The average to change a habit is ~66 days, but some can be changed more quickly, others may take longer.
After you change 1-2 habits successfully, try to change others. That seems to be most effective. There are percentages for each habit based on scientific studies. These are averages. You may experience similar, less or more improvement than those numbers. It depends on many factors, especially your current habits.
HABITS THAT CAN RADICALLY IMPROVE YOUR BRAIN HEALTH
Here are some of the most important habits for making your brain stronger. These are very important foundations for remembering important information that you learn accurately and efficiently. They are listed basically in order of importance. The habit is listed first and then the average improvement based on scientific studies is listed next. Your experience may differ some from this since some people have very different habits from the baseline. But if you work to follow these habits more consistently, it can bring dramatic improvements in your ability to retain and recall valuable information.
- HAVE A DREAM/VISION/GOAL(significantly higher success/grades)
- “Without a vision, people perish.” Proverbs 29:18
An experiment was done on 149 people in 5 groups. Group 1 only thought about their goals. Group 2 wrote them down. Group 3 also wrote actions steps. Group 4 told their friends about their goals and action steps. Group 5 did all of the above AND they told their friends about their progress each week. After just 4 weeks, group 5 was ~78% better than group 1 in reaching their goals. Imagine what can happen over years!
If students have a clear goal to get better grades, they know and write down the action steps that are known to contribute to that goal, and they make themselves accountable to friends to follow those steps, it will certainly help them get better grades as well. ~78% higher? Well maybe not that much…but maybe in a few extreme cases it might be. If there’s a student getting Fs who then learns and follows all the known habits that contribute to getting great grades, such as are listed in this book, they might be able to get 78% higher grades or even more!
- EAT HEALTHY MEALS WITH A FRUIT AND A GRAIN (~10-25% better grades)
- “[A wise woman] prepares breakfast for her household.” Proverbs 31:14-15
Many people don’t eat breakfast. But the Bible said that it’s wise to eat breakfast and it recommends a diet of fruits, grains, nuts and vegetables (Genesis 1:29, Genesis 3:18). Daniel decided to follow this diet at the university of Babylon while others did not (Daniel 1). After he finished, the king tested him and found him and his friends much wiser than other students.
Dr. David Frisvold from the University of Iowa studied students in elementary schools. He found that students who have breakfast have much higher scores than those that didn’t. It was shocking. Math scores were up to 25% higher and reading and science scores were similar. When kids kept eating healthy breakfasts, their scores got cumulatively better over time. If families eat meals together, it’s also quite helpful for grades of young students in many ways, especially in language and literacy.
Scientists says that a good breakfast with a fruit and a grain helps you get better grades. Fruit such as bananas, oranges, apples, berries have vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, fiber, nutrients, etc. and give you quick energy in ~30 minutes. Grains such as brown rice, whole wheat , oatmeal, etc. have protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and more. They give you energy for your whole day. Both help improve grades.
- EXERCISE IMPROVES BRAIN FUNCTION (increases grades ~10%)!
- “Physical exercise has some benefit; but godliness is beneficial for all things.” 1 Timothy 4:8 (TLV)
- “By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat.” Genesis 3:19
- “Wise words bring many benefits, and hard work brings rewards.” Proverbs 12:14
University students who exercise vigorously 7 days a week get ~10% higher grades.So try to get good exercise outside 7 times a week. Aerobic exercise was better than other exercise for increasing brain functions.
Scientists think exercise helps because it improves oxygen and blood flowing to the brain. There is also an increase in endorphins that reduce stress and improve mood. It also seems to help in making new brain cells.
Harvard Medical School psychiatrist John Ratey says,
“Exercise is the single best thing you can do for your brain in terms of mood, memory, and learning” 
Exercise is very helpful to grades, health and more. But question everyone, even Harvard scientists. Is exercise the very best thing for grades? Can you think of anything that might improve grades more (hint: look at #1 for starters)? Stop and think a bit and then keep reading!
- FOLLOW GOD’S WISE PRINCIPLES (attending a biblical church improves grades ~14% or more)
- “If you really want to become wise, you must begin by having respect for the Lord. All those who follow his rules have good understanding.” Psalms 111:110
- I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Psalm 122:1
- “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:8
- “Knowledge begins with ·awe for the Lord, but fools despise wisdom and ·discipline.” Proverbs 1:7 (EXB)
- “I have more insight than all my teachers, because your written instructions are in my thoughts. I have more wisdom than those with many years of experience, because I have obeyed your guiding principles.” Psalm 119:99-100
Was Dr. John Ratey right? Is exercise the #1 best habit? It is very important, but we should test and question everything, even Harvard scientists, historians, professors, pastors and everyone else because no human is infallible. To err is unfortunately human for everyone. Research seems to show that some other habits are even more important.
Dr. Fagan reviewed 100s of independent studies by many researchers from many backgrounds and nearly all showed profound benefits from belief in God. The studies often just looked at church attendance. That does help some (since you can meet many people from many different economic, racial and socioeconomic backgrounds and a positive social network provides valuable help in difficulties and emergencies). But what God and science say is most important are many specific habits in the Bible. Following them brings wisdom (Deuteronomy 4:1-8). Unfortunately some Christians ignore these. But believers and nonbelievers that follow them experience great benefits.
• “Church kids have higher grade point averages – scoring 14.4 percent higher than non-attenders. Church kids also spend more time on their homework, according to the studies. [It] is one of the most effective ways to impact low-income students…Church-going kids have reduced “behavioral risks” such as drug abuse, gang membership, alcohol use or sexual experimentation.” “church attendance decreased the likelihood of getting poor grades by 13 percent…”
5,000 Christian Schools (Wesleyan) have up to 22% higher scores depending on topic.
Researchers studied 51,000 Christian students (Adventists). In every subject they scored significantly higher than the national average. The more years they studied in Christian schools, the bigger the difference. After 7 years, students did better than 73% of other students on average. 3 big reasons why belief in God helps are:
1) Positive spiritual beliefs improve good habits, social networks and provide hope and life skills in difficulties.
2) Improves family relationships and
3) Improves health/diet/exercise habits.
The researchers were also surprised to find that a belief in creation science helped improve science grades. Another way that religion helps grades and other kinds of success is because it encourages interaction with people outside your normal social group including those with higher and lower levels of education. It also opens your eyes to more problems and ways to help people in need.
Many scientists are finding that belief in God improves brain function in various ways. Religious practices like prayer and meditation seem to protect against major depression by thickening brain cortex. Much research shows that happiness improves brain efficiency and functioning.
Andrew Newberg, M.D., and Mark Robert Waldman published a book, How God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist, based on a series of neuroscience studies. They say that thinking and meditating on spiritual topics can significantly improve the neural density and complexity of your brain. They say,
“Neuroscience and spirituality can enhance each other in that spiritual practices strengthen important parts of the brain.” and “Be careful what you choose to think about. If you ruminate on negative thoughts, you can damage important areas in your brain that regulate emotions and memory.”
There is a lot of research that is showing that spirituality and the practice of religion can help slow Alzheimer’s disease.
“We learned that the patients with higher levels of spirituality or higher levels of religiosity may have a significantly slower progression of cognitive decline,” said study author Yakir Kaufman, MD. “Spirituality and religiosity have been linked to better health outcomes,” said Kaufman. “Our research addressed the question whether this link is also relevant in Alzheimer’s disease. Spirituality and private religious practices accounted for 20 percent of the total variance.”
- GET ENOUGH SLEEP (~10-15% better grades)
- “It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night…God gives rest to his loved ones.” Psalm 127:2 (NLT)
Many people think that they can get better grades if they study a crazy amount and miss sleep. Scientists in Korea and the USA though have shown that your grades are up to 15% worse if you don’t get ~6-9 hours of sleep. The Korea Times also reports that lack of sleep causes losses of ~15,900,000 won each year for each person and their company/society“. Sleeping under blankets without much oxygen is also bad for grades. Lack of sleep causes memory loss, sickness, depression, heart problems, ~15% higher risk of death and numerous problems. It has also been a factor in major disasters like the Exxon Valdez and Challenger Shuttle tragedies where 7 astronauts died.
Good sleep helps you make long term memories after you study. It repairs your body. Good sleep cleans out cell waste (폐기물) like a cleaning lady (청소아줌마) :). It does this ~2 times faster during sleep. These all help memory and good test scores. Studying early in the morning and getting good sleep on the nights before AND after you study is usually more effective. Short naps of ~45 minutes can help your memory recover some.
Schwartz explains how healthy sleep improves performance:
The Stanford researcher Cheri D. Mah found that when she got male basketball players to sleep 10 hours a night, their performances in practice dramatically improved: free-throw and three-point shooting each increased by an average of 9 percent…A recent Harvard study estimated that sleep deprivation costs American companies $63.2 billion a year in lost productivity…Professor K. Anders Ericsson and his colleagues at Florida State University have studied elite performers, including musicians, athletes, actors and chess players. In each of these fields, Dr. Ericsson found that the best performers typically practice in uninterrupted sessions that last no more than 90 minutes. They begin in the morning, take a break between sessions, and rarely work for more than four and a half hours in any given day.”
If you can’t sleep, check out this link for some suggestions that may help.
Can’t Sleep? 32 Solutions for What To Do Now:
- REDUCE/AVOID ALCOHOL & SMOKING (alcohol reduces grades up to 9%, smoking can reduce grades 3-10% or more)
- “Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.” Proverbs 20:1
- “What sorrow for those who get up early in the morning looking for a drink of alcohol and spend long evenings drinking wine to make themselves flaming drunk.” Isaiah 5:11 (also Proverbs 23:29-32)
Too much alcohol reduces brain size, slows memory, makes you forget information on that day AND also 1-2 days later. Drinking alcohol causes memory problems (even 1-2 drinks/day). Even small amounts of alcohol can reduce brain ability, but drinking a lot of alcohol stops brain cell growth. Binging once a month increased memory problems by 62%. Binging two or more times a month increased memory problems ~147% Problems with drinking alcohol can reduce grades up to 9% according to Dr. Ehlinger. Reducing/avoiding alcohol can quickly improve abilities.
“Alcohol diminishes our ability to hold on to pieces of information like your colleague’s name, or the definition of a word, or where you parked your car this morning.”
Neurobiologist Hitoshi Morikawa says that
“Several experimental studies confirm that memory functioning is impaired during alcohol hangover…This is disturbing; especially since the core business of students is learning and remembering.”
“Smoking harms memory by reducing the amount of oxygen that gets to the brain.” It makes brains smaller. Smoking even a little bit can reduce grades by ~3-4% and with heavier smoking much more. Only 3% of students who smoke daily got A grades. 
- CONNECT WITH GOD/PEOPLE & TAKE BREAKS (Sabbath, vacations) TO MAKE STRONGER RELATIONSHIPS/SPIRITUALITY
- “People were not made for the good of the Sabbath. The Sabbath was made for the good of people.” Mark 2:27
- “Observe the Festival of Shelters for 7 days…This festival will be a time of great joy for all.” Deuteronomy 16:13-14 *** Deut 16:13-16, Lev. 23
- “Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.” Romans 12:10 (NLT)
- “Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” Philippians 2:4
- “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” Exodus 20:12
Make time for friends, family, a spiritual community, etc. at least every week. Taking time to do positive physical and mental activities with people is a kind of synergizing that can be quite beneficial in several ways.
Which habit is more dangerous? A) Being fat or B) Being lonely
Answer? Being lonely is about as risky as smoking. It’s 2 times worse than being fat.
“Loneliness can destroy the quality of sleep, so that a person’s sleep is less restorative, both physically and psychologically… Those who are socially isolated suffer from higher all-cause mortality, and higher rates of cancer, infection and heart disease.”
Bad sleep means bad grades as well as bad health. This is why the Bible and many religions and cultures emphasized being part of a positive social group such as having 1 day every week without work or regular studies, a Sabbath. Taking one day a week to focus on building family/friend/community relationships, experience the beauty and invigorating fresh air of nature, help others and to engage in spiritual activities is quite beneficial for grades as we found in point 3 above.
People need breaks from their work routines and from stress and 1 day every week seems ideal. In 1793, the French government tried to follow a 10-day weeks. But workers complained that it was much more stressful and it caused scientific and international problems. Emperor Napoleon I changed back to a 7-day week in 1806. Russia tried a five-day week in 1929–1930, and then a six-day week in 1931. Neither of these worked, so the government returned to the normal seven-day week in 1940. A 7-day week with 1 day a week to forget work/study and stress and strengthen relationships with family, friends and God is what works best for health and better relationships.
In addition to the weekly break, the Bible and most religions suggest celebrating several festivals a year (which sometimes required traveling) as beneficial. This can actually increase work performance.
“In 2006, the accounting firm Ernst & Young did an internal study of its employees and found that for each additional 10 hours of vacation employees took, their year-end performance ratings from supervisors (on a scale of one to five) improved by 8 percent…”
Vacations can also protect you from diseases. In one study, men who didn’t take vacations had a 32% higher change of death from heart attacks. Another study showed that women who did not take a vacation every year were 8 times more likely to have heart disease or have a heart attack.
Working more hours does not always mean a better economy for nations either. The Greeks work the most in Europe and their economy is a wreck. The Germans have the strongest economy, but work 2nd to least among 25 European nations and get the most vacation days in Europe.
Positive relationships help you be happier and more positive. Former Harvard professor has also found that happiness increases brain efficiency ~20-30%. That can significantly improve your grades and success in work. But you need to put some meaningful time into making relationships strong. Taking a weekly break from work/study and vacations and spending it with people and God in meaningful ways is not a waste of time. It’s quite important for life success. People matter a lot. Take some time to look at over 50 ways to be happier and the profound effects of gratitude at these sites:
- 54 Ways to Increase Your Happiness Set Point
- The 31 Benefits of Gratitude You Didn’t Know About: How Gratitude Can Change Your Life http://happierhuman.com/benefits-of-gratitude/ happierhuman.com/benefits-of-gratitude/
- REDUCE STRESS (improves grades up to 15%)
- “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on…Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Matthew 6:25-27
- Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. ”Matthew 11:28-30
Dr. Ehrlinger studied over 9,000 students. Stress is one of the biggest factors in reducing grades. If you have 8 or more emotional stresses (debt, arguments, etc.), your grades are ~15% lower.Find ways to reduce stress. Get better sleep. Exercise. Take a break. Go on a trip. Go to a bathhouse. Get better sleep. Get out of debt. Go to a concert. Join a sports club. Learn about prayer and meditation. Stop stressful bad habits.
“One of the biggest energy zappers is stress, says psychologist Paul Baard, PhD. ‘Stress is the result of anxiety, and anxiety uses up a whole lot of our energy,’ says Baard, a sports psychologist at Fordham University in the Bronx, N.Y. Like worry or fear, Baard says, stress can leave you mentally and physically exhausted — even if you’ve spent the day in bed. More commonly, he says, low but chronic levels of stress erode energy levels, so over time you find yourself doing less and feeling it more.”
- TRY TO EAT 90-100% VEGETABLES/FRUIT, REDUCE MEAT/CHICKEN! (increases grades ~10%)
- “Meat is not agreeable to the wise.” Buddha
- “And God said, “Look! I have given you the seedbearing plants throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food.” Genesis 1:29 “You will eat of its grains.” Genesis 3:18
- “Besides agreeing with the aims of vegetarianism for aesthetic and moral reasons, it is my view that a vegetarian manner of living by its purely physical effect on the human temperament would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind.” Einstein (letter to Hermann Huth, December 27, 1930).
If you want a car to run well, you have to use the right kind of gas. If you put the wrong things (such as sugar) in a car, it will not run so well, or even damage it. In a similar way, your body runs better on some kinds of foods than others. Scientists are finding that eating lots of meat, fish, dairy and egg products can increase the risk of memory loss. Eating fruits and vegetables like whole grains, berries (esp. blueberries), dark green leafy vegetables (spinach), sunflower/pumpkin seeds, avocados, peanuts, etc. can help your memory and learning ability and helps your brain clean itself too. They are also very helpful in living longer and preventing many diseases.Try to eat many different colors of fruits and vegetables.
Scientists are finding that if people eat healthy foods, it can turn off genes that cause cancer, inflammation and damage to cells as well as turning on genes that help fight disease and aging. As part of this, the improve brain function as well. Dr. Neil Barnard has written an entire book on how healthy foods dramatically improve brain function titled, “Power Foods for the Brain: An Effective 3-Step Plan to Protect Your Mind and Strengthen Your Memory”.
Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD, director of nutrition for WebMD says,
“Fruits and vegetables are Mother Nature’s finest. They are super nutritious, loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and naturally fat free [and] should be the foundation of everyone’s diet,” 
Best selling author Dr. Neal Barnard tells us that:
“Every minute, our brain cells are bathing in the nutrients—or toxins—we take in through food…Research overwhelmingly shows that “bad fats”—such as the saturated fat found in red meat and butter—greatly increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and reduce brain functioning in the short term…eating foods rich in vitamin E—such as almonds and sunflower seeds—may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by as much as 70 percent[and improve brain function].”
Some foods are really bad for the brain. Here are Avoid these 11 Intelligence killing foods/drinks:
- Sugar/sweeteners: Can reduce grades up to 10%
2. Alcohol: Reduces memory/thinking ability.
3. Junk Food/fat: Reduces learning/motivation/memory.
4. Fried Foods: Slowly destroys brain nerves and ability
5. Processed Foods: Slowly destroy brain nerves and ability
6. Too much Salt: Reduces intelligence.
7. White grains (rice, wheat): Faster aging and memory loss
8. Processed proteins: Fat/chemicals (especially in meat) reduce brain ability.
9. Avoid Trans Fats: Really bad for heart and for brain
10. Avoid artificial sweeteners: Large amounts can cause problems and damage in brain functioning.
11. Nicotine–reduces blood, oxygen and glucose getting to the brain.
- DON’T EAT TOO MANY SWEETS (sugar, honey, etc.) (eating lots of sugar reduces grades ~10%)
- It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory. Proverbs 25:27
Many people love sweet things as I do. But too much sugar is bad for clear thinking, memory and brain development. It can reduce grades up to 10%. Eat more sweet fruit and desserts with low sugar or no sugar instead.
- DON’T EAT TOO MUCH FOOD (eating too much can double memory loss)
- “Do not carouse with drunkards or feast with gluttons, for they are on their way to poverty…” Proverbs 25:27
Eating too much causes your brain and stomach to use a lot of energy. It can double memory loss. Eat ~20% less than you want. Chewing your food ~20-30 times also helps.
- CHALLENGE YOUR MIND &READ/WATCH MOSTLY TRUE MEDIA (increases grades significantly)
- “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8
We sometimes need to use media for studies and research. Sometimes we like to relax with it. But if we don’t challenge our minds, the brain gets smaller. Talk about real life, your major, family, relationships, science, human rights, ethics, spirituality, etc. Learn about current issues, social problems. But consider these principles:
- A) FOCUS ON TRUTH: If you read/watch true stories, they are better for grades. Why? They have:
1) more vocabulary and
2) more connections to real life and practical/useful knowledge. 
If you watch Spiderman or cartoons, there isn’t much real world knowledge. True/real life media like “The City of Joy”, “Master Chef Cooking (Korean)”, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, etc. help people learn useful things.
- B) If you spend more time with TV, internet, games (not studying), it reduces grades says Dr. Ehlinger.
no video games /TV =3.37/4.0 GPA
• ~2 hours/day of TV =3.21/4.0 GPA
• ~4-5 hours/day of video games/TV =2.98 or 3.04/4.0 GPA
Ask questions. Share stories and jokes, etc. Eat together. Go on trips/outings. Reduce time with TV, PC games, etc. Find answers to problems. Reduce talking about trivia, dramas, comics, sports, etc. Create/draw/ invent something. Share them.
- AVOID AIR POLLUTION/GET FOREST AIR
- “Don’t pollute the land in which you live.” Numbers 35:33 (also Jeremiah 12:4 and others)
The brain uses oxygen like cars use gas and it needs more than any other organ. Bad air reduces brain ability/efficiency and can cause depression. Open a window while you study. Try taking a walk in the forest with fresh air to improve brain ability.
Remember also that the Bible and other religions tell us to have a wise and balanced relationship with nature. The Gnostics who were influenced by Plato taught that nature is not worth much. Some others have treated it as our slave. This has caused much pollution and destruction of nature. But others have thought that nature is equal or even more important than human beings and sacrificed people for nature. Neither of these are balanced. Nature isn’t our master. We are caretakers of nature while we live. It’s our responsibility to take care of it well so that we and future generations can live in a clean world.
- DRINK PLENTY OF WATER (~5%+ increase in grades)
- “Then measure out a jar of water for each day, and drink it at set times.” Ez. 4:11(this is a minimum survival amount)
- “Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life.” Revelation 22:17
- “The body requires water constantly…If the body is not thoroughly cleansed, it is forced to break down. “Water is the best liquid possible to cleanse the tissues.” Ellen G. White, Healthful Living, p. 226
- “Water is the most extraordinary substance!” Albert Szent-Gyorgyi (1972)
- “Water is life, and clean water means health.” Audrey Hepburn
- “Water is the driver of Nature.” Leonardo da Vinci
Water has amazing properties if you study it. It helps every organ in our body function. It helps transport nutrients everywhere in the body. It helps in cleaning many things. It makes summer sports like swimming and winter sports like ice skating possible and many other things. It’s an amazing creation.
Drinking enough water also improves grades. Scientists found that if university students drank a glass of water before taking a test, they scored about 5% higher than those who did not (this was after considering previous grades, ability and other factors). Children who drank water before a test could do up to 1/3 better. “Being well-hydrated is just one of many factors that can help students perform better on tests, says Kristin Campbell, director of college prep programs for Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions. Other strategies include eating high-protein meals and snacks before the test, and avoiding foods with a lot of sugar.”
Water is crucial for every part of your body and that includes the brain. Even a dehydration level of 1% can reduce your brain’s ability.
Your body shows that it needs more water. How? Your urine will be darker yellow, not clear or light yellow. That usually means you need more water (if you’re not taking certain vitamins, such as B2). Another way is to check how much you weigh. Then divide by 2. Drink that number of ounces every day.
These are some basic lifestyle habits that help make your brain very strong at remembering what you study and can help dramatically improve grades if you also follow good study habits which we will look at in the next section. They also improve wisdom, creativity and other things. As science has shown, they have great value for life, but also are very simple so that anyone can understand them and follow them. This is a sign of genius. In all major areas of life, science shows that this wisdom of God is very valuable in many ways, including for students. You may have some challenges, some difficulties in life, but following good habits like these above will make it much easier to overcome them.
The more of these habits you follow, the better your grades and wisdom will be. So look at what habits you aren’t doing now. Choose a couple good ones to change and follow them daily until they are comfortable. Then try to change 1-2 more. Then you too CAN get great grades (or at least MUCH, MUCH better grades). Much more importantly, with your better wisdom and insight, you may be able to change the world in an important way and experience some major life success!
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 “We hope this information helps students make wise decisions….If you’re investing a lot of time and money in your education, do you really want to waste your investment on behaviors that interfere with your academic success?”
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