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Got the Study Blues?

Author: Marc Gravelle, Certified Hypnotherapist and HMI Instructor

Marc Gravelle

Date Published:
Publisher: Hypnosis Motivation Institute

What did I just read?

Have you ever found yourself reading or studying and thinking "what did I just read?" This is a common occurrence. It happens often to people to who have a lot of material to absorb.

The key to understanding why this happens is knowing what hypnosis really is. One way to think of hypnosis is that it is an escape mechanism from mental or physical overload. This overload could result from intense mental concentration for too long.

Hypnotic Trance

A person can actually put themselves in a hypnotic trance by studying intensely for too long a period of time.

Surprised? Sound strange? That this is a common occurrence is an understatement. We can slip into and out of hypnosis many times throughout our day. Some examples are when we daydream while driving, losing something that we just had in our hand, locking our keys in our car, locking ourselves out of the house or apartment. And, of course, reading something and thinking "what did I just read?"

Many people set themselves up for this experience by deciding to study non-stop for an hour or two, or even longer. Truth is, after 40-50 minutes of intense concentration, our concentration begins to wane, or diminish. This has nothing to do with intelligence, but with how the mind works. When we overload ourselves the mind begins to wander, which is a sign of impending overload.

So a good, workable strategy is to study for no more the 40-50 minutes and take a little break and refresh yourself. That will also give your mind a chance to absorb the material the material you just studied. A good way To refresh is to stand up do some light stretching (stretching brings one out of hypnosis). A good way to keep track of time is to use a simple kitchen timer.

Eye-Minded, Ear-Minded, or Kinesthetic

We all have a learning style. That is, some can easily read silently and comprehend well, or efficiently. This type of person is what is known as Eye-Minded. Others learn or understand better by reading verbally aloud (Ear-Minded). Yet others retain information better by writing things they want to remember (Kinesthetic). Some can be any combination of two of these styles.

So it's very important to know what your personal style is. Many can experience frustration if the are studying in a style that doesn't suit them. To find your own most efficient style, experiment with the three. It won't take long to find the one, or combination which suits you best. Then use it consistently.


Another obstruction to effective studying is when people experience a blood-sugar drop. This can occur if someone doesn't eat often enough, or consumes too much sugar, or if they have a condition known as hypoglycemia (which is diagnosed by physicians).

Regardless of the reason, when a person experiences a blood-sugar drop, it can seriously affect his ability to maintain his concentration. Indicators of a blood-sugar drop are when one feels irritable, anxious, or nervous for no seeming reason. Of course, not being able to concentrate is itself a possible indicator of a sugar drop.

The solution to this is quite simple: make sure you have had a meal or protein snack before your study time.


If there is information, facts or formulas you need to remember there is a simple way to make sure you will remember. It is the (magic) number 21. Anytime we repeat something 21 times we "burn" it into our memory. One of the ways the mind learns is through repetition. Of course this takes some effort but it is well worth the time. You will guarantee your recall.

Speaking of recall, did you ever notice that when you're trying to remember something (a name, date, phone number etc.) that the "harder you try, the more difficult it becomes?" A good tactic for when this happens is to tell yourself "I'm going to let it go, it'll pop into my head." It usually does.

So, to cure the study blues, make sure you are not in hypnosis, limit each study session to 40-50 minutes, find your study style, keep up the blood sugar, and use repetition to memorize.