Juggling your time

Mental benefits of juggling can include improved study habits


Photo by Courtney Kueppers

Staff Writer Brian Sheridan hones his juggling skills

Story by Brian Sheridan, Staff Writer

As many of my friends will say, I like to juggle. A lot. My roommate may passive-aggressively say, “perpetually without ever stopping ever.” I’ve made a habit of doing it every day while I’m sitting at my computer desk waiting for something to load or while I’m thinking of what to do for a class assignment.

All of the coordination, concentration and cognition involved with juggling have become second nature to me, and I have noticed skills from juggling which have helped my studying habits.

A 2009 study at Oxford University by Dr. Heidi Johansen-Berg found the act of juggling changed the brain’s white matter, the nerve fibres which connect different parts of your brain. This study showed how picking up a skill like juggling can improve the brain’s overall connectivity.

So how does this help studying? It keeps you sharp. You process information better, faster, and are able to retrieve it more efficiently from your long-term memory when things such as tests roll around.

Once your brain starts getting beefy, you’re able to bask in all the benefits of your super study brain.

The website Jugglefit discusses the physical and mental benefits of juggling in your everyday life, including how juggling improves your focus and concentration because of the problem-solving skills involved, specifically getting all the balls to rotate in unison. I’ve noticed I’m able to sit down at a table and read chapters and notes for a longer period of time without becoming distracted.

Jugglefit also mentions the stress relief benefits from juggling, and I can vouch for this when I’m studying. Whenever I’m cramming for a test, and I freak out because I forgot to study and now I must cram for it, it’s incredibly therapeutic to move the nervous energy into juggling format. It exerts energy, calms me down and allows me to give my full attention to the study guides.

This may not be something you can pick up immediately and start flawlessly juggling across town. I’ve spent many hours at my house chasing tennis balls after I accidently threw them across the room.

There is a lot of sweat, tears and dropped balls in the process, but that’s okay because even if it takes a while, you’re still improving your mental processing, flexing those brain muscles and getting ready to pummel those exams to the ground.