It’s no secret that people are at their peak performance when they are both physically and mentally well. We also know that good health involves regular exercise, drinking plenty of water, eating the right foods and looking after your mental health – but how many of us make a conscious effort to do so? When the commitment is made to study business school programmes such as the Master of Business Administration (MBA), a range of factors will influence success. Personal health is often overlooked when new priorities take over, but there is no doubt that it plays an important part in successful endeavours. To learn more about why good health is essential for success during your postgraduate studies, see below.
You need your brain perform at its best
According to Smilkstein, our brains burn energy at ten times the rate of other body tissues and use 20 per cent of the body’s fuel. It is therefore vital to consume the right nutrients and enough water to optimise the function of the brain. During business school, you’ll need to be focused to be able to process complex concepts and theories, and demonstrate your understanding of them in assessments. A healthy brain is essential for success in these tasks, particularly when it comes to recalling information or performing under pressure. Fuel your body with the right foods and your brain will reward you with greater productivity, positioning you for success in your studies.
Inevitable stresses can be better handled
After years of being hidden behind closed doors, mental health is now a welcomed discussion for both individuals and organisations. After all, stress, anxiety and depression issues are extremely common. Mayo Clinic says that exercise, in almost any form, is a great stress reliever and contributes significantly to positive mental health. The clinic suggests, “Being active can boost your feel-good endorphins and distract you from daily worries.”
Those who exercise regularly find that they can focus on tasks more clearly, and remain calm in most situations. If circumstances such as injuries prevent you from undertaking regular exercise, you can also try mindfulness exercises or meditation, which are fantastic for clearing the mind. There are some great apps on the market, such as Headspace, which guide uses trough simple tips and meditations to feel calmer. This levelheaded approach is extremely useful in situations such as business school, where there is a perceived pressure to perform and succeed. If students are able to focus in high-pressure environments, and not let the stress affect them negatively, they will see great benefits during their studies.
Healthy relationships provide essential support
While relationships are often not considered a part of personal health, maintaining healthy and meaningful relationships during business school is very important. Family and friends provide fantastic support for students, through listening, providing advice and sharing the MBA journey with them. Students should ensure they put time aside to maintain their relationships, stepping away from study to spend quality time with those close to them. This provides a much-needed break from the study routine, allowing you to recharge. Support throughout life’s challenging journeys is a major contributor to happiness, so important relationships should always be prioritised.
Utilise your resources proactively
Many business schools offer great initiatives for the health of their students. At the Australian Institute of Business, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) has been extended to students, in order to support them through their business school journey. This service is called AIB ASSIST and is a confidential assistance program that offers resources, information and counselling support on behalf of the organisation. Students can receive assistance with all aspects of study, life and work - either over the phone or in person. It’s okay to need a helping hand through busy, stressful or important times, and business school certainly qualifies. Even if you’re not struggling, consider looking into what resources are available to you, and keep your health a priority throughout your studies.
What do you think?
By establishing healthy habits early, you are setting yourself up to be successful in your business school endeavours. I am keen to hear how other students keep themselves healthy. Do you believe that good health is essential for success in your studies? Comment your views below to join the conversation.
This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources were used to compile this article: Smilkstein, Forbes and Mayo Clinic