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Mentalrobics™

You exercise your body to stay physically in shape, so why shouldn't you exercise your brain to stay mentally fit? With these daily exercises you will learn how to flex your mind, improve your creativity and boost your memory. As with any exercise, repetition is necessary for you to see improvement, so pick your favorite exercises from our daily suggestions and repeat them as desired. Try to do some mentalrobics every single day!

Flow is a mental state that was first described by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. It is characterized by the ability of creative people to block out all distractions and fully immerse themselves in an activity. When someone feels like they are "in the zone" or "in a groove", it is likely that they are experiencing flow.

The unbroken concentration that comes from flow can be refreshing and invigorating. Extreme productivity and highly creative ideas are often the result of a flow experience. People come out of flow feeling happy and fulfilled.

Someone who is experiencing flow may lose their feeling of self-awareness. They will become completely absorbed by the activity and forget about themselves, sometimes ignoring bodily needs, such as eating and sleeping. They may also become unaware of the passage of time and may be surprised when they realize how much time has passed while they were enjoying the activity.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to get into flow on command, but it is possible to shift things in your favor. Reducing disturbances is very important. Each phone call, instant message or other distraction call pull you out of the flow experience. It is also important that the task you are working on posses most of these criteria:

1. The person must have active control over the task.
2. The task must have clear goals and expectations.
3. The task must give immediate feedback, such that mistakes can be quickly corrected.
4. The task must not be so easy that it is boring, but not so difficult that it is frustrating.
5. The activity should be intrinsically rewarding so that participation is its own reward.

To learn more about flow, you can read Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's book "Flow" at Amazon.com.

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