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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!

A recent study by the Australian National University tested peoples' problem solving abilities while standing up and lying down. They found that people were slightly better at solving problems while in a horizontal position.

This difference in cognitive ability may come from the varied release of a neurotransmitter called noradrenaline, which is believed to interfere with creative thinking. When you are lying down, your body releases less noradrenaline.

So, if you need to do some serious thinking, lying down may slightly boost your performance.

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When we are confronted with a problem, we typically look for a solution by thinking about past problems that we have encountered. Because a certain solution worked last time, we are confident that it is the best. This is uncreative thinking.

A creative thinker thinks about the problem from many different angles. This gives them a number of possible solutions to choose from, which helps them find a unique elegant solution.

The next time you are confronted with a problem (even a very tiny one), instead of jumping to the first obvious solution, take a step back and see if you can find several alternatives. At first this is going to be difficult to do, but with practice you will be able to come up with many alternative solutions to your daily problems.

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If your mind is feeling particularly stuffy, go for a short walk. Mild exercise helps gets your blood flowing and gives your mind a little more energy. It's easy for the mind to get stuck on one thought and be unable to let it go. Getting outside in the fresh air will help flush out your mind and get you into a creative mindset.

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Pick a poem or song from our list and recite it out loud. Now, recite it again but skip every other word. Then skip every third word, and so on, until you can't do it any more. This exercise helps with your concentration and mental endurance.

1. Your national anthem
2. The Happy Birthday song
3. Old MacDonald

Example skipping every other word: Old had farm I I...

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Most people would agree that children are generally more creative than adults. Children draw more, ask more questions and come up with interesting ideas. There are two commonly held theories about why we lose our creativity as we age.

The first theory is that as we age, we become more and more aware of practical constraints such as gravity or economics. Working within these constraints prevents us from fully utilizing our imaginations. We must suspend our disbelief in order to be mentally playful.

The second theory is that our culture socializes creative properties out of people. When we are young we are encouraged to draw and play, but as we get older more emphasis is placed on more cerebral activities such as math and reading. Children are slowly trained that being able to do arithmetic is more important than being creative.

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