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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!

This exercise will test your ability to recall and recreate sounds in your mind. This stretches the part of the brain where audio is stored. Close your eyes and try to hear the following sounds:

1. Opening a can of soda
2. A jackhammer
3. A bee buzzing around you head
4. A harmonica
5. Your best friend's voice

How well did you do at reproducing these sounds in your head? With practice you'll get better at imagining sounds.

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This exercise will help build your mental endurance and concentration. Each line contains a common phrase that has been printed backwards. See how long it takes you identify and read the phrase correctly.

1. nietsniE treblA- .wen gnihtyna deirt reven ekatsim a edam reven ohw nosrep A
2. nosidE .A samohT- .noitaripsrep tnec rep enin-ytenin dna noitaripsni tnec rep eno si suineG
3. eraepsekahS mailliW- .loof a eb ot flesmih swonk nam esiw a tub ,esiw eb ot flesmih skniht loof A
4. setracseD eneR- .llew ti esu ot si gniht niam eht ;dnim doog a evah ot hguone ton si tI
5. ybsoC lliB- .ecivda eht deen taht seno diputs eht s'ti - yrassecen t'nia esiw eht ot drow A

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People tend to get distracted from their goals by negative thoughts or worrying about what could go wrong. For example, if your goal is to clean your garage, you might say to yourself, "What's the point, it will just get messy again." Or, "I'll never get this done today. I'll do it when I have more time." These negative thoughts prevent you from seeing the true goal.

The next time you have an unpleasant task to complete, make a note of any negative thoughts that arise. Try to counter each negative thought with something positive. You could say, "It won't get messy again if I put in place an organization scheme that works." Or "Maybe I can't get this all done today, but I could get the left side of the garage finished today and then I could park my car inside." Picking an appropriate goal and keeping negative thoughts from distracting you will make it easer to stay motivated.

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One of the most common reasons why people lack the motivation to complete a particular task is because the task is not fun. Without this intrinsic motivation, people can be easily distracted or persuaded to do something else more enjoyable. Have you ever put off cleaning the bathroom to watch TV instead?

One way to motivate yourself to complete undesirable tasks is to find some way to make them fun. Sometimes it will be difficult to make things enjoyable, but if you have a little brainstorm, you can probably figure something out.

For example, to make cleaning the bathroom fun, you could:
1) Play some music and coordinate all your movements to the beat of the tune.
2) Set a timer and race against the last time you cleaned the bathroom. Try to be as efficient as possible.
3) Multitasking! Try to clean two things at once using both hands.
4) Pretend that you are fighting a war against a tiny dirt army. Your sponge is a bomber. Make airplane sounds.
5) Strap sponges to your feet and clean the tub without your hands.

Yeah, some of these may sound silly, but if you let your inner child out and have some fun, you may find that the task is easer to do.

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One technique for becoming lucid in a dream is to ask yourself if you are dreaming. If you are awake, the answer will clearly be "no". But if you are sleeping, the answer is not so certain. There is a high likelihood that this question will cause you to realize that you are dreaming.

To take advantage of this you should get into the habit of asking yourself on a regular basis if you are dreaming. If it becomes habit, then it is likely that you will ask yourself when you are actually asleep. We have already discussed how you should ask this question whenever you see a dreamsign. Unfortunately, dreams don't always have easily identifiable dreamsigns, so you should try to ask yourself this question at other times of the day. It's difficult to remember to ask yourself this question without any sort of cue, so pick something that you encounter on a regular basis and ask the question whenever you see it. For example, you may ask yourself if you are dreaming every time you walk through a door.

The more you ask yourself this question during the day, the more likely it will be that you do it while asleep.

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