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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!

Caffeine is probably the most commonly used chemical stimulant. More than 90% of Americans consume caffeine on a daily basis in their coffee, soda, tea, or chocolate. Pure caffeine is a white bitter-tasting powder that can be extracted from coffee, tea, the guarana berry, or from other sources.

Caffeine is a brain stimulant. It works in the brain by blocking the natural effect of adenosine on the nerve cells, causing increased mental activity. It also causes the body to release adrenaline, which causes the heart to beat faster, blood pressure to rise, muscles to tighten up, and extra sugar to be released into the bloodstream for a burst of energy. This is why it is often used to counteract sleepiness.

Caffeine is an addictive substance. When the effects from caffeine wear off, the feelings of fatigue, depression, and irritability set in. Taking more caffeine can counteract these feelings, but this leads to a dangerous cycle. With prolonged use, it can interfere with the brain's ability to reach deep sleep and become fully rested, which means that the person will feel tired in the morning and be more inclined to take even more caffeine.

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bom-bast

noun :: Cotton, or any soft, fibrous material, used as stuffing for garments; stuffing; padding.

noun :: High-sounding words; an inflated style; language above the dignity of the occasion.

adj. :: High-sounding; inflated; big without meaning.

"Ordinarily I am not given to long speeches, nor ever before had I descended to bombast, but I had guessed at the keynote which would strike an answering chord in the breasts of the green Martians, nor was I wrong, for my harangue evidently deeply impressed them, and their attitude toward me thereafter was still further respectful." -- Burroughs, Edgar Rice

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Free radicals are molecules that are naturally produced by the body during normal functioning. Free radicals are highly reactive and thus are likely to take part in a chemical reaction. In the body these reactions tend to be destructive, and over time can contribute to various problems, including memory decline. Antioxidants are chemicals that can neutralize these free radicals and thus prevent them from initiating any harmful reactions.

Antioxidants

Vitamin A (Beta-carotene): Found in carrots, squash, broccoli and other fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin C: Found in citrus and green leafy vegetables.
Vitamin E: Found in nuts, seeds, whole grains and green leafy vegetables.
Bio-flavonoids: Found in berries and green tea.

In one study, vitamin E was shown to help prevent normal age related memory decline. In another study vitamins C and E showed some promise in helping patients with dementia. Many other studies have shown additional health benefits from eating antioxidants. So, eat your vegetables!

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Chronic stress can cause an imbalance in the neurochemicals that contribute to elevating our mood and reducing anxiety. Fortunately, research has shown that you can reduce the imbalance simply by smiling or laughing, regardless of your actually mood. When you smile or laugh, your brain gets fooled into thinking that it is happy, and releases the corresponding neurochemicals. Laughter has been shown to have the following benefits.

1. Lowering levels of the stress hormone, cortisol
2. Reducing blood pressure
3. Boosting the immune system
4. Improving respiration and circulation
5. Reducing pain
6. Reducing depression and improving mood

If you are having a hard time getting motivated to do something and you need a pick me up, try smiling or laughing out loud. It may sound silly, but it can actually improve your mood and get you thinking more creatively. So, when life gives you a frown, turn it upside down!

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