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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!

sat-ur-nine

adj :: Of a gloomy or surly disposition.

"I could tell I was in trouble by the saturnine expression on the face of the officer who pulled me over."

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Being able to create visualizations is an important skill for many of the mnemonic techniques that we have discussed for memory improvement. Being able to visualize ideas is also an important trait for the creative thinker. Practicing this skill is a good way to stretch your mental muscles and expand your imagination.

There are two factors that are used to describe your skill at making mental images.

Vividness
This relates to how clear your visualizations are in your mind. Are they in color? Are they in 3D? Do they include sounds, smells and tastes?

Controllability
This relates to how accurately you can control the imagery. Can you retain the images for as long as you want? Can you move the images in your mind? Can you modify your images without excessive effort? Concentration and practice will help you improve the controllability of your visualizations.

Whenever you want to practice, simply close your eyes and visualize an ordinary object. Try to make it as accurate and clear as possible. This not only gives you practice at visualizing, but also encourages you to pay more attention to your environment, which will improve your awareness of what is happening around you.

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Some external aids only exist to remind you that there is something to remember. They don't actually tell you what it is. If you forget why you have a string around your finger, then it's not doing you much good. To fix this problem, you can use visual imagery to associate the aid with what you are trying to remember.

For example, if you need to remember to get gas on the drive home from work, you could put your watch on the wrong wrist. Then visualize yourself stuffing watches into your car's gas tank, or something else equally silly and memorable. Now every time you notice your watch being out of place, you will remember the silly scene and that you need to get gas.

One aid can even be used to remember multiple things. Simply use the link method to chain everything together, starting with the physical reminder. If you need to remember to get gas and pick up some bread and milk, you could use the above association to link your watch to gas. Then visualize yourself driving a loaf of bread away from the gas station while all of the sudden it starts raining milk.

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When something is already going wrong, worrying about it reduces our ability to concentrate on the task at hand. This causes the situation to get worse. When we are worried, our mind jumps all over the place and we lose the ability to make good decisions. We can only improve a bad situation if we can focus 100% of our attention on the task, which means not worrying about the outcome. Here are some steps you can take to do this.

Determine the Worst-Case Scenario
Knowing the worst possible outcome will help put things in perspective. Are you going make your boss disappointed or lose your job? Are you going to get a B- on a project or flunk out of school?

Accept It
Once you have determined the worst-case scenario, you need to mentally accept it. Assume that it is going to happen. If you are resigned to the fact that the worst outcome is going to come true, then you can stop worrying about that possibility. After you accept the situation, you can move on to the next step.

Improve the Worst-Case Scenario
Now that you are free from worrying about the outcome, you can devote your full attention toward improving it. Try to find ways to reduce the negative effects of the outcome. You may not be able to turn a losing situation into a winning situation, but you might be able to make it neutral or at the very least, less bad.

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