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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!

dis-coun-te-nance

verb :: To view or treat with disfavor.

"Several important considerations have been touched in the course of these papers, which discountenance the supposition that the operation of the federal government will by degrees prove fatal to the State governments." -- James Madison by Madison, James

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SQ5R stands for Survey, Question, Read, Record, Recite, Review, and Reflect and is an extension of the SQ3R discussed earlier. The two added steps are described as follows:

Record

After reading each section, you should record the main ideas. Highlight the key phrases (keeping in mind our suggestions for good highlighting skills), write notes in the margins, and write down the answers to your questions (and any new questions that you may have).

Reflect

This is where you think about the ideas you have learned and try to draw conclusions from them. Do you agree with the material? Does it relate to something else that you know? Take time to organize the information in your mind.

Other study systems that are nearly identical to the ones we have discussed:

PQRST (Preview, Question, Read, Self-Recitation, Test)
PQ4R (Preview, Question, Read, Reflect, Recite, Review)
OARWET (Overview, Ask, Read, Write, Evaluate, Test)

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Similar to how Pavlov's dog had associated food with the sound of a bell, it's possible to program your mind to associate some stimuli with being in a relaxed and calm state. This can be a very effect way of coping with stress.

The first step is to find a trigger that you can use on yourself. It should be something that doesn't happen in a normal day. Maybe it could be sticking a finger in your ear, pinching the back of your hand, or taking a whiff from one of your scent canisters.

The second step is to associate this trigger with the state of being calm and relaxed. Try to conjure up a vivid memory of a time in the past when you were totally at peace. Try to recreate all the sounds, smells and images. Once you think you have a good visualization, program it into your mind by sticking your finger in your ear, or whatever else you have chosen to be your trigger. In the future, whenever you are naturally feeling calm and relaxed you should reinforce your trigger by doing it.

Now that you have programmed your mind to associate the trigger with a relaxed state, you can use it whenever you feel stressed. Simply activate your trigger and you will immediately start feeling more relaxed.

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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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