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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!

rec-re-ant

noun :: A faithless or disloyal person. A Coward.

"When little Vladimir finally relinquished her, with assurances that he was 'desolated to leave so early', she was ready to rest, and see how her recreant knight had borne his punishment." -- Louisa May Alcott

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It is very common to get distracted or for our minds to wander when we are reading. Once we've notice that we've read several sentences without comprehension, we rewind and start reading the passage again. If the material is particularly boring or we are not in the right mood, we can often end up rereading the same sentence over and over without knowing what it says.

This can be fixed by improving your concentration and attention. Try the following exercise. Every time you get distracted while reading, draw an arrow in the margin from where you realized you were daydreaming, to where you started rereading. Before you turn the page, count your arrows and mentally review what you have just read. If you can't remember what you read, start over. You should find that the number of arrows per page decreases as you get better at focusing your attention.

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Try to remember some times in the past when you were totally relaxed. Maybe it was a recent vacation or a nice sunny weekend. What do these situations all have in common that might contribute to you being in a calm state? While you may have your own unique requirements, there are four common conditions that most people find contribute to calmness.

Physical Comfort
Pay attention to how your body feels and try to make it as comfortable as possible. Is your clothing comfortable? Is the temperature ok? Is your chair comfortable? Try to make changes to your environment to make yourself as comfortable as possible.

Fresh Air
Getting fresh air is a very important condition for calmness. This is one reason why the mountains or the beach are more relaxing than the city. Try opening a window to get a little fresh air.

Silence
People always try to find a quiet place to relax. As you go through your day, you are bombarded with noises. Traffic, people talking, babies crying, electronic equipment, radios and televisions all contribute to the noise pollution that can cause unnecessary stress. Eliminating noise from your daily life can help make you a calmer person. One way to do this is with noise canceling headphones or earplugs.

Stimulants
Caffeine, nicotine, sugar and other drugs all act as stimulants on the human body. You will never be able to fully relax if you are charged up with sugar and caffeine. Try switching to water, herbal tea or a diet caffeine-free soda.

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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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