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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!

pe-nu-ri-ous

adj :: Poor or unwilling to spend money. Stingy.

"My penurious father would not give me an allowance."

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Most of us go through our daily lives with fairly fixed routines. We get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, and drive to work the same way every day. This isn't necessarily bad because it allows our brains to slowly speed up to meet the day, but it also doesn't give our brains any exercise. Since these routine tasks are carried out almost subconsciously, the brain uses almost no energy and makes no new associations or neural connections.

Even activities like doing the laundry or walking the dog can be so routine that you hardly even think about doing them. Each activity is a chance to give your brain some exercise and get it actually thinking. Try to add some surprise or novelty into daily activities. For example, drive to work using a different route. This will prevent you from going on auto-pilot and getting to work without thinking about how you got there. The new path will provide new and interesting things to see which will stimulate your mind and make new associations.

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When you are under stress try this short exercise to put things in perspective. It might make your problem seem less stressful.

Mentally rewind your life ten years and remember what you were like at that time. Try to imagine how your current problem would have seemed back then. Would it have been as important? Now fast-forward ten years into the future and imagine how your life might be like. How important is your current problem to your future self? Chances are your current problem may seem insignificant to your future self and this might change your perspective on how you view your problem today.

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For each item in the list below, close your eyes and try to get a mental picture of the object. Try to make it as clear as possible. Are there any sounds, smells or tastes associated with this item?

1. A red rose
2. Your father
3. A cow wearing pants
4. Elvis Presley
5. The world's biggest sandwich

Once you are done, grade yourself on how clear each object appeared in your mind (clear, vague, nothing). The next time you see one of these items, pay special attention to it and try to memorize its features, then repeat this exercise and see if you've improved.

There are some items in the list that you are certain to have never seen before. These are designed to flex your ability to put several memories together into one image.

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