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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!

ob-fus-cate

verb :: To make obscure.

"The officers would obfuscate their messages with a secret code."

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Previously we learned how the mind makes associations between all the different sensory inputs as well as emotional states and social triggers. You can use this to your advantage when you want to be sure to remember something. Most people rely almost exclusively on their senses of sight and hearing. Try to get your sense of smell, touch, or taste into the memory, or pay attention to your emotional state. A memory that involves four senses will be much stronger than a memory that involves only two. The more associations you have for a particular memory, the more protection you have against losing it, and the more ways you will have to remember it later.

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Most people worry about future events that may or may not happen. This expectation of something bad happening causes people stress even though the thing may never occur. One helpful technique for reducing worry is to export your worries to a notebook or diary.

Suppose you can't get to sleep because you are worrying about a meeting with your boss later in the week. Pick up your notebook and write down that worry. Now, set a time in the future and promise yourself that at that time you will review what you are worrying about and make a decision. This should help resolve the present worry and put it off to the designated time. An added benefit of this is that during the interim, your subconscious mind will have time to process the problem and come up with potential solutions. This is very similar to how the 'Letter to Yourself' technique works.

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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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