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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!

Worry is one of the most potent antidotes to creativity. In order to fully immerse yourself in the creative process, you must be able to clear your mind of all worries.

One technique is to postpone your worries to a specified time at the end of the day. Perhaps you could stop at the park on the way home from work. Or maybe you could settle into your comfy chair after dinner. Wherever and whenever you set your time, try to make it a daily routine. This will get you in the habit of postponing all your worries until the designated time.

During your worry time, give yourself permission to review all the frustrations, irritations or other worries that you have had during the day. Use this time to try to find resolutions or steps that you can take to resolve some of your anxieties. Once your time is up, put your worries aside and trust in your subconscious mind to keep working on the problem for tomorrow's session.

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Tension headaches are the most common type of headaches. They usually appear as a dull throbbing pain that can radiate from the neck, back, eyes or head. The exact cause of tension headaches is still unknown, but a common theory is that it stems from muscle contractions around the head, neck and jaw. The brain may misinterpreted this tension as pain.

The most common cause of this type of muscle tension is stress. Many people respond to stress by clenching their teeth or hunching their shoulders. This tension can quickly spread to other nearby muscle groups and caused referred pain. It is not uncommon for back problems to originate in the jaw! The more muscles that tense up, the more likely it will be for a tension headache to develop.

Tension headaches can be treated with over the counter pain medications as well as relaxation techniques such as massage or meditation. Learning how to relax the muscles in your neck, back and shoulders will help your avoid getting tension headaches. The shoulder stretching exercise is one good way to accomplish this.

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Meditation is a contemplative practice that calms or focuses the mind. Although meditation is commonly associated with Eastern religions, it is practiced in nearly every religion and is frequently used outside of the religion context for personal development and relaxation.

Relaxation Response and Progressive Muscle Relaxation are examples of non-religious meditations used to calm the mind and body. There are many different types of formalized meditations that follow a specific routine. Beginners will probably find these easier to start with because there are rules to follow. Once you become adept at focusing your mind, you can easily create your own routines.

A basic goal of meditation is to reach a mental state where your mind is free of thoughts. Beginners will probably find it difficult to meditate for more than a few minutes without having distracting thoughts entire their minds, but with practice and determination it is possible to silence the mind.

One technique used to help quiet the mind is to turn your attention to a single object, such as your breathing. Breath awareness and breath counting is used in many meditations. Some people find it helpful to have a mantra, which is a sound, word or phrase that you can repeat to yourself. In the Relaxation Response meditation, the word "one" is used as a mantra.

If you want to start meditating to reduce stress or for some other reason, it is advisable to pick one or two routines and stick with them. Set aside 15-20 minutes every day to practice and you will quickly improve.

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The Relaxation Response is a simple technique developed by Harvard cardiologist Herbert Benson to help reduce stress and prevent heart disease and other problems that can go along with it.

Sit comfortably with your eyes closed. Starting with your toes and moving up towards your head, relax every muscle in your body and keep them relaxed throughout the exercise. Now, focus your attention on your breath. Breathing through your nose, silently say the word "one" on each exhalation. When you find your mind wandering, gently but firmly return your attention to your breathing. With practice you may be able to get through an entire 10-20 minute session without having your mind wander. When you finish, sit quietly for a few moments before returning to your day.

This simple exercise is very effective at returning your body to a calm and relaxed state.

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The muscles in the shoulders are a very common place for people to carry tension from being under stress. One way to feel less stressed is to reduce this tension. This simple stretching exercise will help you do just that.

1. Start in a standing position with good posture and make sure that you are breathing properly throughout the exercise.

2. Slowly lift both shoulders up towards your head and hold for a few seconds. Release back to normal. Repeat a few times.

3. Slowly rotate your right shoulder in a circle (up, back, down, forward) a few times. Repeat with your left shoulder. Then switch directions and repeat.

4. Slowly tilt your head towards one shoulder and feel the stretch. Now move your head back to the center and go to the other side. Repeat several times.

5. Slowly turn your head so you are looking over your shoulder. Return to the center and then go to the other side. Feel the stretch. Repeat several times.

6. Remain standing and take several deep breaths before finishing.

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