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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!

As we know, the two hemispheres of the brain think in different ways. The left brain tends to be logical and analytical, while the right brain tends to be more creative and spontaneous. When you are using one side of your brain more than the other, this is called left or right brained thinking. Both types of thinking are valuable, so one should try to develop their skills in both.

Unfortunately, left brained thinking is the type that is most valued by our society and taught in our schools. Almost all of the major subjects taught in school (math, science, history, etc) depend predominately on left brained thinking. Rarely do teachers encourage their students to think creatively and explore alternate solutions, and rarely are right brained studies (art, design, music, etc) encouraged.

This over emphasis becomes even more problematic as students move into the professional world. In order to get support for a new project or idea, it must be clearly defined and understood (left brained thinking) by the people who are going to be paying for it. It's very difficult to get funding for a project if the goals are not clearly understood. As a result, creative ideas don't happen as frequently as they could if right brained thinking was more valued.

It's no coincidence that the really creative ideas that occur from time to time are usually self-funded by the inventor working out of their garage. These are the people who understand the true value of thinking creatively.

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One of the most common reasons that people do not contribute ideas to a group brainstorm is the fear of embarrassment. Expressing a new idea to a group of people requires some bravery because it makes you vulnerable to criticism. This is why the brainstorm rule of deferring judgment exists, but even with the rule, it is hard for people to overcome this emotional block.

It can help to have the group perform some bonding activity before the brainstorm starts. A icebreakers shows that it is ok to be silly and say things that may be imperfect. The following icebreaker is designed to quickly get all the embarrassment out of the way.

On the count of three, everyone in the room should simultaneously give their best impression of a barnyard animal. Moo like a cow, squawk like a chicken, or oink like a pig. Preface the exercise by saying that anyone who does not participate with the group will be required to do a private performance. Once everyone has done something really silly, the fear of embarrassment should be lessened.

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Our minds are constantly filtering and processing data so that you don't have to pay attention to everything. Your consciousness is only presented with the most relevant data that you need to make decisions. Small details are often ignored. For example, do you know which color is on the top of a traffic light? Or which direction Lincoln is facing on the penny?

Whenever you have a free moment, look around and try to notice something that you don't normally see. Study all the minute details about an object and recognize that it was made that way for a reason. What is that reason?

Sometimes art students are instructed to look at the world upside-down by bending over and looking between their legs. This different orientation often allows you to see things that you normally wouldn't see. Try it. You may also try getting really low to the ground and see what the world looks like from an ant's perspective.

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Icebreakers are little exercises that help relax tension and loosen up a formal atmosphere in a meeting where you want to have creative ideas and group participation.

At your next meeting, write the following rules up where everyone can see them:

1. Divisible by 3 = raise/lower left hand
2. Divisible by 4 = raise/lower right hand
3. Divisible by 5 = stand up / sit down

Now, recite all the numbers from 1 to 100 and have everyone perform the required actions. See how many people have it correct in the end. You should be sitting with both hands up in the air.

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This exercise will help build your mental endurance and concentration. Pick any small number (lets say 3) and start doubling it in your mind.

3, 6, 12, 24, 48, 96, 192, 384 ....

How far can you get? Most people have a hard time once they get past 10 doublings. Practice until you can get up to 20 (the 20th doubling of 3 is 3,145,728).

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