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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!

di-ur-nal

adjective :: Relating to the daytime; belonging to the period of daylight, distinguished from the night, recurring every day.

"During the day the animals obsequiously followed the shadow of the smallest tree as it moved round the stem with the diurnal roll; and when the milkers came they could hardly stand still for the flies." --Hardy, Thomas

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If you are ever stuck in a meeting or brainstorm session where people are out of ideas or unable to agree on an issue, ask this question to get people thinking differently:

What would your mother do in this situation?

Not only does this infuse some humor into the situation, but it usually makes people a little more agreeable and a little less judgmental. After all, it's not very polite to disparage someone's mother. By thinking about what your mother would do, you are also forcing yourself to think about alternate solutions which can help come up with interesting ideas.

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Earlier we discussed the Link System for remembering lists. Let's practice with this list of 20 words. You may think it is impossible to learn a list of 20 words in only a few minutes, but if you follow the System, it will be easy. We have provided some example visualizations for you to use, however you will have better success if you make up your own. Spend at least 2 minutes visualizing each object and association and you should have no problem remembering the whole list.

List:
Pen, Sun, Toast, Elephant, Telephone, Window, Mud, Hamburger, Cat, Bottle, Goat, Bed, Car, Book, Money, Calculator, Lipstick, Snowman, Skateboard, Thumb

Form a clear mental image of these links to connect the words, here are some examples:
1. A pen shooting out sunlight
2. The sun being so hot it toasts some bread
3. An elephant eating some toast
4. Talking on a little elephant instead of a phone
5. Throwing a telephone out a window and breaking it
6. Having mud completely covering your window
7. A hamburger covered with mud instead of ketchup
8. A hamburger made of cat instead of beef
9. A cat stuck inside a bottle
10. A goat eating a bottle
11. A goat sleeping in a bed
12. A bed strapped onto the top of a car
13. A giant book with wheels and a steering wheel
14. A book with money for pages
15. A calculator that spits out money
16. A woman rubbing a calculator on her lips
17. A snowman wearing lipstick
18. A snowman skateboarding
19. A skateboard shaped like a giant thumb
20. (if you want to link it into a circle) Using your thumb to sign your name

Now close your eyes and try to recall the entire list. See how easy it was? To prove the effectiveness of this technique, make up a different list and try to memorize it without using the link system. See how hard it is?

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If you ask someone why they feel stressed, they may not be able to point to a specific reason. This is because stress often comes from a source that the sufferer may not fully understand. If you have an easily identified source of stress, you are lucky (try to get rid of it). Most people cannot figure out why they feel stressed.

Stress comes in three flavors: physical, emotional, and behavioral. A physical stress might be an injury, an annoying sound or an uncomfortable chair. Emotional stress includes things like fighting with a friend, or the death of a loved one. Behavioral stress might come from alcohol, caffeine, or poor sleep.

Looking at these areas and taking a step back to look at the bigger picture may help someone understand where their stress is coming from. For example, someone who feels tense all the time may not realize that it's because of poor sleep due to noisy neighbors (behavioral and physical stress). A good pair of earplugs may make all the difference in the world! Try examining the various parts of your life to see if you can find something that might be causing stress. Experiment to see if eliminating the stressor makes you feel better.

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