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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!

In Caffeine I, we talked about what caffeine is and how it works on the mind. In addition to working as a brain stimulant, caffeine has also been shown to improve athletic performance and endurance.

Two additional things to keep in mind about caffeine are that it is a diuretic and it causes increased calcium loss. So, if you consume caffeine, you should make sure that you are drinking enough water to avoid dehydration and that you are getting enough calcium in your diet.

It's probably a good idea to limit your caffeine intake to 250mg per day (less if you are pregnant). Unfortunately, companies rarely label their products with the amount of caffeine that they contain. Here is a little chart to help you.

Drip Coffee (8oz)95mg
Instant Coffee (8oz)85mg
Decaf Coffee (8oz)3mg
Espresso (1oz)40mg
Coffee Ice Cream (1 cup)50mg
Brewed Tea (8oz)50mg
Instant Tea (8oz)28mg
Iced Tea (8oz)25mg
Snapple Tea42mg
Cocoa (8oz)6mg
Chocolate Milk (8oz)5mg
Chocolate Bar10mg
Mountain Dew56mg
Diet Coke47mg
Coke35mg
Pepsi38mg
Barq's Root Beer23mg
NoDoz Max Strength200mg
NoDoz Regular Strength100mg

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des-ue-tude

noun :: The cessation of use; disuse; inactivity.

"This old house had wasted--more from desuetude than it would have wasted from use, twenty years for one." --Dickens, Charles

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Without new and interesting experiences our brains get bored and lazy. One way to introduce some novelty into your lives is to try new foods. The sense of taste is an underused sense that has a large capacity to trigger old memories. One bite of your grandmother's apple pie might bring back dozens of childhood experiences.

Instead of having your normal everyday breakfast, try something completely new. If you always have cereal, have eggs instead. If you cook at home, try to incorporate one new recipe each week. When you are at the grocery store grab one item off the shelf that you have never had before and take it home for a taste-test. If you eat out or order in, branch out and try a new restaurant or order something from the menu that you have never had before. If you never try new things, you'll never know if you are missing out on something that you really like. The new tastes and smells will help form new memories and may even remind you of something long forgotten.

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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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