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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!

a-nath-e-ma

noun :: A ban or curse pronounced with religious solemnity by ecclesiastical authority, and accompanied by excommunication. Hence: Denunciation of anything as accursed.

noun :: An imprecation; a curse; a malediction.

noun :: Any person or thing anathematized, or cursed by ecclesiastical authority.

"...the sound of a witch's anathemas in some unknown tongue" --Nathaniel Hawthorne.

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For each of the following statements, come up with at least two plausible reasons why they are true. Now, come up with at least two plausible reasons why they are false. This exercise will help you to see that issues often have different sides to them.

1. Guns are dangerous.
2. Traveling by airplane is safer than traveling by car.
3. Water causes brain damage.

You can repeat this exercise by using any subjective statement that you can find.

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In split-brain patients, the corpus callosum, which connects the left and right hemispheres of the cerebral cortex, has been surgical severed. This surgery is performed very rarely to help control severe epilepsy.

By studying these patients, Dr. Roger Sperry made some remarkable discoveries about the human brain, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1981. What he found was that consciousness exists independently in the two different hemispheres and that the two sides can operated independently. The left side of the brain contains the speech center and can express itself verbally and logically, while the right side of the brain is more visually oriented.

In one of the experiments, an object was shown to the left visual field (which connects to the right side of the brain). Because the right hemisphere cannot process language, the patient was unable to say what the object was. However, they were able to pick up the matching object with their left hand. This is because the right hemisphere of the brain knew what the object was and could tell the left hand to pick it up, it just couldn't express it with language.

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Worrying about a problem reduces our ability to focus 100% of our attention on the task. One way to focus your attention is to answer the following questions.

1. What exactly is the problem? There is no sense in worrying about something if you do not know exactly what you are worrying about. Take some time to write down specifically what the problem is that you are trying to solve.

2. What caused the problem? Sometimes solving the immediate problem is not the correct solution because it does not fix the root causes. Try to determine if this problem was caused by something else.

3. What are all the possible solutions? Too often, one solution is proposed and time is wasted arguing about that one solution. Try having a brainstorm to find every possible solution before you argue about the merits of each one.

4. What solution is best? Once all the solutions have been laid out, it should be a pretty easy task to pick the best one and move forward with it.

If you are in a position where people bring their problems to you for help, this is a great strategy to help them solve their own problems. Simply, ask each person to answer these four questions before coming to you. It is likely that they will solve their own problem, but if not, it will make your job much easier.

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