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!
Earlier, we discussed the Link System for remembering lists. Let's practice! We have provided a list of objects to memorize and some example links for you to use if you want. You will have better success if you make up your own links. Spend at least 2 minutes visualizing these objects and links and you should have no problem remembering them.
Cheese, Giraffe, Batteries, Water, Space Shuttle, Rose, Tire, Saw, Grass, Moon
A giraffe eating a big cheese wheel.
Putting new batteries into your robotic giraffe.
Batteries getting shorted out and sparking when put in water.
A space shuttle flying underwater.
A miniature space shuttle buzzing around a rose.
A huge tire rolling down a hill and squashing a rose.
A tire with saw blades sticking out dangerously.
Using a saw to cut your grass.
Looking at a moon in a telescope and seeing it covered in grass.
After you have visualized your links, 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 or any other mnemonic.
Good sleep is extremely important if you want to have a strong memory, because it is during sleep that memory consolidation occurs. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your sleep.
1. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day (including the weekends). Having a consistent schedule will keep your internal clock in sync and will make it easier to fall asleep at the proper time each night.
2. Refrain from doing any physical exercise shortly before bed time. All that energy can make it difficult to fall asleep on time.
3. If you are sleeping in a noisy place, try to mask the bad noises by using mellow music, a white-noise machine, or even a fan with a constant hum.
4. Avoid caffeine and alcohol prior to bedtime. Caffeine is a stimulant and can keep you awake. Alcohol can interfere with your brain chemistry and prevent you from entering the most restful stage of sleep called REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep.
5. Avoid taking naps during the day, or at least limit them to 30 minutes or less. Napping can make it difficult for you to fall asleep at the proper time because you wont be tired yet.
The average adult human brain weighs 1.3kg (2.8lb). That's twice the weight of a giraffe's brain and three times the weight of a cow's brain. A newborn human baby has a brain that weighs about 350 grams (.8lb), which happens to be the same size as an orangutan's brain.
The size of the brain has very little to do with how smart the animal is. For example, an elephant has a 6kg (13lb) brain, but everyone knows that an elephant is not 5 times smarter than a human. The large size of the elephant's brain is probably how it got a reputation for having such a good memory.
It is a myth that humans only use a fraction of their brains. Even though scientists are still trying to unravel the mysteries of the human mind, every part of the brain is known to have a function. From an evolutionary point of view, larger brains would not have developed if there had not been an advantage to do so.
The origins of this myth are unknown, but it might have originated from a researcher named Karl Spencer Lashley who lived about a hundred years ago. He removed parts of the brains of rats and showed that they could still perform certain tests. The problem with these results are that the rats were only tested on tasks that required the parts of the brain that had not been removed. If the rats had been given other tests, they would have certainly failed.
The amygdala is a small part of the brain, adjacent to the hippocampus, that is believed to react most directly to emotions. From studies using brain scans, it has been shown that events that stimulate the amygdala are remembered better over time. This may be why emotionally significant events are remembered better than emotionally insignificant events.
Because the amygdala is involved heavily with emotions, it is believed to play a role in conditions such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and phobias.