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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!

If your mind is feeling particularly stuffy, go for a short walk. Mild exercise helps gets your blood flowing and gives your mind a little more energy. It's easy for the mind to get stuck on one thought and be unable to let it go. Getting outside in the fresh air will help flush out your mind and get you into a creative mindset.

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Pick a poem or song from our list and recite it out loud. Now, recite it again but skip every other word. Then skip every third word, and so on, until you can't do it any more. This exercise helps with your concentration and mental endurance.

1. Your national anthem
2. The Happy Birthday song
3. Old MacDonald

Example skipping every other word: Old had farm I I...

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Most people would agree that children are generally more creative than adults. Children draw more, ask more questions and come up with interesting ideas. There are two commonly held theories about why we lose our creativity as we age.

The first theory is that as we age, we become more and more aware of practical constraints such as gravity or economics. Working within these constraints prevents us from fully utilizing our imaginations. We must suspend our disbelief in order to be mentally playful.

The second theory is that our culture socializes creative properties out of people. When we are young we are encouraged to draw and play, but as we get older more emphasis is placed on more cerebral activities such as math and reading. Children are slowly trained that being able to do arithmetic is more important than being creative.

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A creative person must have a vivid imagination that is free to create without constraint. When you are imagining things, you do not need to be bound by the laws of physics or other rules that govern our normal lives. Set yourself free to explore what you could do under any circumstances. If you come up with a fruitful idea you might be able to modify it to work in reality.

To spark some interesting ideas you could ask yourself some "What if?" questions that break a rule. For example, you could ask yourself how you would solve the problem if you had the strength of Superman. Or, you could ask, "What if cost were not a factor?"

Another important aspect of imagination is to use all of your senses. We already know that using all of your senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch) can help you make long lasting memories. Your senses can also be used to enhance creativity. If you think only verbally, then your solutions will be predominantly verbal. Try to imagine smells, sounds and textures when you are thinking about a problem.

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It is very important that people be challenged by a project if they want to have a high likelihood of coming up with creative solutions. Without a challenge, the process is no longer rewarding and the incentive to innovate is not there. If you find yourself in a situation where a project seems too easy, try to find some way to spice it up. Maybe you could find a new way to do it that makes it challenging. Try to add some new element to the project that makes it interesting.

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