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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!

There are many nutritional supplements that claim to provide benefits to the mind and body. Ginseng and Ginkgo Biloba are two of the more popular supplements.

Ginseng
Ginseng is an herb that comes from the root of the ginseng plant. It has been used in China, Japan, and Korea for centuries and has been shown to improve memory and mental performance, especially if taken in combination with ginkgo biloba. Additionally, ginseng may help increase the body's resistance to stress.

Ginkgo Biloba
Ginkgo biloba is an extract taken from the leaves of the ginkgo tree. Many studies have shown it to have beneficial effects. Its most important benefit is that it increases blood flow to the brain, which improves short and long-term memory as well as reaction time and mental clarity. In addition, ginkgo biloba may help regulate neurotransmitters and oxygen levels in the brain. Ginkgo can be found in pill form and is sometimes used as an ingredient in energy drinks. Some studies also suggest that ginkgo biloba can somewhat benefit people with Alzheimer's disease.

If you have blood circulation problems or are taking anti-coagulants such as aspirin, you should probably stay away from ginkgo. People taking anti-depressant drugs known as MAOIs and pregnant women should also stay away from ginkgo biloba.

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The mind has a great ability to remember images and visualizations, which is why mnemonics work so well. To help you remember your associations better, you should take care to make your visualizations vivid. This means that you should actually try to visualize the association in your mind's eye. Pay attention to the motion, sounds, and colors in your visualization. The more detail you can produce, the more your memory will have to grab onto.

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A study from Princeton University has found that monkeys who become fathers may get enhanced brains. Enhancements included an increase in the number of connections between neurons, and an increased sensitivity to the hormone vasopressin, which is implicated in memory formation. These changes are located in the prefrontal cortex, which is an area of the brain that is important for memory and decision making.

Unfortunately, as the infant ages, the father's enhancements gradually decrease to normal. It is unknown if human fathers experience the same mental boost.

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Vitamin E is an important antioxidant that can help prevent damage by neutralizing destructive molecules that are produced naturally by the body. Taking high doses of vitamin E may help prevent the development of cancer, cataracts, and heart disease. In addition, some studies have shown that long-term supplementation with vitamin E, in combination with vitamin C, can reduce the severity of age related memory decline and help prevent dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

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Many mnemonics rely on making visual associations in your mind. The nature of these visualizations has a lot to do with how well you will remember them.

Making crazy associations in your visualizations will help you remember the information later. If you are trying to associate a dog with a stapler, a poor association would be a dog standing on a stapler. The brain filters out and forgets things that are ordinary. If you get a little crazy, you'll have a more memorable association. Maybe you could picture a dog with a stapler for a mouth! In addition to making the images more interesting, crazy associations tend to take more time to form and thus give you a better chance at getting them into your long-term memory.

Here are two techniques that will help make your associations crazier.

1. Try a substitution. For example, substituting a stapler for a dog's mouth.
2. Try an exaggeration. For example, a giant stapler chasing a scared dog down the street.

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