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!
Proper deep breathing starts with your diaphragm. Instead of puffing out your chest, try to puff our your belly as you breathe. Use your entire lung capacity. Breath in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Whenever you feel stressed, take a full five minutes to concentrate on deep breathes. This type of breathing will increase oxygen flow to your brain and release endorphins and hormones that act to sooth your nerves.
Eustress is a good type of stress. This is what you feel when you are watching a suspenseful movie, riding a rollercoaster or about to finish running a marathon. Eustress helps motivate us to finish projects that we are excited about and contributes positively to a creative mindset.
Distress refers to frustrations, unresolved anger, or fear. It causes anxiety and mental suffering. This is a bad stress and does a great job at blocking creativity.
Under-stress is the lack of any stress, and is similar to boredom and hopelessness. An unchallenging job can lead to under-stress. If people are not challenged then they are not motivated to be creative.
Over-stress is what you feel when you have pushed yourself too hard, are late for an important meeting, or have a big deadline that is looming. People who are in this condition do not have the time to think creatively. They are only worried about dealing with the issues immediately at hand and cannot step back to look at the big picture.
Stress has a large impact on our ability to think creatively and to form strong memories. When you are worried about something, your mind wastes energy on the worry and becomes inefficient at working towards a solution to the problem. We have a tendency to jump to conclusions and rush ahead in order to get the stress out of our lives. People under stress rarely step back and try to explore their options.
We have several relaxation techniques that can be used to deal with stress and continue to think creatively.
Pay attention to how your body feels and try to make it as comfortable as possible. Is your clothing comfortable? Is the temperature ok? Is your chair comfortable? Try to make changes to your environment to make yourself as comfortable as possible.
Getting fresh air is a very important condition for calmness. This is one reason why the mountains or the beach are more relaxing than the city. Try opening a window to get a little fresh air.
People always try to find a quiet place to relax. As you go through your day, you are bombarded with noises. Traffic, people talking, babies crying, electronic equipment, radios and televisions all contribute to the noise pollution that can cause unnecessary stress. Eliminating noise from your daily life can help make you a calmer person. One way to do this is with noise canceling headphones or earplugs.
Caffeine, nicotine, sugar and other drugs all act as stimulants on the human body. You will never be able to fully relax if you are charged up with sugar and caffeine. Try switching to water, herbal tea or a diet caffeine-free soda.
Determine the Worst-Case Scenario
Knowing the worst possible outcome will help put things in perspective. Are you going make your boss disappointed or lose your job? Are you going to get a B- on a project or flunk out of school?
Once you have determined the worst-case scenario, you need to mentally accept it. Assume that it is going to happen. If you are resigned to the fact that the worst outcome is going to come true, then you can stop worrying about that possibility. After you accept the situation, you can move on to the next step.
Improve the Worst-Case Scenario
Now that you are free from worrying about the outcome, you can devote your full attention toward improving it. Try to find ways to reduce the negative effects of the outcome. You may not be able to turn a losing situation into a winning situation, but you might be able to make it neutral or at the very least, less bad.
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