How to Increase IQ
Brain Exercises

Benefits of Meditation
Mental Math

Riddles and Puzzles
Lateral Thinking

Simple Brain Exercises

Exercises and activities that strengthen the conections and processes in the brain can be as simple as having an intelligent conversation or reading about something new to you. They can also be more involved, like doing crossword puzzles or solving lateral thinking puzzles. Here are few general brain exercises you can do anywhere, and then a few ideas for exercising specific areas of brain function.

One of the more entertaining mental exercises is to invent things in your mind. There are many techniques for doing this, but you can start as simply as looking at things and asking "How could this be better?" Look at a clock, for example, and you might wonder if it would be better if you didn't have to look at it. A clock that periodically announced the time and even reminded you of appointments might be useful.

For more on inventions and how to come up with them, visit: www. 999 Ideas.com.

Other simple, but not necessarily easy exercises are those that involve puzzle solving. These can range from crossword puzzles to difficult lateral thinking puzzles. A simpler, fun version of the latter, is the basic riddle. "Why wasn't Bertha put in jail after killing dozens of people?" Because she was a hurricane. Riddles can be easy or difficult, but either way they get your mind thinking in new directions, and this is good for developing your creativity.

Inventing jokes is a great brain exercise. This can be a tough one if you haven't done it before. Take a topic or a word at random, and find a way to make a joke with it. "Justice," for example, could become "What's the one place in the world you can find justice?" In the dictionary! If you get nothing after five or ten minutes, move on to the next word or topic.

Brain Exercises for Specific Purposes

There are times when you may want to work on a particular area of your brainpower. I have some trouble with visual imagination, for example. If I wanted to be an architect, I would want to improve that. This can be accomplished by concentrating on scenes in one's mind. Imagine walking through your home, for example, and repeat the process until you can easily "see" everything in each room.

To learn better concentration, practice identifying "mind" irritations. Anything that is going on just below the surface is sapping your ability to concentrate. When you become aware of these things, you can put them on a list or otherwise dismiss them. Meditation can help with this, but simple mindfulness exercises may be enough to let your natural powers of concentration function.

Brain exercises to strengthen your memory can just be the repetitive use of any memory techniques. Mentally placing a list of items to be remembered at predetermined locations in your house, and seeing them there in an unusual way (think cucumbers dancing in the microwave), is one such technique. Imagining where you'll see a person next, and calling to them by name in your imagination is a good way to remember names.

To develop your creativity, get a little wild. Look around and imagine something absurd, like flying lights. To make it more than just an exercise in imagination, though, you have to create some sense of the image. In this case, I am thinking that maybe there would be a market for little lights on helium balloons. Have a more or less neutral buoyancy, and a party could be full of colorful floating, moving lights.

There is no question that exercising your brain makes it work better. In fact, a more active brain has even been shown to postpone or reduce the incidence of age-related decline of mental function. Why not start today with some simple exercises like the ones described here?

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