Friday, November 12, 2010
9 mental exercises
Mental exercises to make your mind keener and more flexible. These exercises are meant to pull you out of your usual habits, give your a different perspective, and put you in situations that will demand resourcefulness and creative problem-solving. Only by testing and stretching yourself can you develop mental strength. One thing is clear: novelty and challenge bring happiness. People who stray from their routines, try new things, explore, and experiment tend to be happier than those who don’t. Of course, novelty and challenge can also bring frustration, anxiety, confusion, and annoyance along the way; it’s the process of facing those challenges that brings the “atmosphere of growth” so important to happiness.
2. Think for 30 minutes a day about one subject exclusively. Start with five minutes.
3. Talk for 15 minutes a day without using I, me, my, mine.
4. Pause on the threshold of any crowded room and size it up.
5. Keep a new acquaintance talking about himself or herself without allowing him to become conscious of it. Turn back any courteous reciprocal questions in a way that your auditor doesn’t feel rebuffed.
6. Talk exclusively about yourself and your interests without complaining, boasting, or boring your companions.
7. Plan two hours of a day and stick to the plan.
8. Set yourself twelve tasks at random: e.g., go twenty miles from home using ordinary conveyance; go 12 hours without food; go eat a meal in the unlikeliest place you can find; say nothing all day except in answer to questions; stay up all night and work.
9. From time to time, give yourself a day when you answer “yes” to any reasonable request.
Doing this kind of exercise can seem artificial, but it can also be a fun way to put a little challenge into your ordinary routine. Have you tried any useful exercises along these lines?