Sixty Days of Cognitive Fitness

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Normally, when I hear "mental fitness" I think word-puzzles, sudoku, and sequences of numbers. Basically, I think about the SAT and my homunculus gets a little queasy.

Homunky loves metacognition!
However, life is more complicated than word games. I have to motivate myself, interact with people, process new information, and stay calm enough so my friends and family don't disown me.  Instead, I need skills for dealing with life: mental toughness, optimism, self-awareness, self-control, people-skills and more. I need some metacognition up in here.

I've compiled 60 metacognitive thought experiments, grouped into 10 themes, designed to slowly develop my cognitive ninja-skillz so I can deal with life. These aren't puzzles. These Mind Games are challenges of cognition.  Enjoy!

Empathy - Compassion for others and ourselves.

Simple Relationship - Think about someone who makes you happy
Complex Relationship - Direct compassion at a complex someone
Subordinate - Show empathy to an employee
Superior - Show empathy to your boss
Dependent - Give support to a loved-one
Self-Empathy - Be nice to yourself

Relaxation - A calm state for stress-free performance.

Peace and Quiet - Find a meditation spot.
Passive - Do nothing. Seriously.
Mantra - The secret weapon of the uber-relaxed.
Heavy - Get loose.
Down - Get down.
Timeless - Escape the clock.

Optimism - Positive thinking that promotes perseverence.

Hear the Homunculus - Listen to your automatic thinking.
Ignore the Homunculus - Put a nasty homunculus in time-out.
Temporary - Nothing lasts forever, bad stuff included.
External - It's not always about you.
Specific - Stop catastrophizing.
Take Control - Escape the shock.

Motivation - A drive to improve or achieve.

Benefits of Change - talk up the good reasons to change.
No to the Status Quo - remind yourself why not changing is uncool.
Characteristics for Change - note your skillz.
Expertise for Change - get more skillz.
Intention to Change - make a promise to yourself.
Small Change - Make a change, a small change.

Self-Awareness - Understanding our behavior.

Feeling - Good (and bad) vibrations.
Eating - You are getting very hungry.
Moving - Or not moving.
Working - Or not working.
Playing - Some work and some play.
Socializing - All we need is love.

Self-Control - Willful choice during daily routines.

Reset - Calm down.
Meal Plan - Eat with a strategy.
Show Up - Go through the motions.
Day of Doing - Don't plan, do.
Play Date - Force some fun.
Fave Five - Call your peeps.

Focus - Direct attention at will.

100 Breaths - Count 100 consecutive breaths
One Object - Maintain attention on a single object
Zone of 100 - Use breath counting to enter, and stay in, the zone
Every Object - Examine each object with curiosity
One Task - Focus on a single concept that matters to you
One Person - Focus on a single person that matters to you

Flow - Engagement with life and work.

Finding Flow - Look out for flow.
Feast of Flow - Flow, with food.
Physical Flow - Flow, with movement.
Liquid List - Your to-do list is a game.
Liquid Life - Your life is a game.
Stream of Consciousness - Your thinking is a game.

Productivity - Consistent, high-level output.

Too Easy - No such thing.
Divide and Conquer - Or, break it up and win?
High Contrast - Compare and contrast.
Worst Case Scenario - Get busy, or else...
Solitary Confinement - Escape distractions.
Distraction-Free Zone - Clean your desk.

Memory - The ability to retain new information.

Childhood Home - A palace of memories.
Lewd, Crude, and Rude - Because boring isn't memorable.
Name Game - Time to rhyme.
Mental Model - Details are good.
Pretty Pictures - Worth a whole lot of words.
Smell, Taste, Feel, and Sound - Close your eyes.


Dbakeca Italia said...

interesting post

Özge başak said...

Thanks for the great article. i really appreciate it. I have been making research on the internet for a very long time and now come up with something useful. it will be a great guide for my thesis here:

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