Hints & Tips
In this section we've tried to bring together some of the best training advice we can muster. We fully expect that there will be new suggestions and questions relating to getting the most out of the Mind Sparke program. If you can't find an item of information here, or if you have a tip for other users, please post an item on the Training Blog at http://blog.mindsparke.com.
Take A Pre-Test!
No doubt you're eager to start training, but now is a good time to think about whether you want to measure you progress with some kind of before and after test. If you're looking to use the training to help boost your score on a particular kind of test (the SAT, or a graduate entrance test, for instance), take a sample test first and keep a record of your score.
If you have no particular test in mind, or if you are training as a way of increasing your general intelligence, the Training Blog is a good place to look for the latest advice on free or low cost IQ Tests that provide a reasonably good measure of fluid intelligence. Here is a list we've compiled:
Also, be sure to check the Mind Sparke site. We're working on our own test and hope to offer it to customers soon.
We're always keen to hear about your experiences with the program, so if you do take a test please post a blog entry or send us an e-mail letting us know your before and after scores and what kind of test.
Create A Serene Training Environment
The training requires absolute focus. Try to sit somewhere quiet and peaceful when you train. Wearing headphones will probably help you focus on the aural sequences.
Turn off e-mail alerts, shut off your phone, and close other computer programs that may make noises.
Train While Alert
Take the training when you feel alert and focused, ideally when you're not tired or hungry, and not right after eating.
Rest After Training
Research shows that the brain makes the most of mental exercise if we sleep afterwards. If you can't sleep or take a nap, a brief rest or meditation session will help consolidate your training gains.
Meditate Before Training
Meditation can be a great adjunct to training with Brain Fitness Pro. Meditation promotes deeper levels of focus and attention. Meditate for ten to fifteen minutes before you train. If possible, break half way through training for another period of meditation.
If you're not accustomed to meditation you may want to try a guided meditation CD. Or you can use the directions below to create your own meditation practice:
- Sit in a comfortable upgright position and close your eyes.
- Bring your attention to your breath.
- Be mindful of your breath as it enters and leaves your body.
- If your attention wanders, bring it back to your breath.
- Deepen your breath, pausing briefly before the inhale and exhale.
- As you begin to relax, start to bring your mind to each part of your body in turn.
- Starting at the top of your head work your attention slowly down to your face, neck, shoulders, chest, back, stomach, etc., all the way to your toes and out to your fingers.
- Pause as you bring each muscle, bone, and organ to mind, letting it relax, letting go of any tension or pain.
- Again, if your mind wanders, notice this and let it return.
- After you have slowly, methodically, and mindfully relaxed your entire body, return your attention to your breath.
- As concerns or thoughts enter your mind, acknowledge them and let them go.
- End your meditation practice with a positive affirmation of your deeper level of awareness.
Pause between training blocks
Sit back, take a deep breath. Orient yourself to the next n-value. In particular, if the n-value has changed since the last training block, make sure to get your mind around the n-back value for the next block before pressing "Go!"
Try to complete the full daily session in one sitting
You will gain the most benefit from the training if you can complete a full session at one sitting. If this is not possible, split the training into no more than two sets.
Training for a full session without a long break gradually strengthens our extended focus.
Don't feel stupid
The program is designed to stretch your brain. As you improve, it automatically makes things harder by increasing the degree of difficulty. Feeling stretched means that you're getting more intelligent.
If you lose your way during a training block, don't panic. Just pick up again from where you are. Or, if you lose focus completely or get interrupted, you can cancel the block and start over. (This is an excellent way to give yourself a break and bring your focus back.)
At some point during the training, most people's scores slip from one session to the next. Your mind is forging new pathways, gaining mastery. These setbacks may be accompanied by a sense that you're actually getting better at remembering the sequences.
Introduction & Pep Talk
Understanding The Exercises
Recommended Training Schedule
Hints And Tips