Memory Training and Brain Jogging

Assuring the memory and brain function well requires constant training. Through this training we form a so-called brain reserve capacity. A healthy lifestyle is also important (see Ayurveda). J. Kulka created a training system – Memory and Mental Training (MMT). This system includes:

  • theory,
  • instruction (verbal or performance),
  • practice (imitation or application of instructions; independent or guided).

In other words, mental training is the theory and practice of developing and improving the brain´s function and its mental and spiritual dispositions and processes. Its purpose is to increase functional effectiveness; and its goal is happiness in life, which is based on: both physical and spiritual health, on meaningfulness in life, and on personal fulfillment through joy and pleasure (blissfulness).

Brain jogging (i.e. brain gymnastics) and stress management (i.e. coping with stress) represent the starting point and framework for the four basic disciplines within the system of MMT. 

Whereas brain jogging and stress management are mainly founded in medical science, IQ-, MQ- and EQ-training stem from psychology,  and SQ-training takes on philosophy and mysticism.

The main areas of MMT, which, of course, overlap, are:

  1. Brain jogging - brain gymnastics and increasing brain reserves
  2. MQ- training - effectiveness of memory
  3. IQ- training - critical thinking and problem solving
  4. EQ- training - effectiveness of practical living
  5. SQ-training - development of spirituality
  6. Stress Management - coping with stress

Mental training is suitable for every age group since it contributes to cognitive fitness. It is specific with regard to different age levels and can be roughly divided into MMT for children, adults of economically productive age, and seniors. This training plays a special role within psychotherapy, reeducation, and rehabilitation in brain-impaired patients (see e.g. minimal brain dysfunction, Alzheimer´s disease and other forms of dementia or mental deterioration, etc.).

Ad 1) Brain jogging

When you physically work out, your brain also benefits. The whole somatic foundation of mental training forms a part of brain jogging, i.e. nutrition for the brain (brain-friendly diet: diet and nutrition feed our brain.), movement for the brain (physical activity), relaxation and healthy sleep patterns (to sleep, perchance to retain new information), and finally various psychophysical exercises, e.g. exercises of right or left brain hemispheres (the so-called hemispheric integration). Here we greatly draw upon Ayurveda.

Ad 2) MQ-training

The starting point of mental training is memory training. Memory is not a passive receptive machine – it is an organizer of information and encodes it. We could say that the mnestic function “holds everything together.” It takes part in the development of all other mental functions. The moment of information encoding is very important. Only encoded information is stored. Memory fixates on  a given state and is – figuratively speaking, using car and computer terminology – a chassis and motherboard where everything is stored.

Ad 3) IQ-training

Here we especially use the so-called brainteasers. Intelligence training has a long tradition and each concept stems from some theory of intelligence. MMT comes from the theories of Guilford and Gardner. Both theories also partially encompass areas which were later included under so-called emotional and spiritual intelligence. Our program of IQ-training focuses on intellect disregarding emotional and spiritual intelligence, which were placed in separate categories.

Understanding is one of the effects of intelligence. In our opinion, this includes four levels:

1) fixation (sensory acquirement; ability to remember and recall),
2) application (ability to put it into practice in real life),
3) explanation (ability to explain it to another man), and
4) creation (ability to create a new model, analogy and so on).

Ad 4) EQ-training

The concept of “emotional intelligence“ is often contrasted with cognitive intelligence even though it could easily be included under the category of intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligence.  Emotional intelligence represents   the sum of cognitive-emotional dispositions, which enable us to understand ourselves as well as others and act effectively in practical life. An individual with a high IQ can have a low EQ (emotional quotient) and may not achieve the same success in society as someone with high EQ.

The following can be regarded as examples of the building blocks of emotional competence:

ability to identify and understand one´s own feelings,
aility to influence and regulate one´s own feelings,
ability to express oneself (ability to experience and express emotions),
ability to identify and understand the feelings of others,
ability to influence and regulate the feelings of others and, finally,
ability to form attitudes towards one´s emotions (i.e. how to deal with them).
The above listed skills and abilities of emotional intelligence can be trained through various ways in order for an individual to become more emotionally aware and mature. In this context, greater social resources, as defined by social network and social engagement, are associated with a reduction in cognitive decline.

Ad 5) SQ-training

SQ (spiritual quotient) training consists of practicing spiritual or mystical activities. It contributes to the broadening of brain reserves in the areas of the highest mental and spiritual function.

Ad 6) Stress Management

Coping with stress depends on the ability to find meaning and balance in life, and on the condition of one´s health.  Stress adversely affects not only physical health, but also memory and brain function.

It manifests itself in the impairment of memory and brain function. Physically, we can observe headaches, sexual disorders, backache, fatigue, constipation or diarrhea, high blood pressure, impaired digestion, insomnia, anorexia or overeating, and so on. Emotional reactions to stress include depression, disappointment, anger, various fears, feelings of helplessness, irritability, impatience, etc. That is why it is necessary to eliminate stress.