6 Introduce Novelty

We wouldn't recommend trying all these things on the same morning, but do incorporate one or two of the following:

•Vary the order in which you do your normal routine (e.g., get dressed after breakfast).

• If a bagel and coffee is your daily fare, try something else like hot oatmeal and herbal tea.

• Change the setting on your radio alarm or tune into a morning TV program you never watch. Sesame Street, for example, may arouse the brain to notice how much of what you take for granted is explored in depth by children.

•Walk the dog on a new route. (Yes, you can teach old dogs new tricks.)

^ Brain imaging studies show that novel tasks activate large areas of the cortex, indicating increased levels of brain activity in several distinct areas. This activity declined when the task had become routine and automatic. Much greater "brain power" is exertedfor novel verses automatic (rote) tasks.

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