First of all, practice makes perfect! Your brain is always active, no matter what you are doing, and the Mendi session helps you gain more control over that activity. Just like any other activity, this takes patience and practice.
Take physical weight training for example. If you just started to lift weights, you may have noticed that the first few times, the movement felt quite shaky and difficult. But after just a couple of weeks, many probably noticed dramatic improvements in both overall strength and an increased control of the movements. Is that because your muscles became a lot stronger in just a couple of weeks? It would be logical to assume so, but the real reason is simply that your brain started to gain more control of the movement, and as such, it only engaged those specific muscles that actually contribute to lifting the dumbbell, rather than activating all sorts of potentially competing muscles, contributing to the shaky movement.
It's a similar thing with your Mendi training: at first, you might see more seemingly random results, and it can feel hard to control the ball on the screen. Over time, however, you will start to see improvements and a greater sense of control. For most people, this process can take around 3-4 weeks, but for others, it takes a bit longer. The important thing is to keep training regularly.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that every Mendi session helps to make your brain more resilient, regardless of low scores in the game.
Here are some basic instructions on how to get the most out of your Mendi as a beginner:
- Sit, relax and focus on the ball - with an intention to move it upwards. The stars appear when more oxygenated blood is directed to your PFC - think of it as instant feedback for when "you're doing it right".
- Charge the headband with a USB A TO USB C charging cable for 4 hours (not C to C).
- A dim, preferably dark environment is ideal for the accurate signal reading, so make sure that you stay away from both sun and artificial lights.
- Clean the sensors with lightly damp cloth, let the headband dry fully before starting the session.
- Ensure that the headband sits firmly on your forehead, with no hair (or air) between the black part on the inside of your device and the skin.
- Try to concentrate on a particular sensation of pressure on your forehead and let it grow in intensity. Feel the point of contact between the Mendi and your forehead and focus on it.
- Most forms of mindfulness, like observing your breathing, focusing on your posture or even the weight of the phone can direct more oxygenated blood to your PFC.
- Focus on positive thoughts, recall the good things that have happened. Or think of someone who is dear to you, let this feeling permeate you as you focus on the ball.
- Aim at sustained and gradual increase in the blood flow. Soften your vision when looking at the ball and try not to get caught up in how "well" you're doing.
- Lastly, like with most other things, practice makes perfect! Your brain is always active, no matter what you are doing - Mendi session helps you gain more control over this activity.
Bonus tip: try running a short Mendi session before an activity (like reading, work, sports) and observe how it affects your performance/sharpness.
Remember that, with Mendi you are effectively practicing controlling your thoughts by focusing them on something specific for a short duration of time. The long term goal is to gain more control over this process and unlock the brain health benefits that come with it. You can think of it as a form of meditation, with live visual feedback - where instead of wondering whether you’re doing it right Mendi can show it to you.