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10 things to keep your mind fresh for business

Keeping your mind sharp and active can reduce stress and improve information recall, giving you an edge in your business life.  Here are 10 ways you can keep your mind sharp and active. 

1. Physical activity

This one is obvious, the challenge with this basic lifestyle addition is dedicating time to actually doing it. Studies have shown that daily exercise improves your physical and mental health.  Realize that it is important and you must dedicate time to doing it.  You can notice the difference in your mental capabilities within a month of daily exercise.  Keep it up!  To avoid repetition and boredom, switch up your exercise regime and don't be afraid to change it up on the fly.  The most important factor here is that you get some form of exercise in every day.  Set goals for yourself and make sure you keep setting the bar a little higher as you meet or beat your goals.  This will produce another benefit that is great for business... confidence

2. Green Thumb

10 things to keep your mind fresh for business

Ever wondered why you see plants in lobbies and office spaces? Because they really boost our working capacity and overall mood. Plants not only absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, they also remove toxins from the air.  They make the air fresher and cleaner and have a positive visual effect which improves mood. Ask your employer to invest in some plants for the office or, in the event you work from home, invest in some plants of your own and make your workspace greener and brain friendly.

3. Sleep

10 things to keep your mind fresh for business

Even though you may hear some successful business entrepreneurs say they only need 3 or 4 hours of sleep a night, research shows that our brains need adequate time to truly rest (and reboot) and that only happens during deep sleep.  Deep sleep typically occurs during 7 to 9 hours of sleep and is more achievable when you maintain a fairly strict sleep schedule, which means falling asleep and waking at the same time each 24 hour period.  There is also a lot of research that proves lack of sleep causes a number of health issues.  A well rested brain will help keep your mind sharp and your body healthy.  

4. Chatting & Laughing

10 things to keep your mind fresh for business

Pleasant conversations with co-workers and clients create a positive work environment and reduce stress.   If you have ever been stressed over a project deadline or a problem that doesn't seem solvable and received a random phone call from a pleasant client, or had a co-worker stop in and tell you a funny story, you know what I am talking about.  A break in tension provides the opportunity for your brain to relax and refocus.  Exactly what is needed for new thoughts and perspectives which can usually aid in problem-solving.

5. Eat Healthy

Sugar and trans fat can leave you feeling mentally foggy and even anxious.  Foods high in nutrients supply the building blocks for neurotransmitters (brain food).  Fatty fish, eggs, avocado, berries, kale and other vegetables are just a few foods you should try to consume every day.  Even if you hate cooking, there are a lot of restaurants that have a "healthy" section on their menu these days.  If you like cooking, there are millions of healthy recipes on the web.  Try to eat at least one healthy meal a day, but the more the better. 

6. Make Time For Your Hobbies/Crafts

There are a lot of people that are "too busy" for their beloved hobbies/crafts.  Just as you should dedicate time to exercise, you should also make time for the hobby or craft you love to do.  It is an awesome stress reliever, as it allows your brain to relax and experience joy while you are doing something you love to do. Added benefit:  I happen to know a lot of people who have turned their hobby or craft into an additional source of income! Winning :)

7. Find a Hobby/Craft

10 things to keep your mind fresh for business

You don't have a hobby or craft that you love to do?  Find one!  You know your own bents, so find a hobby or craft that appeals to you and fall in love with it (and then re-read paragraph 6.)   If you need some ideas or inspiration, turn to the web!  While you are browsing, there's a ton of jars, bottles and other containers that can be used for a craft to choose from at GlassBottleOutlet.

8. Read/Listen to Opposing Views

Have you ever read an article, listened to a talk show, or watched a tv show where the opinion is the polar opposite of your own and your blood pressure starts to rise, your eye starts to twitch, your knuckles turn white, and you start screaming?  Well, that's not what I'm talking about.  However, reading or listening to opposing viewpoints is actually good for your brain.  It causes you to focus on an issue, contemplate it, and formulate arguments for an alternative viewpoint.  All of that stimulates the brain.  You may want to steer clear of this brain exercise if it becomes hazardous to your health or the health of others. 

9. Learn Something New

Each day is an amazing opportunity to learn something new, and in the age of the web, you can find anything you are looking for by typing keywords into a search engine. Everyone has something they always wanted to learn but never got around to learning it. On the top of most people's list... a new language, which is perfect for stimulating your brain cells.  Go for it!  Find your resources and make the time. 

10. Write it Down!

Writing things down in your own handwriting (no typed notes or using apps on your phone!) does wonders for your brain.  Speaking of smartphones, depending on them is actually making your brain lazy, stop it!  Make lists, document important phone calls, make a record of your goals and vacation plans, create a mini date/address book, or journal your thoughts every day The important brain exercise (stimulation) here is the act of writing down, whatever it may be, in your own handwriting.  For older and/or extremely busy people, it is an exercise that helps with memory and retention of information as well.