24 Ways to Keep Your Brain SharpWhen it comes to your sales—and pretty much everything else in your life—your brain is your most valuable asset. So it makes sense to do as much as you can to protect it.

And it needs protection. The challenges of modern life mean our brains are under assault every day. The enemies of the brain include:

• Stress
• Poor nutrition
• Lack of sleep
• Smoking
• Routine

Many—if not most—of us in sales and business struggle with one or more of these challenges every day. And if unaddressed, they can lead to poor daily performance and long-term mental decline.

The good news is that researchers in the field of neuroscience have learned a lot about the brain in recent years. And their discoveries enable us to be proactive in safeguarding—and even strengthening—our brains. Beyond the physical basics—get more sleep, eat healthy, stop smoking, exercise—there are myriad ways to bolster your brain.

Scientists have found that engaging in new activities and novel experiences stimulates the creation of new neurons and new neural connections—known as “neuroplasticity.” So the more you can do to keep your brain on its toes—so to speak—the better for its health.

With that in mind, here are 24 ways you can stimulate your brain on a regular basis.

1. Read

2. Take a class

3. Learn a language

4. Play a musical instrument

5. Do puzzles
• Crossword
• Sudoku
• Cryptogram
• Rebus
• Brain teasers

6. Engage in some form of art
• Drawing
• Painting
• Sculpting
• Photography

7. Take up a craft
• Sewing
• Knitting
• Crocheting
• Needlepoint
• Quilting

8. Write
• Fiction
• Non-Fiction
• Poetry
• Journaling

9. Play strategy games
• Chess
• Checkers
• Backgammon
• Go
• Bridge
• Mancala
• Othello
• Risk
• Stratego
• Clue
• Jenga
• Qwirkle
• Catan

10. Play word games
• Scrabble
• UpWords
• Boggle
• Scattergories
• Bananagrams

11. Play trivia games

12. Take dance lessons

13. Train in a martial art

14. Try new foods and cuisines

15. Cook or bake

16. Use your non-dominant hand for ordinary tasks

17. Take new routes to familiar destinations

18. Rearrange, reorganize, or redecorate your home or office

19. Travel—preferably to places you’ve never been

20. Strengthen and expand your social networks

21. Try a new hobby

22. Attend conferences, sales training seminars, and workshops

23. Volunteer

24. Meditate

The proven benefits to these kinds of brain challenges are many and varied, including:

• better memory
• increased focus and concentration
• more positive mood
• reduced stress
• higher productivity
• enhanced creativity
• improved problem-solving
• stronger motivation
• faster reaction time
• greater self-confidence

And as an added bonus, many of these activities involve other people, giving you an opportunity to improve your relationships with friends and family.

You only have one brain. Take care of it. Employ as many of the above strategies as possible as frequently as possible. Your sales, your business, your friends, and your family will all thank you for it.