Although the ability to come up with brilliant and creative ideas all the time can seem innate, it is not. Though there might be some elements of nature to this ability; it is for the most part, a product of nurture. This means creative thinking is mostly enhanced by external forces, and is not necessarily based on genetics or natural ability.

Though not all the world’s most successful entrepreneurs passed through the walls of a college, they all had brilliant minds that churned out creative ideas continuously and consistently. And the only way to be successful like them is to strengthen your brain’s ability to create brilliant ideas that are not just workable, but unique. Here are six tips for improving your creativity, especially as regards business.

6 Awesome Ways to Strengthen Your Brain Power and Be Creative

1. Stay positive

While negative moods can sometimes spur creativity, many research studies have revealed that our best creative work is done when we are in a positive mood. Being in a positive mood creates a feeling of optimism, which helps you picture the positive aspect of every bad situation. Seeing the positive aspect of a bad situation makes you brainstorm harder for ideas on how to transform or better the bad situation. And that’s what creativity entails.

To keep yourself in a positive state of mind, you need to use proven mood boosters, such as recalling good memories and envisioning a bright future. This will influence your mood and keep it in a positive state.

2. Restrict yourself

By nature, we tend to tread the path of least mental resistance or the least challenging path, building on ideas that we or someone else already created and using resources at hand. While choosing the easiest option all the time might sound like freedom, it does not help in increasing creativity. What really boosts creative thinking is placing self-imposed limitations and trying to achieve the same results as we did without the limitations, or even more.

For example, if a task usually takes you two hours to complete, you may try to complete the same task 45 minutes or less without being careless. Though you might have to spend up to one hour on the task; the truth is that you would have practically forced your brain to figure out a new way to complete the same task in half the time you usually spend on it.

3. Re-conceptualize problems

When faced with any problem, creative people tend to re-conceptualize it more often than their less creative counterparts do. That is, rather than implementing the same old approach to solving a problem, they analyze the problem from different perspectives to see if there could be a better approach to solving it.

So, if you find yourself battling with a generic problem, try to re-conceptualize it by focusing on a specific and more meaningful angle—a seemingly smaller aspect of the problem whose solution would have solved the whole problem.

4. Think wide about everything you see

Though this might sound crazy, but thinking wide about everything you see can significantly boost your brain’s ability to produce great ideas consistently. It does not matter whether you’re in your backyard or on the train.

For example, if you see hundreds of little ants in your backyard trying to carry a dead cockroach into their hole, don’t disrupt their situation (since ants aren’t harmful). Instead, think about how you can learn from what the ants are doing, and how you can apply whatever you learn to your life or business.

5. Think about others

Another proven way to enhance your creativity is to constantly think about how other people related to you or your business. For example, one research study found that people who knew their work would be used by someone else came up with better ideas (probably in a bid to impress that person who will eventually use the idea). Conversely, those who were told that they would be using their own ideas themselves came up with less impressive ideas (probably because there is no one to impress).

6. Exercise regularly

The brain is the center of brainstorming and creative thinking. And like other parts of your body, it benefits a lot from constant exercise. Researchers have found that regular exercise can improve our ability to think creatively and come up quickly with brand new effective ways to solve problems. So, try to engage in physical exercise regularly.

In addition, engaging in mental exercise (such as playing puzzles, trying to memorize new things, and so on) can also boost creativity.