Try new things. Novelty stimulates the brain, so being open to new experiences is important to boosting your intelligence. New experiences tend to increase neural activity in the brain, which can help improve intelligence over time.
- Be open in your day-to-day life. If a coworker invites you to see a band you’ve never heard, go. If you have an opportunity to take a trip to a place you’ve never been, take it.
- Build a new hobby or skill. Teach yourself to crochet. Enroll in an art class at a local community center. Start a sewing project.
- Spend time exposing yourself to new information as well. Read an article on a topic that interests you. Go to a museum. Watch a documentary.
Challenge yourself constantly. Intelligent people do not settle. When you’ve mastered a particular skill, challenge yourself further. Keep pushing to the next level, as this will force your brain to work harder. This can expand your intelligence overall.
- Brains use a lot of energy during training. While you’re attempting to learn something, you are challenging your brain to make connections and learn new things. Once you’ve mastered a skill, this cognitive growth slows. In order to increase your intelligence, you should keep pushing yourself for a higher level of mastery.
- For example, say you play a musical instrument. You work hard for a few weeks to learn a new song, and eventually master it. Do not stop here. Challenge yourself by choosing a new, more difficult song. This will put your brain back into training mode, allowing for cognitive growth.
Eliminate certain conveniences. While things like GPS and spellcheck are great conveniences, an over reliance on them means you’re not pushing yourself to build certain skills. Cutting out GPS for a few weeks can teach you how to find locations by logic and memory. Turning off the spellcheck function on your computer can help you think while you’re writing.
- Try cutting shortcuts on occasion. There are times, of course, where it makes more sense to use a short cut. A paper you turn in for a grade in school, for example, should be spell checked carefully. However, you could stand to go without spell check when chatting online with a friend.
- Your brain needs exercise to grow. If you want to increase your intelligence, make efforts to challenge your brain during daily activities by eliminating conveniences and shortcuts. Think of this as the mental equivalent of taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
- For an extra brain boost, turn the spellcheck function back on after you have finished your document and use it to go through your document after you have caught everything you can. Then write down the words you didn’t catch so you can learn how to spell the words you missed. This will help you learn, which will help with giving your intelligence a boost.
Network with other people. Learning through others is a great way to boost your intelligence. The smartest people are open to learning from those around them. Work on reaching out to other people and asking them for their input and thoughts on a variety of subjects.
- Use social media to your advantage. Post an article on a scientific study and ask people for their thoughts. Chime in when you see a discussion occurring on a topical event on a Facebook thread. Take a sincere interest in other people’s responses and input.
- Try to look for people outside your immediate field. If you work in tech, for example, go to a poetry reading and chat up the poet afterwards. You can learn a lot, and increase your overall intelligence, by learning about many different
Engaging in the Right Activities
Play an instrument.
Creativity, language, math, and analytical skills can improve if you play an instrument. If you already play an instrument, make an effort to practice it every day. If you do not play an instrument, look into taking lessons.
- Instruments can be expensive, but you may be able to find cheap secondhand instruments online. See if you can find an instructor in your area who gives lessons. If that’s not within your budget, you may be able to find free or cheap lessons online.
- Get on a regular schedule. Incorporate practice into your daily routine, as you incorporate things like brushing your teeth and showering.
- You will challenge yourself more if you try to learn new challenging songs than if you play songs that you have already mastered. Try to work on learning new music all of the time in addition to your regular practice sessions.
Read regularly. Reading is among the best means of increasing your overall intelligence. In addition to gaining higher intelligence overall, you can gain higher emotional intelligence by reading books.
- Keep a book on you at all times. Read a book on the train on your way to work. Read during your lunch break.
- Try to read before bed every night. In addition to helping your intelligence, reading before bed can help you sleep better.
Do puzzles. Studies indicate that puzzles, like Sudoku and crossword puzzles, may have an effect on intelligence. You can also do physical puzzles, like jigsaw puzzles. Think of this as a workout for your brain.
- However, make sure to challenge yourself. Remember, your intelligence grows the most in training mode. After mastering a certain type of game, move on to the next one.
- For example, you can start with crossword puzzles for beginners. If you reach a point where you can easily solve beginner’s puzzles, buy a book of higher level crossword puzzles.
Practice meditation. Meditation can help you cultivate a certain state of mind. You can, for example, focus on compassionate thoughts when meditating, which can make you a more compassionate person overall. Regular meditation can increase your level of mental control, helping with overall intelligence.
- You can try taking a meditation class if you’re new to meditation. You can also look for guided meditation techniques online.
- Many people struggle with meditation initially, so don’t get discouraged if you feel awkward and uncomfortable at first. It will take a few weeks of regular meditation before you get used to meditating.
Study a second language. Learning a new language can help improve your memory, and may help with overall cognitive reasoning. If you don’t speak a second language, look into studying one.
- You can take classes online from a variety of universities. This will cost some money, however. You can try language learning software if a class is not within your budget.
- Try to expose yourself to a new language as you study. Watch television shows and movies in the language you’re studying. If you know anyone who speaks the language, ask them to practice with you.
Changing Your Lifestyle
Exercise. Things like memory and attention span can increase with regular exercise. While the precise reason for this is not known, it may have something to do with exercise increasing the amount of oxygen in the brain. Get on a regular exercise schedule, as this may increase your intelligence overall.
- Choose an activity you like, as you’ll be more likely to stick to it. If you enjoy long walks, for example, you can work on walking regularly.
- Go slowly. You should always ease into a new exercise routine to avoid injury. Talk to your physician before beginning a new workout routine.
- Try exercising first thing in the morning to help clear your mind and prepare your mind to learn new things during the day.
Eat right. Some studies indicate a quality diet is linked to higher intelligence. Work on getting a lot of healthy fruits, grains, and vegetables and stay away from processed foods and foods high in saturated fats.
- Omega 3 fatty acids can potentially boost intelligence. These are found in foods like salmon, walnut, and kiwis.
- Folic acid, found in spinach, orange juice, and yeast, are also important to brain functioning.
- Junk food and fast food may have a negative effect on your brain’s functioning. Work on cutting out these kinds of food from your diet.
Improve your sleep. Sleep may have an impact on intelligence. Work on getting 7 to 8 hours of quality sleep each night.
- Avoid stimulants, like coffee and nicotine, close to bedtime. You should also stay away from any food that could potentially upset your stomach.
- Find a relaxing bedtime ritual. If you engage in the same routine every night, your brain will learn to associate this with sleep. Do not do something stimulating, like going for a run. Instead, read a book or have a cup of tea.
- Make sure you associate your bed with sleep. If you read, watch television, or listen to music in bed, you may have difficulty falling asleep at night.
Manage stress. High stress levels can damage your memory over time, so managing your stress is important for optimal brain function. Try to incorporate some stress relieving activities into your daily routine to keep your stress levels under control. Some good options include:
- Deep breathing exercises
- Progressive muscle relaxation
Get checked for underlying conditions. There are some health conditions that can affect your memory and mental functioning, so you might want to see your doctor if you have noticed changes in your cognitive function. Some things that might have an effect on your thinking and memory include:
- Heart disease
- Hormone imbalances
- A side effect of a medication