Contrary to popular belief your intelligence quotient (IQ) is not genetically set in stone. While you definitely have some predisposed levels of intelligence there are a variety of ways you can improve your overall intellect with a little commitment and persistence. Your IQ score is more closely related to your ability to recognize patterns and manage life’s many challenges, so a little practice makes perfect! Here are some of the more well-known tips on how to increase your IQ:
Focus on Health and Wellness
Health and wellness plays a huge role in overall intelligence levels. Concepts related to health and wellness include regular exercise, proper nutrition, limiting the intake of drugs and alcohol, getting enough rest, and the development of a mindfulness practice. Here are a few more reasons why each piece is important:
- Physical Exercise: Exercising for just 20 minutes each day can have a profound effect on your IQ. Exercise increases blood flow and oxygenation to the brain which promotes strong mental health. Exercises like running, walking, hiking, and yoga are all great options for getting your recommended dose.
- Balanced Diet: A balanced diet ensures you maintain a high energy level throughout the day keeping you alert and prepared for new challenges. You should be very intentional about the types of food included in your diet. Your brain requires certain nutrients to function at its highest level. These “brain foods” include items like fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and carbohydrates.
- Reducing Drug & Alcohol: It’s no secret that drugs and alcohol can be harmful to the body. Smoking has been linked to long-term decline in memory and heavy alcohol consumption has a similar effect. It’s best to consume in moderation.
- Adequate Rest: Lack of sleep can dramatically reduce a person’s mental capacity. Skills like problem-solving, reaction time and memory are all impaired without adequate rest. These skills are needed to perform some of the other functions that contribute to an improved IQ so it’s best not to skimp on rest.
- Mindfulness Practice: Mindfulness has long-term benefits for overall health, but it also impacts IQ. A mindfulness practice can help you stay alert and concentrated and will also help you think critically in calm conditions.
Foster New Friendships
Have you ever heard the saying “birds of a feather flock together?” This phrase rings true especially when it comes to IQ. If you regularly engage in stimulating conversations with others you are bound to pick up some fresh perspectives and ideas. Similarly, if you hang out with a crowd that has a high intellect you’ll be more engaged and open to learning. You’ll garner new experiences which will help with your overall development and will keep your mind-expanding in a positive direction.
Learn New Things
If you want to improve your IQ, it’s a good idea to regularly expose your brain to new challenges. Learning a new skill improves the plasticity of your brain and can have an impact on IQ as well as your overall happiness and fulfillment. Suggestions for new skills include personal finance, a new language, a musical instrument, or activities like computer programming and mechanics work. Math and science-related activities are known to have the most profound effect on IQ.
Play Educational Games
Educational games can be very beneficial to improving your IQ. You’ll need to be selective when it comes to choosing games and activities. Opt for games that require the learning of an intense set of rules, involve some strategic thinking, or require complex navigation. These games offer the most intense benefits when it comes to brain power.
Spend Time Reading
Reading has a tremendously positive effect on brain power. Through the reading process, you’ll have to piece together sentences, learn new vocabulary, and focus on your visualization. Each of these skills has long-term cognitive benefits. Challenge yourself to read at least one book a month altering genres and the level of difficulty. You’ll be amazed at the impact.
These are just a few of the many ways you can improve your IQ. Brain health relies on routine practice and exercise just like many other facets of your life. The overarching lesson is that IQ is not as genetic as we’ve been predisposed to believe. There are definitely steps you can take to up your IQ. Enjoy the journey!