Intelligence is not just based on genetics. Like all parts of the human body, the more you exercise the brain, the stronger it becomes. You can improve your intelligence by undertaking regular mental exercises that are designed to boost your brain power. These activities will help to build new neural pathways, leading you to quicker thinking, greater logic, and the ability to solve complex problems and understand abstract ideas.
There are simple, day to day routines you can employ to boost your brain power and keep your mind alert and focused. For example, wear your watch on the opposite wrist – once it becomes habit to check it there, switch it again. Something silly like walking through your house while wearing a blindfold can be a fun, quick way of stimulating unused parts of your brain. Adding some of these brain-stimulating hobbies to your day will quickly boost your intelligence:
Sudoku is a Japanese number puzzle that has recently become very popular in the West and is now found in most major newspapers worldwide. The game exercises the puzzlers’ patience, pattern recognition, logic, and the ability to reflect on incorrect answers. Studies have shown that working on a Sudoku puzzle fires nerves in the brain that aren’t often triggered. This results in a slowing of the aging process and can help to maintain or improve intelligence!
While sitting on the couch and watching sport on television is a mildly good way to keep the brain active, the best thing you can do is get up, get out, and play it! Participating in a team sport is a great way to get your heart-rate up while using strategy and logic. The increased circulation will feed more oxygen to your brain, which is essential in creating and maintaining brain cells. The benefits of team sports such as social interaction, adrenaline, and stress-relief, all improve cognitive ability and logical thinking.
For those are better at one-on-one activities, chess is a perfect way to flex your logic muscles. Computerized chess players are fine but for the maximum benefit to your intelligence, try to play with a fellow human. You’ll exercise your intuition and learn to pick up on body language, too.
Additionally, logic games such as riddles and thought experiments are a fun way to challenge your creative thinking (despite their name, they require quite a bit of effort from the left hemisphere of your brain)! To take it further, research more “abstract” concepts like philosophy and get your brain stuck into the meaning of life. The most important thing is to keep your learning curve high. The moment something becomes a dull, unchallenged routine, it’s time to move on to something new!
Strangely, the silencing of the mind experienced in meditation can actually improve reasoning and logical thinking. Studies have shown that those who take up daily meditation benefit from at least a few points of increased intelligence after a month, and even more in the long-run. To begin meditation, find a quiet, private spot where you can sit and lay down comfortably (don’t do it in bed, or you’ll probably fall asleep!). Begin by becoming aware of your body and how it feels. Start to focus on your breath and count each inhalation and exhalation up to 9. Begin again at 1. It’s harder than it sounds! As well as being relaxing and a great stress reliever, meditation is the ultimate workout in concentration, focus, and patience.
Netflix enthusiast, horrible speller, jiujitsu hobbyist, weekend drinker, and occasional poker player. Favorite quote is “[o]ut of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”