Who does not want to be smarter? Likely no one, as the ability to better navigate the world has immeasurable benefits. While most people think that intelligence gets fixed at birth, that is not necessarily so. Scientists today believe we can grow our IQ via a set of specific actions, unlocking our brain’s full potential.
To better understand how we can do this, we first have to know that there are two general types of intelligence, fluid and crystallized. The first is the ability to think abstractly, to deduce patterns instinctually, while the latter refers to the accumulation of information. Usually, as we age, fluid intelligence decreases while crystalized increases. That makes sense, as cognitive abilities decline as time passes, and we acquire more knowledge with more years on this earth.
Thus, to become sharper, you not only have to read books but stimulate your mind to act faster, recognize things better, as well as providing it with adequate conditions that foster such growth. Below we supply a few techniques that will help you boost your brain-building potential.
Play Cognitive Games
There are hundreds of studies out there that prove that nothing exercises the mind better than challenging games that make you think. Data indicates that Tetris thickness the brain’s cerebral cortex, while chess helps improve mathematical aptitude in children. Puzzles ward off dementia, and most board games develop logical thinking, cooperation skills, planning, and reflective thinking. Even card counting in blackjack helps improve memory and enhances pattern recognition. Nowadays, you can play live blackjack online, and there are hundreds of puzzle apps that will boost your brain. Google Play and Apple house quality ones like Lumosity, Peak, and Elevate.
The mechanism behind how games make you smarter is simple. They force you to think fast and resourcefully. Even video ones that involve 3D maps upgrade spatial awareness and reaction time. They also increase focus and multi-tasking, the speed with which players adapt to changes. Those elements are also a form of human intelligence.
Physical exercise has a myriad of benefits. One is that it is outstanding for your brain. The neuroscience on that is clear. In 2009, a Swedish study showed that quality cardiovascular fitness in young adulthood correlates with better cognition, particularly verbal skills. That cardiovascular-fitness changes between fifteen and eighteen years old can predict cognitive performance, educational achievements in adulthood. In contrast, muscle strength does not affect cognitive skills, per the Swedish study.
Increased blood to the brain supplies it with the oxygen and nutrients necessary for proper cognitive function. Thus, a daily jog can help clear your mind and make it sharper in tackling mental challenges.
Learn to Play a Musical Instrument
In the past decade, neuroscientists have taken a greater interest in music and how it affects the brain. German neuropsychologist Lutz Jäncke believes that learning how to play musical instruments drives brain plasticity. It influences its structural and functional flexibility. Canadian composer Glenn Schellenberg noticed that children enrolled in music classes have a higher IQ when compared with those who have no such training. Music seems to lead to enhancements in verbal memory in kids, but not in any visual skill.
General areas of the brain involved in musical expertise are the auditory cortex, the motor cortex, and the cerebellum. These display specific functional and anatomical characteristics in professional musicians when compare to laypeople. Learning how to play a musical instrument can boost your IQ level by about seven points and help you attain skills that transfer over to an increased grasp of language and intelligence in general.
Per research conducted by Siegfried Othmer, chief scientist at the neurofeedback division of the EGG Institute, people who meditate have an average IQ gain of 23%. One of the main reasons this happens is that deep meditation slows brain activity, providing it rest, helping it reorganize itself.
Several other studies confirm these findings. They state that as little as meditating twenty minutes per day lowers stress levels, boosts mood, and improves deep cognitive efficiency. That is core to fluid intelligence. A 2019 research used randomized subjects, non-experienced meditators, for an eight-week period where they listed to a daily thirteen-minute guided meditation session. Its findings showed that the effects of the daily meditation practice included enhanced attention, a decreased negative mood state, and better recognition memory.
To Sum Up
Yes, genes play a role in intelligence, but stimulating your brain to learn new things and problem solve can help you get smarter. You also have to provide sufficient conditions so that it can grow. That includes frequent exercises, getting enough sleep, proper nutrition, avoiding stress, continuous learning, and socialization. The latter is super-important, particularly relating to the elderly. Looking to stay physically active and mentally curious is crucial for enhancing and maintaining your intelligence over time.
About the Author
Shelly Schiff has been working in the gambling industry since 2009, mainly on the digital side of things, employed by OnlineUnitedStatesCasinos.com. However, over her eleven-year career, Shelly has provided content for many other top interactive gaming websites. She knows all there is to know about slots and has in-depth knowledge of the most popular table games. Her golden retriever Garry occupies most of her leisure time. Though, when she can, she loves reading Jim Thompson-like crime novels.