Have you ever done one of those online IQ tests or intelligence tests?
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If you’ve ever re-taken the same test, you may have noticed it’s pretty easy to score higher once you’ve played the ‘game’ a few times.
Intelligence isn’t a number we’re handed at birth in an envelope.
There are various kinds of intelligence and some malleability to it.
Improving our intelligence requires understanding the game and forming good intelligence-boosting habits.
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Here are some habits that raise your general intelligence:
Sleeping more than 7 hours per night.
Enough studies have been done to drill the point home that if you don’t get your Zs in each night, you become stupider.
Do what you can to get those 7–9 hours daily.
Head to pillow is time well spent when your mood, creativity and mental acuity multiply in your waking hours.
Spend at least 10 minutes learning something new.
Your brain won’t develop new pathways if you continually do the same old things and never stretch or learn.
Find something you’re curious to know and make that commitment.
It could be extra-curricular, like learning the guitar, Thai cooking or another language, or you could deepen your knowledge in your chosen field.
I’m not going to refer to the ongoing studies done on the benefits of fasting.
You only need to stop eating for a few hours to know what this does to your mental clarity.
Your energy will spike, and your thinking will clear. Plus, it’s good for your waste line.
Consult a doctor before trying this if you’re unsure, and take small steps.
You might surprise yourself with the power of intermittent fasting.
I get it. Enough gurus are harping on about why you need to meditate.
But it becomes a lot easier to actually commit to this every day when you realise what it does for your brain, sense of peace, and general performance.
A mind that is less reactive to stimulus, and therefore more resilient, is an intelligent mind.
While everyone’s running around like a chimpanzee on crack, trying to compensate for being ‘snowed under’ and doing several things at once, you’re unique.
You’re focused on one thing at a time, with full engagement.
You literally become dumber when you multitask.
The stereotypes are true. Clever people are readers.
You’ll not only gain more knowledge, accumulate new creative connections, and boost your understanding of the world, but you’ll train yourself to concentrate.
This is a huge advantage in a short-attention-spanned society addicted to scrolling cringe vids on TikTok.
I know, I know. It’s another one you’ve heard before.
But I can’t be writing a list on intelligence without bringing in regular exercise.
Lifting weights, cardio and walking have documented positive effects, not only on mood but on real cognitive ability.
Unlike what many think, you won’t become a meathead dummy in the gym.
You will live longer, feel better and bump your IQ.
Create a distraction-free environment.
If you’re lucky enough to have your own dedicated working space, make it a joy to be there.
Improve the lighting, add some plants and get freaky with the Feng Shui.
Once you’ve done this, pay close attention to all the crap that can get in to distract you, whether it’s email pings or pestering pets, and be ruthless.
This is how you refine your focus and become a brainiac.
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Puzzles are back in vogue.
There are all kinds of nifty games out there, whether it’s crosswords or brain-teasers, that will literally train your brain to be sharper and more versatile.
Who said working out your brain needed to be dull?
Get your face in the sun.
We’ve been told for too long that the sun is something to run from, and it’s turning us all into pasty zombies. You’ll be dumber too.
Get that vitamin D from those glorious rays, and supplement it if you don’t get much.
Vitamin D and simply being outdoors and in touch with nature is an intelligence hack.
See you on the other side, Einstein.
Contributed by Alex Mathers