When you think of developing your intelligence further, your brain may present you with images of lecture halls or stacks of books, however that’s not all there is to expanding your mental abilities. There are a few extra approaches you can try in order to stimulate your mind and improve your overall intelligence.
Broadening your Horizons
By opening up your options and allowing yourself to experience new things, you’ll create additional neural pathways within your brain and strengthen it overtime.
This can be easily accomplished by simply visiting a new place, even if it’s just taking a new route to your workplace. When we follow the same routine day in day out, we become comfortable and develop habits. By knowing what to expect, our brains are not open to unfamiliar scenarios, meaning it is not stimulated through challenging adjustments.
Ever wonder why kids are introduced to painting and coloring in pre-school? It’s not just for fun. Creative activities can help the mind open up to envision new possibilities while imagining new, effective problem solving techniques.
Those with an artistic predisposition are often known for their ability to draw inspiration from all manner of things when the need arises, as well as exhibiting an air of confidence that can help in day to day life, whether used in a fun or business environment.
Creativity is a key trait of innovative thinkers, so try to incorporate a little artistic license into even the most menial tasks. Not only will this approach enhance your brain, it may also make tedious chores seem a little more entertaining.
Reading for Pleasure
Reading to enhance your brain doesn’t have to mean perusing textbooks. Even reading your favorite fiction or poetry will help your brain explore new pathways and create connections, stimulating your imagination in the process. To put it simply, your brain is translating the words into images in your mind. It can also help to increase your vocabulary and provide your brain with examples of correct grammar usage, helping you become a better reader and writer.
Training your Brain
From smartphone apps to console games, brain training is commonly used by kids and adults alike in order to increase cognitive ability.
Sites like Lumosity are free to use and provide games and puzzles that are designed to increase your brain’s neuroplasticity, helping it make new connections and think at a faster rate.
Continuing your Education
While it may be traditional, it’s never too late to continue your education. Most college will happily accept students of any age, providing the applicant has all the prerequisites.
If the traditional college route isn’t for you, try taking a few online classes or local creative workshops, which are often affordable and open to all. You’ll learn something new and boost your social life, leading to enriching new experiences.
In addition, there are a few more surprising aspects of your daily life that can contribute to your brain power…
Have you ever wondered if the items of clothing you own could be influencing your intelligence? It turns out, they can!
A ‘Stroop test’ was conducted on participants, during which half of them wore lab coats and half did not, while their mental performance was tested. The results showed that the participants wearing lab coats made over 50% less mistakes than those who weren’t.
To ensure it wasn’t a coincidence, another test was conducted in which participants were shown images and instructed to find the differences. All participants were required to wear identical white coats, however half were told they were wearing lab coats while the other half were told they were wearing painters’ coats. Surely enough, despite being the same coats, the ‘lab coats’ team scored significantly higher results. As a result, it’s clear that believing we’re smarter can help us come off as smarter when challenged, so try dressing like the smart, motivated individual you’d love to be.Negativity
No matter how you feel in the workplace, chances are your mental abilities will become affected by your mood. Surprisingly, the happiest workers often have lower rates of performance, with employees who are often labelled ‘grumpy’ may actually be the most productive.
This has been suggested through multiple studies, with Joe Forgas, an Australian researcher explaining that feelings of sadness can promote ‘information processing strategies’ that can help the person cope well with demanding situations or projects.
Forgas’ study involved the screening of depressing videos to employees. Those who watched the films were discovered to make less mistakes when tested on arithmetic and were found to have better general judgement.
And while it isn’t recommended you use them, you may be shocked to discover the effects of these negative elements:
Researchers in Australia have concluded that using transcranial direct current stimulation to deliver electric currents into the brain can effectively supercharge its ability.
Participants in the study were found to be up to three times more able to solve complex problems after experiencing fairly weak electrical signals than they were before the technique was applied.
It would certainly be an inconvenience to repeatedly endure electric shocks, however that isn’t necessary. Participants were found to retain these improved skills for approximately six months after the original treatment! If you regularly utilize the above tools (perhaps with the exception of the final two) for broadening your mind and furthering your intelligence, you’ll likely notice a significant change in your cognitive ability. There’s nothing to prevent you from at least giving them a try, so get started today and keep working on those puzzles.