With all the hustle and bustle of modern life and so many of us just going through the motions on a day-to-day basis, it can be difficult to identify areas in which we can improve our intelligence after finishing our education. This is especially true with millennials that are stuck in monotonous or menial jobs that require little to no thinking whatsoever. However, there are actually a plethora of techniques one can use in order to get their life back on track and increase their intelligence in the process.
1. Create a Brief List With up to 10 Ideas
These don’t necessarily have to be groundbreaking or brand new concepts. Just a simple list of concepts or ideas that you haven’t yet taken the time to consider will suffice.
2. Watch Educational Material Instead of State Network TV
There are plenty of options available, ranging all the way from kindergarten and preschool-level education to adult ed. Sites like watchknowlearn.org and teachertube.com offer great online videos that are free for anyone to watch. As far as traditional television channels, PBS usually offers great educational programming.
3.. Establish a Daily Schedule and Stick to It
Yes, this means going to bed at the same time each night and waking up early in the morning. It can be difficult to establish such a schedule, especially if you are unemployed or free of responsibilities. However, sticking to a set schedule such as this is paramount to keeping your body and brain healthy, fresh and open to learning new ideas.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
If you are stuck coming up with an answer or solution to something, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for help. Moreover, make sure to repeat and review any new information you’ve learned. This form of repetitive learning can work wonders when trying to understand and retain new concepts.
5. Reach Beyond Your Comfort Zone
A pair of psychologists actually established, way back in 1908, that one’s individual performance and productivity can typically be increased by achieving a level of optimal anxiety. As such, you’ll be more receptive to new thoughts and concepts, stronger coping skills and enhanced creativity.
6. Live a Healthier Lifestyle
Exercising on a regular basis and eating a healthy diet can actually work wonders for the health of your brain. In fact, some studies have shown that diets with a low amount of carbohydrates and a high amount of fat is effective in combating and delaying the effects of dementia in Alzheimer’s patients. Other foods, such as certain types of fish, nuts and seeds, blueberries and even avocados can all bolster the health of your brain.
7. Learn a New Word Every Single Day
This habit is easy to pick up, even if you’re not necessarily known for your complex vocabulary. There are plenty of websites, books and even calendars that can all provide you with a new word to learn every single day, or you can simply pursue one on your own. Either way, this serves as a fun and exciting brain exercise that can show results nearly instantaneously.
8. Pick up a New Musical Instrument
Playing a musical instrument can provide you with many benefits, even if you’ve never played one before. Studies have shown that the simple act of playing music can jumpstart creativity, mathematical abilities and even our innate analytical prowess. Moreover, this hobby can actually bolster the corpus callosum, which connects the two separate hemispheres of the human brain, by establishing brand new links and connections.
9. Take Naps When You Feel Drowsy, Unmotivated or Antsy
According to some studies, more than 85 percent of all mammals achieve their sleep through a series of short bursts throughout the day. This is in stark contrast to how the majority of humans sleep, most of which only lay down for bed once or twice during a 24-hour period. While regular, short-term naps can be extremely beneficial, avoid taking too many naps. Taking several naps a day, or sleeping for prolonged periods of time, can be an indicator of serious health problems.
10. Read More Books
It doesn’t even really matter what the books are about. The simple act of reading books, on virtually any subject, can alleviate stress, strengthen sleeping habits and even lead to greater empathy on your behalf.
11. Meditate on a Regular Basis
In 1992, a top scientist spent some time recording and studying the brain waves of the Dalai Lama and his monks during their meditative phases. It was shown that the monks had reach a highly compassionate state within their own minds. If it’s possible to achieve a higher state of compassion during meditation, what else might we be able to achieve through the practice?
12. Play More Video Games
Although this might sound a bit counterintuitive, today’s video games have evolved far beyond the pixelated graphics and crude, nonsensical gameplay of past titles. According to the American Psychology Association, playing video games can actually strengthen your learning abilities, strengthen your health and improve your mood.
As you can see, books, television, the internet and even video games all have the potential to increase our capacity for learning, boost our retention of new information and restore fun and excitement to a life that may be losing focus. By using these tips, and demonstrating a little bit of diligence and dedication, you can improve your quality of life and even learn a thing or two while you’re at it.