Intelligence Quotient (IQ) is defined as the score obtained on a test that measures the cognitive ability of one individual against the rest of the general population. It is a measure of one’s mental capabilities and is not considered to be very flexible.
The score that someone obtains is then largely used to predict educational achievement and job performance.
Whilst it’s believed that genetics play a pivotal role in determining this rigid IQ, some cognitive experts have suggested that there are methods one can use to improve one’s scores.
An article by Men’s Health magazine cites a Swedish study that shows how cardiovascular fitness can increase verbal intelligence by 50%.
Aerobics exercise, such as swimming and jogging, enables the brain to work at its best by improving the delivery of oxygen through the bloodstream. In addition, engaging in any form of physical activity reduces stress, clears the mind, and results in an overall feeling of well-being. And, a clear mind can focus better and concentrate more.
- Food and supplements
Our bodies need fuel to get (and keep) them going. Eating breakfast is vital in getting our bodies to function optimally, and it has a huge impact on memory and concentration.
Eating breakfast sets the tone of your mood for the rest of the day. We have all experienced the grumpiness that comes with not eating. Giving your body the nutrients it needs to work has a positive effect on your emotional state of mind. A good mood means feeling less stressed, which results in better mental agility.
It is also wise to remember that what we eat is just as important as when we eat it. Processed foods have been linked to lower intelligence scores, making healthy food an obvious alternative.
Supplements are also known to boost brain power. Creatine and omega 3 fatty acids are probably two of the most popular supplements known to improve brain performance and memory.
- Read and write
There are many ways in keeping yourself mentally stimulated and reading is one of them. Read books that are challenging so as to make you focus.
Don’t be deterred by a literary style that seems to be beyond what you imagine your reading capabilities to be. Your thought process will be stimulated and your vocabulary will improve. Push the boundaries. There is much to be learnt, and your thinking and writing capabilities will improve in the process.
Writing also has huge benefits in terms of memory retention. Writing something down dramatically increases your ability to remember it. Start a diary or simply keep a notebook near at hand to quickly jot down information.
Play lots and lots of games; from board games to TV games and computer games, try them all. Do as many crossword puzzles as you can find to keep your brain active. Do picture puzzles for focus or Sudoku to improve logic.
There are many who suggest that your external environment has to have some sense of order to it so as to allow for clearer thinking. This suggests that being surrounded by chaos muddles the brain, resulting in less focus and concentration, so keep your surroundings neat.
Create a clear space that brings with it a sense of calm. Use it as a place to take a break from it all and to reflect. Take the time to process everything going on in your life and re-energise. Many of life’s problems can be solved by simply taking the time to think.