8 Ways to Boost Your IQ
James R. Flynn, the famed IQ researcher and author of Are We Getting Smarter?: Rising IQ in the Twenty-First Century, made some unnerving observations not long ago. “In the last 100 years,” he said, “the IQ scores of both men and women have risen, but women’s have risen faster.” You can grumble about how he’s wrong and bicker with his reasoning, or you can do something about it.
1. Read books, newspapers, and scholarly journals
Nothing beats good old reading to gain new knowledge. Fictional books help with creativity, newspapers help with the latest news and trends, and scholarly journals help with in-depth information. In Dan Hurley’s article Can reading make you smarter?, he found that reading and intelligence go hand-in-hand as it increases a person’s crystallised intelligence (ability to absorb new information), fluid intelligence(ability to solve and read between the lines), and emotional intelligence (ability to be aware and to react to your own and other’s feelings). Continue to fill your brain with new information by reading daily.
Writing has long been known to stimulate our brains. It enhances our linguistic intelligences, and creativity. In addition, those who wrote by hand was found to improve intelligence due to its increased brain activity according to one Indiana University study. By writing, especially new topics, you are exposing yourself to new experiences and information. Write a blog, start a journal or answer a question on Quora!
3. Avoid using your smartphone often
While smartphones make our lives more convenient, it unfortunately lowers our IQ by 10 points. According to psychologists, multitasking using our phones weakens our thinking and underuses our brains. In addition, according to tech psychologist Larry Rosen, 81% of college students leave their phones on near them while they sleep. This causes sleep disturbances or undersleeping which can lead to IQ loss of 15 points or more. Use our smartphones moderately and avoid using your smartphone before bed time.
With Socrates pioneering conversation as a means of intellectual exploration, Greek scholars shared knowledge by discussing with fellow scholars. Today, this is similar to having intellectual or deep conversations with family or friends, or even attending forums and seminars. Talking and listening during discussions expose us to new ideas and perspectives and uses our critical thinking when debating or sharing information with others. It also increases our social intelligence, the ability to build relationships and be street smart. According to researcher James Flynn:
“Families where people challenge, talk, discuss, joke and share cultural pastimes can improve the IQ of members by several points.”
5. Eat smart
Brain foods are a good way to improve your IQ. Various foods have been proven to boost brain power such as broccoli and other green vegetables (improves memory), blueberries and strawberries (prevents cognitive decline), and dark chocolate (boosts the brain’s blood supply), among many others. These kinds of food will help in fueling your brain and aid in improving brain function. Of course, aside from this, we should all strive to eat a balanced and healthy diet for a good overall performance.
Going to unfamiliar places challenge ourselves to explore and experience different cultures. It also expands our perspectives as we develop a sense of reality as we become aware of the world around us. According to the study Journey to Healthy Aging: Planning for Travel in Retirement, retired people who travel experience higher mental stimulation rates by 75%. It makes you vulnerable to your surroundings and challenges you to think on your feet.
7. Learn how to code
Coding is a good way to practice one’s critical and analytical skills. Most people think that developers mostly do coding, however, most of their time are actually spent on thinking and solving problems. It also encourages creative thinking as the brain tries to break down a process into parts to understand it better. Learning just a few simple codes can already help you create various functions. It’s up to your imagination on how to use it.
8.Believe in yourself
This sounds , but positive affirmations of yourself are proven to boost your IQ. In a study where participants living in poverty were asked to affirm themselves, it was found that the participants improved by 10 IQ points. According to Professor Jiaying Zhao, who led the study:
“This shows that surprisingly simple acts of self-affirmation improve the cognitive function and behavioral outcomes of people in poverty.”
In times of self-doubt, tell yourself “I am smart.”, “I can handle this.”, “I will succeed.”