Intelligence is one of those things that we have just begun to understand. Previously it was believed that people only have capped capacity for knowledge, but science has proven that this isn’t true. The reality is that with the right effort, you can actually make your brain work better. One of the most striking scientific discoveries is that the brain can actually create its own new pathways.The neurological connections in your brain can be increased, which then results in you being able to think about more things at a faster speed.
What this essentially means is that any new activity you do consistently will result in your brain becoming more and more adept at it. You can hack this process to increase your overall intelligence by focusing on activities that create pathways in places that will be useful for you in day-to-day life. Hereare 7 activities that will help create those neurological pathways and help mould your mind!
Music has long been known to affect the way our brain works. Musical therapy is even used for developmentally challenged people in order to increase their level of understanding and make their memory better. Scientists have theorised that learning an instrument and playing may be one of the best things you can do for your brain.
The brain can be exercised much in the same way as your body can be exercised. Regular exercise benefits the brain just like regular exercise benefits the body. With physical exercise there are many different types of workouts for the different parts of your body; the same is true for mental exercises. Some of them increase your memory while others improve your reflexes. The reason music is so much more beneficial than many other activities is that it is the mental equivalent of a full body workout.
Music is an activity that helps you utilise all the facets of your brain. You need to learn how to play the instrument, which means you need to memorize the method of playing and remember music notes, which improves memory. You also need to be able to create and write music while playing, which in turn improves creativity. You need to be disciplined too when doing things such as playing a song in tune or practicing, so your music also helps you with observation and perseverance. Truly, the act of playing a musical instrument is both therapeutic and rewarding and if you persevere with an instrument, your mind will be thanking you for the music!
Reading has always been considered to be an activity for smart people, though there are people who think only intellectually stimulating books should be read. Research has shown that it doesn’t matter what you are reading; you will end up increasing your level of intelligence. It doesn’t matter if you are reading David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest or J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter; your brain will improve because of your reading hobby.
Reading increases your brain’s capability of understanding things. Whilst reading, our mind is not only taking on information, but also undergoing a cognitive process of decoding symbols for comprehension. It is an activity in which you have to read words and keep a mental note of where the story is going. Reading is also great for stimulating your imagination, as books make you visualise the places, people and much more. It is said that people who read are better managers in the workplace because they can understand and empathise with the work environment.
Regular exercise isn’t just something you need to do in order to be physically fit or attractive; it can also increase your brainpower. Exercise is beneficial for the brain due to the release of BDNF. BDNF is a protein that is released when you exercise your muscles. It improves memory and allows you to focus more by increasing your concentration levels. If you keep working out regularly your brain will keep getting the BDNF protein and as you develop your concentration levels your intelligence will keep increasing.
Have you ever noticed that smart and accomplished people are often bilingual? This isn’t a coincidence. Research has shown that bilingual people are much better at solving problems than those who only speak one language. We think the way we speak; our mental process is dependent on us being able to talk to ourselves and deduce the solution to the problems we are facing. Being bilingual is like having a different approach towards the same problem.
By thinking in more than one language you are no longer restricted by the limitations of a single language. This is very important when dealing with executive level problems and crucial decisions that need to be made. It isn’t surprising that people who can talk and think in more than one language are often in an executive level job.
Research has shown that recall is based on the amount of time that has passed by since we thought about something. If you haven’t thought about something for years, it will take you a much longer time to recall it when needed. One way to keep your brain fresh and not lose the knowledge you gained years ago is to keep testing your ability to recollect things you have learnt in the past.
Even if you do not do well at these tests, you will find that you suddenly know and remember much more than before. Another great tip is to keep a notebook and write new ideas and pieces of knowledge in it. You can keep revisiting the notebook and keep the ideas and knowledge fresh in your mind.
Games that tax your brain are very beneficial for intelligence. Activities like puzzles, board games, and card games keep your brain exercised. These games utilise multiple parts of your brain and keep it stimulated.
A game of poker, for example, may be played for entertainment’s sake but the mental process undertaken whilst playing is astonishing. You have to determine the probability of your chance to win consistently and you have to keep an attentive track of what cards are on the table. You also have to assume what cards the other people may have, and have to be ready for someone else to have the better hand. Reading other people’s body languages to make the right decision is also an important part of poker. Poker seems more like actuarial science than a game when you look at all the ways it stimulates your brain.
Meditation is a beautiful form of mental exercise that is also extremely easy to start doing. In our world devices deliver us information faster than we can process it and it is no wonder people often become overwhelmed or stressed. Meditation has long been known to decrease the amount of stress one has on their minds. Stress reduces your creative prowess and can stop you competently dealing with situations in work or in your day-to-day life. By meditating you can keep your brain working at a high rate without feeling exhausted. Prayer is a great example of a powerful form of meditation which allows the brain to take a break as you focus on your prayers. Alleviating stress will only have a positive effect upon your mind.
People who meditate find it easier to close deals and get what they want. Through meditation you can overcome the mental blocks obstructing your thinking and instead realise your true power. Often, our anxieties keep us from doing things that we want. With meditation though, you can learn to combat the negative thoughts that keep you from thinking creatively or solving your problems. Simply find a quiet corner in your home and office and start meditating. Keep at it and you’ll see the effect in no time!by