This strategy develops mental capacity and helps you absorb information more easily.
Most people have an average IQ of between 80 and 119. We’re used to thinking that this number forever defines our intelligence, but that’s not quite true. “Intelligence can be developed, and quite noticeably so,” says psychologist Bryan Roche. – Those who claim that IQ doesn’t change throughout life are actually referring to IQ test scores, they really are quite stable. But it doesn’t refer to the level of intelligence, it can grow.”
According to David Shenk, author of books on the brain, a person’s intellectual limits at any age are essentially impossible to determine. Everyone has the potential for genius in them.
“Believing in innate talents and limits is much easier on the psyche,” David writes in The Genius in All of Us. – For example, you think you didn’t become a great opera singer, doctor or paper writer because you physically can’t become one, you’re just not built that way. With these perceptions, the world seems more comfortable, more controllable. They free you from the weight of expectations.
Intelligence is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills. It includes the ability to think, solve problems, remember information, and be creative. Becoming smarter isn’t just possible-it’s achievable for you. But you must be willing to put in the effort.
1. Train your memory
For example, with the help of special exercises. Cognitive psychologist Susanne Jaeggi (Susanne Jaeggi) has found that a game called “Task N backwards” increases agile intelligence. It is the ability to solve new problems you have never encountered before.
During the game, you are presented with visual or auditory images. You need to determine if you have encountered the image currently in front of you a certain number of steps backwards. This number is given in the conditions of the problem and substituted for N. For example, in the “4 Backwards” problem with numbers you are looking for numbers that you saw four steps backwards.
2. Be open to new perspectives
To do this, expand your circle of acquaintances and listen to other people’s points of view. Think of it as an exercise that builds mental capacity and helps you notice new possibilities. Remember that learning means exposing yourself to new information. Meeting people does just that, especially when their views contradict yours.
“Get rid of preconceptions and listen to reasoning that doesn’t make sense to you,” Roche advises. – Try to make sense of them.
3. Look for sources of motivation
According to Schenk, extraordinary accomplishments and ingenious works require motivation. “You have to want to achieve something so badly that you will never give up. So badly that you will be willing to sacrifice time, money, sleep, friendships, even your reputation,” David writes.
Motivation can be positive and negative, external and internal. And its source can be anything – inspiration, despair, regrets and dreams. Look for your own sources and develop.
4. Do cardio workouts
When you breathe more frequently, your heart beats more often. As a result, more blood and oxygen get to your brain. And this leads to the formation of new nerve cells, including in areas of the brain associated with memory and thinking.
Cardio exercise also increases the production of neurotrophins, proteins that keep neurons viable. This improves brain plasticity, and thus memory and learning ability. In addition, exercise releases more neurotransmitters in the brain, especially serotonin and norepinephrine, which have a positive effect on information processing and mood.
5. Play computer games
It’s not just a way to have a good time. Scientists have found that video games help form connections between neurons in certain parts of the brain. For two months, some participants played Super Mario 64 for 30 minutes every day, while others didn’t devote time to any video games. When the researchers compared the brain state of the two groups, the gamers had more gray matter in the areas of the brain that are responsible for spatial orientation, memory formation and strategic planning.
The researchers proved this using a specially created 3D racing game. Participants aged 65-85 played it several times over the course of a month. As a result, their ability to concentrate and short-term memory, which usually deteriorates with age, improved.
Scientists have proven that mindfulness meditation increases brain plasticity. Study participants meditated for 20 minutes each for five days, focusing on breathing, visualization and their posture. Afterwards, they had improved mindfulness and agile intelligence.
In addition, meditation reduces cognitive rigidity, that is, inert, inflexible thinking. Usually we get used to using only one approach to a situation, and to look at the matter from another side is already difficult for us. We do not notice simple new solutions, because our thinking ceases to be flexible. Mindfulness meditation teaches us to develop a “beginner’s mind,” that is, to look at everything with new eyes.