There are plenty of books out there to help you learn how to become smarter. But how do you know which life hacks actually boost brain power? What actions can you take today to become more intelligent?
In this article, we discuss some of the ways you can accomplish more over the course of the year with small, consistent actions. And the more of the following actions you take, the faster and more life-changing the results will be.
1. Challenge yourself with new experiences.
The very first step you can take is stepping out of your comfort zone and forging some new neural connections.
The more varied your experiences, the more agile and adaptable your brain will become.
2. Spend time with a variety of people.
There is no denying the fact that good company makes you smarter.
Being exposed to different backgrounds and viewpoints expands your consciousness and prompts you to articulate your own questions and beliefs.
Without doubt, it also makes your life more interesting.
3. Visit and explore new places.
Your brain will love the new information and will get to work connecting it to previous experiences.
Happy surprises and thought-provoking discoveries stimulate new brain growth and make life more fun.
4. Learn and practice new skills, language or instrument.
It helps you build new neural connections and strengthen your brain. Continually challenging your brain keeps it young.
New skills can open up doors to new perspectives, opportunities and experiences, all of which can make you smarter.
5. Get up often and get physical exercise every day.
Get up and move every 20 to 30 minutes. Science shows a link between strong leg muscles and better brain function.
You don’t have to be an athlete to derive benefit from regular exercise. Studies have shown that aerobic exercise through playing a sport, walking, swimming, or other exercise in the long term creates a larger basal ganglia, which helps increase your attention span. Physical activity can also create more restful and healthy sleep which can further help to reduce stress.
And good circulation is essential to optimal brain function.
6. Stop multitasking.
The idea of multitasking is overrated. Our brains are designed to concentrate on one task at a time rather than a bunch of tasks all at once. Constantly switching between tasks exacts a cognitive cost on our brains and encourages bad brain habits. Turn off the notifications on your phone and email so that you can focus on just one task at a time.
7. Solve math puzzles and problems without a calculator.
You can give your brain a little boost every time you do mathematics without the aid of a calculator.
Math educators have found that when they banned calculators from the classrooms, the ability of students to understand math concepts drastically increases. Whether it’s simple addition or subtraction or trying to work out algebra on a piece of scratch paper – these steps can boost your ability to concentrate and keep those math skills honed.
8. Read something every day.
Reading helps you keep learning and challenging your brain. Ideally, some of your reading should relate to personal or professional interests.
9. Practice daily meditation.
Meditation helps balance neuro-chemicals for better brain function and emotional stability.
Even ten short minutes of meditation a day can change your brain’s structure, improving your memory and capacity for learning and decreasing anxiety.
10. Have heart-to-heart conversations.
Make time for heart-to-heart conversations with your loved ones.
Don’t overlook the benefits of finding a good counselor or mentor.
Spend more time with people who make you think positively and constructively.