Trying to Increase Your IQ? Here Are Some Tips
Who doesn't want to be smarter? The great news is, your IQ is not fixed - it can be increased. There are many ways to boost the functioning of your brain to elevate your IQ. This can also boost your confidence and open doors of opportunity in your career and life.
What is an IQ?
Your intelligence quotient, IQ for short, is the measure of your reasoning ability. It looks at your ability to take information and logically find solutions or predict outcomes. With the complexity of our world today, these are invaluable skills for every area of life. If you have ever taken an IQ test, you'll know that they begin by assessing your long and short-term memory, then there is puzzle-solving, and finally, how well (and quickly) you can recall information that you have been told.
IQ tests have gotten a bad rap in recent years for being divisive and elitist. The way the tests were used in the past may have been just that, but not today. The biggest issue with the test in the past was that it told people that their IQ could never change. But now, we have a better understanding of neuroplasticity. This is the ability of your neurons (brain cells) to continue to grow, multiply, and make new connections well into old age. These neuro-activities of growth, multiplication, and creating new connections have the potential to increase your IQ.
The one thing to remember as you attempt to boost your IQ is that you are more than your final score. The test is very specific in what it measures, and there is much more to you than those aspects.
How is IQ tested?
IQ tests were first created in France to identify students who needed additional support. It was later adapted and adopted by the U.S. military from as early as World War I and continues today in Armed Forces recruitment. Universities use similar tests, as do some high-level careers.
An effective test should be age and culture-relevant. So a child should never have to take a test designed for an adult, and an Asian shouldn't take a test designed with American culture in mind. Sometimes there is a knowledge section of an IQ test that assesses how thorough your knowledge is concerning the world. You may be called upon to give definitions of seemingly well-understood words or terms. These kinds of questions measure crystallized intelligence. This is intelligence that's based on facts, learning, and past experiences. This kind of intelligence grows as you get older.
Other tests are more focused on fluid intelligence. This is intelligence that's concerned with your ability to reason, learn new things, and use abstract thinking to solve problems.
Tips to Increase Your IQ
Whether or not you decide to take an IQ test, here are ways that you can increase your ability to reason, logically and creatively solve problems, and predict outcomes.
There's a reason that whenever we think of chess, we associate it with higher intelligence. This complex game will improve your problem-solving and strategic thinking skills, increase your concentration, and stimulate both hemispheres of your brain by strengthening the corpus callosum (the area connecting the two halves).
One study took 100 children with ADHD and had them play chess regularly as a treatment option. There was a 41% decrease in inattentiveness and hyperactivity.
Regularly playing chess will develop the habit of thinking far ahead of your next move and help you to see situations from other viewpoints. Coordinating the many abilities of the chess pieces will improve memory and creative thinking.
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Many studies prove that meditation enhances your cognitive functions. Practicing meditation for just 20 minutes every day lifts your mood, increases your focus, and lowers stress. New information says that meditation can change the structure of your brain and protect against age-related cognitive decline.
Images of our brains show surrounding folds. The formation of these folds is called gyrification, and they increase the speed of communication throughout your brain. Long-term meditators have more of these folds than do people who do not meditate. This study even found that the longer the meditative practice, the more gyrification. Regular meditation also increases grey matter volume and cortical thickness and decreases brain cell volume in other areas of the brain where we feel fear, anxiety, and stress.
Learn a New Language
Neuroscience tells us that learning a new language will develop our brains and increase our intelligence. The complexities of learning a new language cause cortical thickness to grow as well as the volume of your hippocampus. The language centers of your brain expand, which leads to other cognitive benefits.
Learn a Musical Instrument
One of the most powerful things you can do to increase your IQ is to learn a musical instrument. One study found that learning to play a musical instrument had a significant positive impact on the learners' intelligence - both adults and children. The increase in IQ was 7 points or more. This can take the average IQ in the U.S. of just less than 100 to 105 or more!
Move Your Body
Exercise is essential to healthy cognition. According to several studies, light exercise increases the volume of the hippocampus - an area of the brain that regulates memory. Exercise also enhances the connections between the hippocampus and the other parts of the brain responsible for memory.
In other studies, those who engaged in regular physical exercise improved in long-term memory, focus, reasoning, problem-solving, abstract thinking, and several other cognitive functions. These studies also found that rigorous exercise wasn't necessary - it was enough that it was regular.
The above tips will significantly increase your IQ, cause you to think more clearly, and improve your memory, focus, and reasoning. It will also increase your problem-solving skills and creativity. These intellectual gains will enhance your life and work and protect your brain from decline.
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