Intelligence is not a fixed value. From birth until the end of our lives, our brains are constantly
absorbing and processing information. The human brain has the incredible ability to create and
reorganise neural pathways, adapting with experience. This is called neuroplasticity, and the more
stimulation the brain receives, the more plasticity it has and the more mental agility you have. In this
way, the brain is like a muscle; the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets.
Give your brain a boost to increase your intelligence
So how does one “exercise” their brain? There are many techniques to improve your cognitive
abilities, many of which include just a small change to your daily routine.
1. Try new things
There are few things more mentally stimulating than a new experience. When you do something
new, you create new neural pathways and establish the optimal learning environment for your
mind. Whether it is a new cooking recipe, a new hobby or learning an entirely new language,
exposing yourself to novelty teaches you new skills and improves neuroplasticity at the same time.
2. Take the long way around
While you’re busy with exposing yourself to something new, you’re also pushing your limits. Many
motivational speakers stress the importance of getting out of your comfort zone, and for good
reason. The more you are challenged, the more you grow in cognitive ability. Push yourself to think
outside the box or apply a different mental approach. Efficiency, familiarity and complacency are
hindrances to intelligence.
3. Surround yourself with interesting people
It is often said that you are only as smart as the people closest to you. Whether this is quite accurate
or not, the fact remains that being around people of high intelligence will rub off on you. Let your
smart friends and colleagues stimulate your mind, and be willing to learn from them and share new
Some say that simply getting into the habit of reading the newspaper every day will increase your
intelligence, while others swear it is non-fiction books that will do it, and yet others claim that
fictional stories are the key. Whichever you prefer, it has been proven that reading regularly can
improve cognitive functioning.
5. Be mindful
Practicing mindfulness allows you to make more rational decisions, more swiftly and easily, with
more consideration for the future outcomes. Mindfulness, or the ability to use the information
available in the present moment, is a great brain-strengthening exercise. Key components of
mindfulness include meditation and reflection. Make sure to allow yourself some time every day to
reflect on what you experience, particularly new experiences, so that your brain can process
everything smoothly. Writing down what you learn every day is a good reflective practice and will
also boost memory.
Remember, you will have to put time and effort into learning new things. However, with these top
methods, you can increase your intelligence, and enjoy the process.