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It has been common knowledge that each of us has our own level of intelligence. The fact is most people think that our intelligence is inherent. This means that if you were smart when you were born, then you will continue to become a smart person. This is quite unfortunate for those who are not smart when they were born since they will use this idea as an excuse for not trying to improve their intelligence. This is quite scary since it gives us the notion that we cannot change who we are.
Hence, there is nothing that we can do but to live up to our own potential. But now, there is a possibility that you can improve your potential while enjoying yourself. You can improve your capacity to absorb new information, preserve it, then utilize this new knowledge in your daily life.
There are specific hobbies and techniques that you can perform to make you smarter. Scientists believe that when we acquire new skills, our brains will build new neural pathways so it can effectively work more rapidly and much better.
In reality, our body will age and so does our brain. Most often, we have observed this in our older relatives when their brains naturally deteriorate. The sad thing is, they tend to experience short-term memory loss. At the same time, their executive functions will gradually fail. Regardless if older people do not suffer from Alzheimer’s, their brains will age naturally. But nowadays, neuroscience has discovered that there is a way that the brain’s deterioration can be delayed. In some cases, it is even possible that this can be reversed by engaging yourself in a variety of activities, which we also refer to as hobbies.
If you want to increase your level of intelligence, then you could choose any of these seven hobbies to make you smarter:
1. Spend some time reading.
It does not matter if you are reading an old classic book or the latest issue of the New York Times. Regardless of what type of books, magazines, newspapers, or any reading materials you are reading, its benefits are just the same. Reading can provide you with a lot of benefits such as reducing stress, making you feel great, and improve your intelligence.
Based on some research, reading can help in improving the brain’s functions in different areas. It can promote the development of new neural pathways as you are grasping new knowledge. Reading can activate the parts of your brain that are involved in recognizing patterns, confronting problems, learning the different types of procedures, understanding what other people are trying to express with regards to their feelings and how to respond to these emotions precisely. Additionally, you will also learn how to accumulate various types of knowledge so you can use them in your everyday life.
This is also advantageous at work since it can provide you a better understanding of how to accomplish things and improve your decision-making skills. Reading can also help in improving your memory, developing from prior knowledge, and activates the parts of your brain that permits imagination. Some researchers also suggest that speedreading can help in improving synapses since the brains are compelled to absorb information quickly. Ultimately, speedreading is a very useful skill for students.
2. Play a musical instrument.
Did you know that playing a musical instrument can give you a lot of benefits? It can help you with your analytical skills, coordination skills, language, creativity, math, and a lot more. Hence, there is no doubt that playing music is very advantageous, however, some people claim that playing sports can do more than these. Playing musical instruments can help in boosting the corpus callosum that connects the left and right sides of the brain by making new influences. To improve your cognitive functions including problem-solving, improved memory, pattern recognition, superior skills, progressive processing as well as the overall function of the brain, you must improve your corpus callosum. Most of all, it won’t even matter whether you are young or old.
Scientists believe that students who received early musical training can perform well on linear math activities and mathematical problem-solving. Playing an instrument can guarantee you that the two sides of your brain will work together effectively. Nevertheless, whether you played a musical instrument when you were young or old, researchers reveal that it has the same neurological effects.
3. Discover a new language.
Instead of solving brain teasers to enhance your memory, why not try learning a new foreign language. Based on some studies, it is proven that people who know more than language are great at solving brainteasers compared to those who only know one language. Once you have learned new languages, then your brain can function better, most especially when accomplishing mentally demanding chores. You will obtain the most significant skills needed when making plans or solving problems.
If you know how to speak at least two languages, then your skills in observing the environment can improve. It can help you in concentrating on the different processes.
4. Exercise frequently.
Doing regular exercise is more effective than doing it randomly. The fact is, this is even more efficient than doing some hard workouts once in a while. Exercising regularly can help in generating BDNF protein in the blood. When the blood travels to the brain, BDNF will be absorbed by the cells. BDNF is a certain type of protein that can enhance your concentration, focus, memory, learning, also known as mental acuity.
Some scientists believe that if you sit down for a long period of time, your brain can’t work effectively. This can be demonstrated in the experiment being done on two groups wherein they were given a photo memory test. The first group which is the experimental group performed some exercises before taking the test. While the second group which is the control group did not exercise. The results of the experimental group were very amazing compared to the control group. They were able to concentrate on the photos and then remember them after waiting for some time.
5. Keep your brain working.
Consider your brain as a computer or as your muscles. If you keep on feeding them with more information, then the more functions they can accomplish. Additionally, if you exercise your brain more often, then it can become stronger. Brain plasticity will occur when you are constantly making new connections through absorbing information, thinking thoroughly, and forcing yourself to memorize certain things.
It is important to keep our brains busy. The best way to do this is to accomplish some activities that can help in improving neuroplasticity. These activities include video games, board games, riddles, card games, puzzles, sudoku, etc. This can result in a range of modifications in neural pathways. Basically, it will allow your brain to restructure by itself. Once there is a response from the nerve cells, then there is an improvement in the neuroplasticity. Consequently, this permits us to view things is different perspectives. Likewise, you can gain more understanding of the connection between attitudes and feelings. It helps us to be mindful of the new patterns. Additionally, we can recognize some improvements in our cognitive abilities.
Neuroplasticity refers to the capability of the brain to develop and restructure synaptic networks, most especially in reacting to new experiences or knowledge. Neuroplasticity will occur when new concepts and knowledge create new neural pathways. Constant practice and repetition of these new ideas and knowledge can help in improving these neural pathways. As a result, you’ll get to create new habits.
Since neuroplasticity has a great impact on damages, for instance, tinnitus, then having more neuroplasticity can greatly help in preventing specific conditions. Hence, if you have more neuroplasticity, then there are fewer chances that you will suffer from depression and anxiety. At the same time, you can increase your learning ability and memorizing skills.
6. Check your cumulative ability.
Cumulative learning refers to the process in which you take what you learn and discover new knowledge on top of that. One of the best examples of cumulative learning is math. At first, children learn about basic mathematical functions. Then they use these basic functions in solving mathematical word problems. The next thing is Algebra. Again, these basic functions are used in solving equations. It seems that every new knowledge that we learned is somewhat connected to the previous ones.
As we get older, most especially when we already stopped working, our cumulative learning activities also stop. However, researchers believe that if we keep on doing them, then it can help in improving memory, problem-solving, sequential process, and language.
Smart students usually cram during their examinations and yet they can still answer the questions accurately. They can quickly become an expert during the examination. The problem with this is if you are not an intelligent person, then you tend to forget the things you’ve studied so quickly. You need to study them over and over again so it can retain your mind. The reason why learning a new language can help in making you cleverer is because it uses cumulative learning. You need to keep on repeating them so you can become a master of the foreign language.
Cumulative learning is not only for learning a foreign language, but it can also be applied in our everyday life. When you are in your workplace, you can take note of the important knowledge that you obtain. Cumulative learning is also used in self-improvement programs.
7. Do some meditation.
Most often, we associate meditation with the Hindu and Buddhist monks. But according to research, meditation can provide a lot of benefits. First of all, it permits you to control your thinking effectively so you can improve your focus, memory, and concentration. Students must meditate before taking their examinations in order to obtain better results. Meditation can also help in improving the student’s behavior and attendance in school since it can help in minimizing stress and anxiety. But meditation is not only for students, but it is also effective for all ages. Adults who meditate have better memories.
Dalai Lama wanted to learn more about his brain waves when he is meditating. So, he invited scientist Richard Davidson to make a study so he will know if he is generating certain brain waves while meditating. The result was unbelievable. When Dalai Lama and the other monks are meditating to concentrate on compassion, it appears that their brain waves indicated that they were totally in a compassionate mood.
After publishing the results in the Wall Street Journal, it quickly garnered a lot of attention. Because of this study, a lot of daring people become more interested in meditation. Based on the study, we discover that we can control our brain waves. This means that we can choose what we want to feel in a particular moment of our life.
For instance, you can feel more confident during a job interview or when you want to ask for an increase in your salary. You could also choose to feel more convincing when talking to clients. Meditation can also help you feel more powerful when making a negotiation.
Generally, this means that you can make your brain develop more based on your preference. There are various types of activities that can help in stimulating the different parts of your brain. This can help in improving your strength and overcoming your weaknesses. If you keep your brain focused on self-improvement, then it can make you feel being at your professional peak. This is ideal for people who are ambitious as well as for business owners who want to improve their potential.
Regardless of what hobby you have chosen, it can be easily integrated into our daily lives. Just keep in mind that scientifically, these hobbies can make your brains healthier. Having an enjoyable hobby is a great way of improving your intelligence, however, aside from this, there are also other things that you can do. For instance, keeping yourself hydrated can make your brain function properly.
Eating dark leafy green vegetables also contain vitamins and minerals that can boost your brain. Foods such as asparagus, Brussels sprouts, spinach, and others are rich in calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Most of us drink coffee to keep us alert, but aside from this, it can also help in improving our problem-solving skills, quickness, and attention.