Contributed by Info Guru Paul Seaburn
If your favorite expression is “Doh!” and you’re not a cartoon character, perhaps it’s time to up your IQ and find some ways boost your thinking.
Brain power, intelligence, smarts – whatever you want to call it – can be increased and improved in a wide variety of ways. If you’re tired of your train of thought leaving the station without you, try a few of these ways to be smarter.
10. Take a trip
Too much time in the same old surroundings can make you complacent and unobservant. A trip to another country, another city or even just another neighborhood will open your mind to new scenery, new foods, new people and new ways of doing things.
9. Start a new hobby
Learning new things is a fun way to stimulate your brain and starting a new hobby is an easy and fun way to do it. Both the learning process and the actual activities of a new hobby by taking a photography class or playing a musical instrument will contribute to better thinking. Start with something small so you don’t get discouraged.
8. Maintain a positive outlook
Believing you can become smarter is a big step towards improving your intelligence. Look at small failures as learning experiences and small improvements as positive steps on the path to brain power.
7. Quit smoking
Cigarette and tobacco smoke clouds your vision and clouds your thinking too. Smoking is bad for your health and well-being and is proven to cause memory loss over time. There are plenty of aids to quitting so look at the process as a new hobby that will improve both your brain and your body.
6. Expand your relationships
Making new friends opens your mind to the ideas and experiences of others. Getting together with friends for food and conversation helps break you out of the same-thinking rut that’s so easy to fall into when you spend too much time alone or with like-minded people. Friends can also make observations, give feedback and reinforce the improvements you’ve made.
5. Eat smarter to get smarter
The old computer expression GIGO (garbage in, garbage out) is true for brains too. Improve your physical and mental nutrition by avoiding junk food, eating a good breakfast with some protein and replenishing your thinking energy throughout the day with brain foods like broccoli, spinach and fish. One supplement many take to improve memory and concentration is gingko biloba.
Speed-dialing, Internet bookmarks, auto-filling apps all take away one of the best brain exercises there is – memorizing. Force yourself to memorize phone numbers, new passwords and names of new acquaintances. Try to remember TV station numbers instead of clicking through your cable feed. Create your own memory games, like memorizing the real and character names of the stars in a new movie.
3. Work out your body and your brain
If your body feels sluggish, your brain will too. Daily exercise improves the blood circulation to the brain while giving you more energy to tackle new and more challenging activities which will improve your brain power. The time during your exercise routine is a great opportunity to meet new people or to concentrate on books and audio courses that workout your brain too.
2. Get enough sleep
Sleep is important for resting a tired boy and recharging a tired mind. Dreams are a way our minds sort out what’s going on and clean out cognitive junk. More mistakes are made when you’re tired and caffeine and other stimulants offer only minimal benefits. A brief 10-minute nap during the day can often refresh your mind and recharge your thinking.
1. Spend time offline
The Internet is a wonderful tool for research and communications but it can also be an addictive time-waster. Getting away from the web, emails, texts and social media allows your mind to distress and gives you the extra time you need to try new ways to get smarter.