the use of our intelligence quite properly gives us pleasure. In this respect the brain is like a muscle. When we think well, we feel good. Understanding is a kind of ecstasy.
Dr. Carl Sagan, Scientist
Each of these practices is a scientifically based, boosting brain fitness and increasing IQ
1. Self confidence
Cognitive challenges requiring IQ depends critically on your confidence in your own cognitive ability. Without an expectation that you are capable of solving a problem, the problem will never be solved.
2. Working memory brain training
Our ‘Working memory’ is our short term memory for information that we actively process to think, solve problems and make decisions, while ignoring distractions. The capacity of working memory is highly related to IQ level. By training working memory capacity we increase IQ level. For the science behind this brain training software, click here. [hr]
3. New, challenging experience
We need a stimulating environment for new experience and cognitive challenges. For continual learning and continued mental alertness you need to take risk and get out of your comfort zone.
4. A healthy diet and brain nutrition
Brain foods include Omega 3, B6, B12, Zinc, Epicathechin, and Folic Acid. Avoid sugar and bad fats – e.g. trans fatty acids such as you find in margarine which kill brain cells. Good food may work synergistically with exercise (see below). Creatine has been shown in clinical trials to increase IQ, particularly as we age. Creatine supplies extra energy for mental work. More information on creatine can be found here. More general information on brain nutrition can be found here. [hr]
5. Regular aerobic exercise
Just like training working memory, jogging, swimming, cycling, and other types of aerobic exercise stimulate the production of new neurons in part of the brain called the hippocampus needed for flexible learning and intelligence. Here is one article on the effects of running on brain cell growth and intelligence [click here]. [hr]
6. Managing stress
Stress is a fact of life, and a certain level of stress can be mentally stimulating. But chronic stress produces cortisol, and cortisol is a hormone that kills brain cells. One highly effective method for managing stress is mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness meditation is also an effective technique for developing emotional intelligence. For techniques on how to practice meditation click here. Rearch on the effects of meditation can be found here. [hr]
7. Good sleep
There is strong evidence that deep sleep is essential for recovery from mental work while REM (dreaming) sleep stimulates problem solving ability and the learning of complex, intelligence-demanding tasks.
8. Practice and Skills
All of the practices above generate new brain cells, prevent brain cell death, and foster general ‘brain power’. But applying intelligence needs to be targeted to specific types of cognitive problems in life and situations, and this benefits from practice.
many highly intelligent people are bad thinkers.Intelligence is like the horsepower of a car. A powerful car has the potential to drive at speed. But you can have a powerful car and drive it badly. Thinking is the driving skill with which each individual drives his or her intelligence.
Edward De Bono, Mind Power, 1995.