Though many assume that one’s I.Q. is the end-all determinant of one’s intellectual ability, this is simply not the case. Your intelligence is not a stagnant object, but rather a never-ending, continuously expanding process. Throughout the course of your life, your intelligence will continue to grow through the new and exciting experiences life gives us.

Therefore, through changes in lifestyle, your cognitive ability can greatly heighten, allowing yourself to become a smarter and more intellectual you. Though the integration of habits may seem difficult, through enough time and energy, you will soon find the string of these daily habits to become an unbreakable ritual.

Below is a list of recommended activities that can greatly sharpen your intellectual ability:

1Travel more.

Traveling to new and exciting places, whether it be a recently opened coffee shop in your neighborhood or another continent, enriches your experience and knowledge of the world. Don’t fall into the alluring comfort of habit as it often causes us to remain sedentary within our daily lives.

Experiencing new locations allows your brain the ability to process foreign customs, cultures, and even languages, thereby forcing the brain to tackle the challenge of digestion and assimilation. Though it may seem like a daunting task at first, remember that you are more than capable in living and adjusting wherever you choose.

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2Pursue education.

Though middle and high school acquires its trials and tribulations, continuing your education into adulthood is a great opportunity to pursue topics that interest you on a new level of intellect. Taking new classes is a great way for you to continue to build your knowledge of this world in unforeseeable ways.

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3Remain up-to-date with the news.

Allowing yourself the opportunity to set aside thirty minutes per day to watch or read the news is a wonderful way for your brain to remain active. Coming in contact with unfamiliar information gives your brain the weighty task of processing said content as well as churning out opinions and/or beliefs on the content.

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4Read more.

Reading is an extraordinary way to keep the brain active as it gives the mind a wide array of opportunities in order to stretch its capacity. As well, reading more also greatly enhances your skills in vocabulary, grammar, and reading comprehension. No matter the story, your brain has the capability to immerse itself full into the world of literature.

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5Learn to play an instrument.

Learning to play a new instrument promotes a great deal of skills simultaneously, such as hand-eye coordination, memory, and concentration. Though difficulty levels vary between instruments, playing an instrument is an ideal way to increase and improve cognitive functioning.

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6Write more.

Similar to reading, writing also promotes the improvement in spelling, grammar, and vocabulary skills. As well, writing presents your brain the challenge of articulating thoughts and ideas in a format that is clear and concise to others. Such a challenge works to channel and activate many regions of the brain.

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7Exercise more.

Exercising is a great method in which to promote a process called neurogenesis. During intensive exercise, neurogenesis occurs, increasing the production of neurotransmitters. This, in turn, increases the amount of dopamine, which thereby gives the mind an opportunity to gain greater focus, energy, and peace.

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8Maintain a healthy diet.

Research from the University of Bristol in England has found that an unhealthy diet and low brain activity are often strongly connected. Eating more vegetables and fruits with some lean meats gives your brain greater energy and concentration to accomplish its given tasks of the day.

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9Start meditating.

Meditation has been proven to be as effective in stimulating intellect as solving a puzzle or playing an instrument. Controlling and calming the brain is a powerful activity for the mind, and has proven to reverse mental ailments, such as depression or anxiety.

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10Remain an active learner.

Continue to activate the brain through small activities, such as solving a Rubik’s cube or playing Sudoku. Creating a daily routine to learn, no matter how small, is a great way to become a better student, worker, and more.

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Hopefully through proper implementation of the tips above, you will be a better, more well-rounded individual.