Cognitive Ability


a person solving a puzzle

You actually can increase your IQ by engaging in regular brain games and workouts which are designed to improve your mental acuity. Just like physical exercise, your brain gets stronger the more you use it.

What many people don’t know is that it only takes a short amount of daily mental exercise to increase mental performance. It can be something as simple as doing mental acuity exercises or playing strategy games to keep you alert and active. We’ve come up with some ways in which you can make your brain more resilient!

1. Brain games for memory and concentration

Researchers have noted positive effects that come with playing board games and crossword puzzles. In fact, both are an important part of improving memory and concentration when it comes to alleviating Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline. When your brain is fully engaged in an activity, it means that it is busy making new connections by helping you solve problems quicker. Brain games such as Memory, Scrabble, Pictionary, Sudoku, and crossword puzzles are a perfect way to increase your cognitive function no matter how old you are!

2. Step out of your comfort zone by learning new skills!

Many of us think that we are too old to start learning a musical instrument or mastering a new language. The fact is that even just 15 minutes of daily practice boosts your IQ because your brain is forced to connect new concepts. For the best results, always choose activities that you are interested in as you are more likely to stick with them and put in the time to practice.

Remember, there are different types of intelligence, and if you would like to increase your IQ score, why not try something that doesn't come easily to you? For example, if you are more prone to excel in mental exercises, why not try an activity that involves working with your hands? Or if you are good at mathematics, why not try and read up on a topic which you are unfamiliar with?

3. Exercise for brain health

Incorporating exercise into your daily regime reaps amazing rewards, especially for those of you who are working at a desk-job. Taking a break from your daily routine and doing some exercise in the day, improves your blood flow and regulates your blood pressure and weight. This means that your brain will benefit from having more oxygen and the nutrients that it needs to solve complex problems. Exercise in bursts so that you can fluctuate your time between work and a workout.

4. Stress less, sleep more!

When you are busy stressing out, your brain is actually releasing hormones which have a negative effect on its function. The likelihood that you will have trouble remembering details or concentrating during stressful moments is high. This is why taking a break of thirty minutes to an hour from strenuous tasks is vital to increase your brain’s performance. Not to mention the importance of getting the right amount of sleep for your daily requirements! Say "NO" to sleep deprivation and "YES" to meditation.

5. Use your senses!

A research experiment conducted in 2015, suggested that you can improve your cognitive function and stay mentally alert by making sure that you utilize all your senses daily. In the study, participants were asked to memorize visual, auditory, and audio-visual items. The study concluded that the more stimuli the participants were exposed to, the more their mental performance increased.

By keeping yourself alert through a range of activities that engage all your five senses, you are making sure that your brain is constantly active. You might find it beneficial to vary your day by doing a range of mental tasks such as strategy games, then some physical activity, and then something that requires you to use your taste and smell, such as cooking!

6. Form a new habit!

It’s pretty hard to break old habits, especially if you have set yourself up with some sort of routine that you think is making your life easier. For example, if you always take the same route to work or school, you might be saving time, but are you improving mental acuity? Not necessarily. Our brain benefits from when we make small changes to our daily routine, such as taking a completely different route or forging a new habit. If you’ve always been tempted to try new ways of doing the same things but haven’t felt like it will benefit you, you can be sure that you will be contributing to your brain health!

7. Eat the right stuff

You might have heard a lot of good things about omega-3 fatty acids and their benefits for the sharpness of the mind. Health Harvard published a study in which they rated fatty fish that contains omega 3, nearly as high on the list as eating green leafy vegetables when it comes to improving cognitive health.

While your greens are vital sources of healthy nutrients such as vitamin K, folate, and beta carotene, eating fish such as salmon, cod, and light tuna, at least twice a week, has been linked to an increase in brain power. The study stressed the importance of a balanced diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, along with legumes, healthy fats, and wholegrains.

The bottom line: by engaging in the right activities for your body and mind, your IQ score can be boosted.