Everybody Thinks They’re a Genius – Chances Are, You’re Not
Are you smarter than the average American? According to a study from YouGov, you probably think you are. Unfortunately, statistics show that most of us are indeed of the average IQ level, falling in the 80-119 point range. Not satisfied with being “average”? Lucky for you, it’s possible to bolster your IQ to, dare I say, even genius proportions.
“Anyone has the potential for genius or, at the very least, greatness. The key is to let go of the myth that giftedness is innate,” says David Shenk, author of The Genius in All of Us. Believing that one is of a preconceived, set level of intelligence is simply relieving oneself of the burden of expectation, and will only hinder one’s ability to open the mind and increase his or her intellect. So forget how smart you think you are, or how much smarter you may think everyone else is, and use these proven techniques to bolster your brilliance.
Get Some Exercise
Everyone knows that healthy exercise is good for the body, but did you know that it’s also good for the brain? In a study done at the University of British Columbia, researchers found that regular, aerobic exercise appears to boost the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning. Exercise also improves mood and sleep, and reduces stress and anxiety – issues often associated with cognitive impairment.
Train Your Memory
It’s no secret that the ability to retain information is a huge part of acquiring a higher IQ, but training the memory will also increase one’s ability to reason and solve new problems. Simple memory games, such as N-back tracking, can be used to do this, often requiring participants to keep track of words or locations on a grid, and identify when a previously mentioned word or location is repeated. This and many other simple memory games can be found online to quickly and easily help you improve your memory and problem-solving skills.
Whip Out The Video Games
Yes, you read that right. Playing video games can help develop your working memory, the system responsible for holding and processing new and existing information. In as little as 30 minutes per day, gaming has also been shown to improve spatial navigation, strategic planning, and motor performance. Halo, anyone?
Consider Someone Else’s Point Of View
This can be a tough one for some of us, but opening up to perspectives other than our own can expand the mind to new opportunities and promote cognitive growth. The basis of learning is to expose oneself to new and unfamiliar ideas, and meeting new people and considering view points other than our own, especially conflicting ones, is a simple way to increase one’s range of intelligence.
We often think of meditation as a way to decrease stress levels, but it has also been shown to increase neuroplasticity in the brain. A study done at the University of Oregon showed that meditating for 20 minutes a day for 5 days significantly increased the participants attention and fluid intelligence, while another study from Yale University found that meditation decreased activity in the brain’s default mode network – the network responsible for mind wandering, which is often associated with worrying, ruminating, and being less happy.
Maybe you hate being average at anything, or maybe you’re just looking for ways to help you remember where you left your keys. Whatever reason drives your desire for a higher IQ, you can use these five tips to help you reach your genius potential.