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How to Quickly Increase Your IQ (Intelligence)

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Read Time: 10 mins

It happens to everyone at some point – the feeling of being in an intellectual rut. Whether you’re not being challenged enough at work, you haven’t learned anything new in a while, or you’re bogged down by life’s stresses, it’s totally normal to sometimes feel like your mental acuity has taken a downturn. 

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Boosting intelligence often starts with treating your brain like a muscle. Image from Envato Elements.

That being said, it's possible to turn this around and bolster your intelligence. Often, it’s a matter of the “use it or lose it” mantra. That is, you need to use your brain (and in the right ways) to maintain or improve your intelligence. 

And while the debate is out as to whether you can actually increase your IQ. Today we’ll offer up several of the best ways to boost your IQ via habits that you can put into practice immediately. 

But first, let’s talk a bit about what IQ is and how intelligence is measured to provide context for the tips and suggestions that follow. 

What Is an IQ? 

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IQ stands for intelligence quotient. Image from Envato Elements.

IQ is short for “intelligence quotient” and refers to your cognitive capabilities relative to other people the same age as you. It’s most often used to measure potential intelligence in children, but how it’s implemented and what it actually shows isn’t always that clear-cut. 

Often, these tests are implemented in ways that can rely on various biases and assumptions that can lead to skewed results. It often puts those in certain demographic groups at a disadvantage, too.

After all, there's so much more that goes into determining someone’s intelligence than just a battery of questions. And there are different types of intelligence individuals may have as well – and IQ tests don’t check for all of them. 

Even so, knowing your IQ can be a useful tool for measuring your current intelligence to refer back to later. It’s arguable if it’s useful for measuring intelligence in direct comparison to others. But it's useful for comparing yourself to yourself. 

How Is Intelligence Measured? 

As we mentioned above, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that there are several different types of intelligence people can have. But the IQ test only measures a couple currently. These two types are as follows:

  • Crystallized intelligence. This covers your knowledge and skills – what you’ve directly or indirectly learned.
  • Fluid intelligence. This covers analysis and problem-solving skills. 

The IQ test measures these two types of intelligence in both book-driven and practical questions that measure your ability to recall information and put it into practice.

Working hard to increase your intelligence over time may result in a higher IQ should you take the test again at a later date – but not always. It’s well-known that IQs tend to remain the same throughout your life, or at least that's generally the case. So, the measures you take to increase your intelligence should be focused primarily that – on boosting your intelligence – not on seeing one specific test score rise. 

With that caveat out of the way, let’s now explore some ways you can increase your intelligence. 

How to Raise Your IQ or Intelligence Quickly

Here’s the part you’ve been waiting for. What follows are action-oriented tips you can put into practice immediately to raise your IQ and boost your intelligence. 

1. Exercise Regularly 

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Exercisng regularly can improve cognition. Image from Envato Elements.

It may or may not come as a surprise that increasing your intelligence has a lot to do with your physical body and how you care for it. A healthy body can bolster a healthy mind. That’s why it’s recommended to commit to a consistent exercise plan if you want to increase your intelligence. 

Cardiovascular activity, in particular, has proven to be especially good for your brain, boosting intelligence considerably. 

And anecdotally, haven’t you found this to be true? Think about times you’ve struggled to solve a problem then take a walk to “clear your head.” Often, by the end of your exercise time, the solution to your issue is much clearer. 

2. Play Chess 

Another way to sharpen your intellect is to play chess. This does sound a bit overly simplistic, we know, but it’s a legitimate way to improve your problem-solving skills by a great deal. It’s also excellent for improving concentration. And since the rules are complex, managing all this information in your mind and putting it into practice is a lot

And there have been a few studies conducted on children that indicated those who played chess over a period of several weeks experienced a dramatic increase in their IQs. It’s no wonder people have been returning to chess as a game for intellectuals over the centuries. 

3. Prioritize Rest (and Develop Healthy Sleep Habits) 

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Developing healthy sleep habits can increase your intelligence. Image from Envato Elements.

Again, taking care of your body matters a great deal when we’re talking about improving IQ scores and boosting overall intelligence. Getting enough sleep plays a major role in how your brain functions, too.

Honestly, this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. We’ve all had a day where you didn’t get enough sleep only to feel like you’re running on empty the next day. Your recall is poor, your reflexes stink, and you basically just crave a nap all day. These aren't attributes that scream “pique mental acuity,” as you can imagine. 

A sleep study conducted by Loughborough University showed that you stand to lose a full IQ point for every hour of sleep you get less than the standard recommended eight per night. The study showed that consistently losing sleep can affect your cognition even further. So if you wish to maintain your intelligence and perform at the best of your ability, prioritizing sleep is a must. 

4. Learn to Play an Instrument 

Another way to boost your intelligence is to learn to play an instrument. Playing music requires that you use different parts of your brain than you normally would. And the challenge of this makes your brain more flexible and helps you in other areas of cognition as well. This applies to both children and adults. Instruments like the piano and guitar are especially great because they require that you do two different things with both hands, which requires a lot of coordination and mental acuity. 

One study showed that learning to play a musical instrument can boost your IQ by as much as 10%

5. Learn a New Language 

Learning a new language is another way to bolster your intelligence as well. And this makes sense when you think about it. Taking on a foreign language really requires that you use your brain in new ways. And as you’re learning the rules of a new language and trying to apply them to both speech and the written word, you’re forcing your brain to do a lot of new work. 

The language centers of your brain get a good workout. This can translate to other areas of cognition as well including problem-solving and reading. 

6. Improve Working Memory 

Another way to improve your overall intelligence is to take steps to improve your working memory. Your ability to recall things greatly impacts your cognition. After all, learning new things – skills or facts – isn’t going to do you much good if you can’t remember them! 

A great way to boost working memory is to play games that train your brain to recall more efficiently. A popular example is the dual N-back test, which requires that you recall an image that you saw before the last one, two, or three images that you saw. Being able to remember a sequence of images, their order, and what they contained is hard work but a skill worth honing. 

With regular training, the dual N-back test can improve your working memory and can be coupled with other memory-boosting games. According to Psychology Today, this type of memory training resulted in a steady increase in IQ scores over time, in conjunction with the number of training sessions completed. 

7. Meditate Regularly 

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Meditation can play a key role in improving cognition. Image from Envato Elements.

Finding mental peace, calm, and focus has been shown to improve intelligence as well. Meditation is often the most-cited way to achieve these states. And it's shown that when practiced regularly, it can improve your ability to learn and remember things. 

A key aspect of meditation is a prolonged focus. By practicing meditation regularly, you slowly build up your ability to focus on a single thought for a greater and greater length of time. This increased capacity to focus can improve your problem-solving skills and concentration. A study on the effect of brainwave training on intelligence showed that using binaural beats while meditating can increase your IQ by as much as 23%.

8. Use Biofeedback 

Another way to boost your intelligence is to make use of biofeedback. This is a technique that involves you becoming aware of your heart and breath rates and working to control them through concentration and manual efforts.

There are apps and programs you can use to train yourself in biofeedback in your spare time. Some studies have even shown that primary students have improved on their IQ scores by using neurofeedback or biofeedback training. 

9. Eat a Well-Balanced Diet

Lastly, continuing to take care of your body and eating a healthy diet can offer many benefits for your cognition. Of course, you need to be well-fed to think clearly. This means drinking plenty of water throughout the day as well as getting a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables. 

Certain foods high in omega-3 fatty acids are associated with improved mental acuity as well. Such foods include things like fish, avocado, and olive oil. 

Build Informative Presentations to Boost Your IQ

When you need to present information to an audience, creating a PowerPoint is a great way to do it. With a solid presentation, you can distill all your main thoughts in one place. And often, the process of creating a presentation can help further solidify your knowledge of the subject at hand. 

Google slides templates on Envato ElementsGoogle slides templates on Envato ElementsGoogle slides templates on Envato Elements
Google slides templates on Envato Elements

And when it comes to increasing your intelligence, making a presentation on a given topic is a fantastic way to improve your recall and deepen your knowledge.

Even so, there’s no reason you need to build a presentation from scratch. Envato Elements offers a wide range of PowerPoint presentation templates you can put to work immediately. They also have templates available for Google Slides as well as tons of stock images you use in your presentations. 

The best part about Elements is that you gain access to unlimited resources for just one low fee per month. No matter the subject, you’re certain to find a template to serve you. 

Is There a Way to Raise Your IQ? The Answer Lies With You

Whether you can raise your IQ isn’t a set-in-stone fact confirmed by all scientists, but there are many studies that indicate boosting your intelligence is possible when you integrate a few key habits into your life. From regular exercise to biofeedback, there are several ways to bolster your IQ. 

And with templates from Envato Elements, you’ll be certain to wow your audience the next time you need to give an expert presentation. 

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