Most of us would probably take the opportunity to increase our IQs if we could. Who wouldn’t want to be more intelligent? Since childhood we’ve been taught that our IQs remain relatively constant throughout life, but did you know that there are some things we can do to improve it after all?
While we may not be able to drastically change the way we process information, we can increase blood flow to the brain—and get those gears turning double-time with some activities and foods that might surprise you. Would you try any of these 20 ways to improve your IQ?
1. Self-electrocution: This might seem shocking, but in 2014, a group of neuroscientists discovered that people temporarily excelled on tests after lightly electrocuting themselves in a process known as “transcranial direct current stimulation.”
2. LSD: Taking psychedelic drugs to increase your intelligence might sound far-fetched, but in actuality, it’s not. LSD enhances communication between synapses in the brain, and it gives users a unique view of reality. Brain mapping is just one scientific breakthrough that LSD made possible! It’s still an illegal substance, though, so we don’t recommend this.
3. Motorcycles: According to a study done at Tohoku University in Japan, riding a motorcycle at high speeds accelerates parts of the brain focused on concentration and information processing. It can also improve memory!
4. Estrogen: According to the Society for Neuroscience, boosting estrogen levels can potentially improve test accuracy and help brain cells communicate. Soy products, olive oil, nuts, and flaxseed have lots of naturally occurring estrogen.
5. Depression: This might seem counterproductive, but some scientists say that putting yourself in temporary states of depression can lead to improvements in memory, judgment, and motivation. Many highly creative people also claim to produce better work when in a state of sadness.
6. Image streaming: This phrase just means talking to yourself and answering yourself in stream-of-consciousness form. Advocates of this method claim it increases their brain’s response time.
7. Hypnosis: Although this method is highly criticized by scientists and researchers, there are a slew of hypnosis videos on the Internet that claim to increase IQs. You’d have to try them out for yourself if you really want to know if they work.
8. Smoking: We all know about the dangers of smoking, but neuroscientists recently discovered cigarettes boost acetylcholine, a chemical that sends signals all over the brain. The results are short-term, but they include enhanced fine motor skills and increased memory and concentration.
9. Gene editing: A company based in China called the Beijing Genomics Institute is attempting to manipulate intelligence through human DNA. The goal is to give couples the option to have smarter babies. It wouldn’t be without a hefty price tag, of course.
10. Exercise: Everyone knows a steady exercise regimen provides plenty of health benefits, but hitting the gym can actually boost your IQ, as well. Maintaining a healthy body increases positive brain development!
11. Writing: Whether it’s for creative or for educational purposes, writing helps you organize your thoughts into a cohesive format. It also allows you to gain a new perspective on things when you reflect on what you wrote.
12. Meditate: Meditation gives your brain the ability to make physiological changes to your body. It increases gray and white matter in your brain, and it enables what’s known as “whole brain synchronization,” which is when the left side of the brain connects with the right.
13. Reading: There are only benefits to reading every day. Whether you enjoy fiction or non-fiction, reading keeps you informed and it helps spur your brain’s creativity. So, head to your local library and get started!
14. Sleep: Too many people suffer from lack of sleep, and although they may be able to make it through each day, it simply isn’t healthy. Getting a sufficient amount of rest allows the brain time to process the day’s events by strengthening memories.
15. Eat breakfast: There’s a reason breakfast is called the most important meal of the day! Supplying your body with proper nutrients early on in the day improves memory, creativity, focus, and overall performance.
16. Stay social: Locking yourself up in your room and isolating yourself from socializing is generally unhealthy. Social interactions with friends, family, and even complete strangers increase synaptic activity in the brain.
17. Play competitive games: Strategy games like chess force the brain into thinking creatively and cleverly. The brain needs to plan several moves ahead, so these activities are a great way to improve cognitive function.
18. Avocados: There’s a reason why avocados are the hot new culinary trend! They’re rich in monounsaturated fat, which is the “good” kind of fat. Monounsaturated fat increases the blood flow to the brain, and it also helps lower blood pressure.
19. Explore new cultures: We tend to get so wrapped up in our lives that we forget there are so many amazing things to see in the world. Traveling and exploring other cultures give us an entirely different worldview, which opens our minds up to new thoughts and ideas.
20. Video games: Even though parents everywhere hate when their kids lock themselves inside all day and stare at TV screens, occasional gaming has been shown to increase mathematical abilities and multi-tasking behaviors.
You might already do some of these in your everyday life, but you might want to try out some of the ones you don’t. It never hurts to improve your intelligence!
Share these tips with your friends below!