If you’ve ever wondered how to increase your IQ, you’re not alone. Your IQ (intelligence quotient) is not a set number you’re stuck with. Your IQ can be increased and nurtured over time. There are exercises to increase your IQ, for example.
Your brain can be exercised and strengthened, just like your biceps can be strengthened with regular weightlifting exercises at the gym. With the right exercises and a certain level of dedication, your IQ can increase, paving the way for greater intelligence, faster thinking, and more efficient problem solving.
Research shows human beings are capable of improving their IQ through intellectual training and cognitive exercises. Let’s explore the truth about your IQ, and what you can do to increase it.
What Exactly is Your IQ?
Your IQ, or “Intelligence Quotient”, is a measurement of your intellectual potential and intelligence. This measurement originally gained popularity back in the early 1900s, when it was introduced by a French psychologist named Alfred Binet.
Have you ever heard of an IQ test? A person’s IQ is measured using standardized testing. Proper IQ tests are typically administered by psychologists and mental health professionals. Some of the most common tests used for determining whether a person has high, low or average IQ include:
- Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale
- Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Adults (WAIS)
- Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-V)
Though you can find online IQ tests, IQ testing apps and questionnaires claiming to measure your IQ, they won’t be nearly as accurate as an official IQ test provided by a professional. It’s also worth noting that most IQ tests give you a “range” score, rather than a direct number for your IQ level.
For instance, if you score 126 on an IQ test, your psychologists will say you have an IQ somewhere between 120 and 132, because your intellectual abilities can be influenced by a lot of different things, from your diet to how much sleep you got the night before the test.
IQ tests are just one of many ways to measure a person’s intelligence. IQ tests are also useful for diagnosing mental health conditions and learning disabilities.
What many people don’t realise about their IQ level, is that it’s not measuring their education, but rather the abilities that form the foundations for their acquisition of knowledge. In other words, spending years reading textbooks won’t necessarily increase your IQ, but it might improve the scope of your knowledge. To increase your IQ, you effectively need to expand your intellectual potential.
Can You Be Genetically Predisposed to a Higher IQ?
You can be genetically predisposed to have a higher or lower IQ, but it’s in your control to learn how to increase your IQ. There are two kinds of human intelligence: fluid and crystalized. Fluid intelligence is linked to abstract reasoning, while crystalized intelligence is associated with intellectual development and skill. The national library of medicine dictates both kinds of intelligence can be influenced by genetics, parenting style, home life, nutrition, and education.
Intelligence isn’t necessarily passed down directly through genetics, but your DNA can have an influence on your intellectual potential.
Everyone is born with a specific capacity for intellectual potential, and it’s up to them to decide if they want to nurture and grow their IQ to the peak of its potential or not.
Researchers have found that genetic factors account for about 50% of the difference in IQ levels among individuals. However, intelligence is also strongly influenced by our environment, parenting, education, nutritional deficiencies, diet, sleep, and more.
Even if you don’t have a higher genetic predisposition to intelligence, this doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t increase your IQ. Remember, IQ is a measurement of not just your intelligence, but your intellectual potential.
Improve your mental fitness with brain-boosting exercises on a regular basis if you want to increase your IQ.
This requires commitment, dedication, self-motivation and self-discipline. You can absolutely increase your IQ, no matter how low your IQ test score was.
How to Increase Your IQ: 4 Exercises to Try
Sometimes, even the simplest lifestyle changes can influence one’s IQ. If you have a genetic predisposition to have a high IQ, but you’re struggling to expand your intelligence, it could be your environment that’s holding you back. Exposure to oxidative stress makes your organs age faster. Since your brain is one of your most active organs, it’s often at the highest risk. Eating antioxidant-rich foods could pave the way for an increased IQ.
The most common methods of increasing your IQ will typically fall into 4 types of brain training activities.
2. Memory exercises
Memory sharpening activities are fantastic for not only preserving brain functioning in the later years of your life but improving your reasoning and language skills too. Since language and reasoning are commonly used as measurements of intelligence in IQ tests, it makes sense to invest in memory building activities which boost these elements of your mind.
You can improve your memory with jigsaw puzzles, crossword puzzles, concentration games (such as games where you use your memory to match cards), and sudoku.
2. Visuospatial reasoning
Visuospatial reasoning applies to the connection between your mental processes, and physical representations. In one study, researchers discovered that improving visuospatial reasoning led to a significant increase in IQ test scores.
In this study, executive control and memory activities also helped to improve the visuospatial reasoning of participants. Great ways to improve your visuospatial reasoning abilities include exploring mazes and building 3D models.
3. Practicing executive control
The term “executive control” refers to your ability to control the management of complex activities for cognition in your mind. It’s a component of executive functioning, which has been extensively tied to fluid reasoning – a common measurement of human intelligence.
Executive control training is something you can do with games like red light, green light, brainteasers, Pictionary, and scrabble. Anything that forces you to use your mind to solve a problem.
4. Relational skills
Relational skill theory relates to the development of language and human cognition through the use of relational associations. Research from 2011 shows that relational frame theory can even enhance the IQ of children.
Building relational skills is all about finding the connection between things. For instance, you could practice these skills by comparing one object to another and listing the difference between them. Children often develop these skills when developing a language, through books that identify specific items and their names.
Other Ways to Improve Your IQ
Learning how to improve your IQ is a lot less complicated than you’d think – particularly if you’re already genetically predisposed to a strong intellectual performance. Aside from the specific activities we mentioned above in relation to the four activities associated with building intelligence, you can also use specific activities to build your IQ, such as:
- Learning a musical instrument: You don’t have to be the next Bach or Dave Grohl to benefit from learning an instrument. Studies show that musicians have better memories than their counterparts. Since memory plays a crucial role in intelligence, it pays to explore your passions in the musical landscape.
- Reading more often: Books are some of the most valuable tools human beings have for cognitive development. The more you read, the more your intellectual abilities expand. Books can be particularly useful for development when they’re paired with family bonding activities. According to researchers in one study, when parents read aloud to their children, the child will often have greater cognitive development and language skills.
- Learn a new language: More than half of the population of the world is bilingual. Learning languages is an excellent way to develop your relational skills and improve your memory. One study found that early language learning and IQ are often directly connected.
- Try meditating: Learning how to relax and manage your emotions can do incredible things for your mental health, and your cognitive abilities. Meditating for as little as 20 minutes a day improves your deep cognitive processing abilities, which is core to the development of fluid intelligence, and part of what makes you more creative.
- Get more sleep: Doctors and scientists often agree the brain will naturally work better when it has the right amount of rest and fuel. Eating antioxidants helps to keep your brain healthy, while getting plenty of sleep ensures you’re rested enough to think clearly. Every hour of sleep you miss can be enough to knock a full point from your IQ.
Commit to Constantly Expanding Your Intellectual Potential
An IQ isn’t something you’re born with. While aspects of your genetic potential are passed down in your genes, your intellectual ability is as flexible and changeable as you. Committing to constantly expanding your mind and improving your cognitive potential will subsequently improve your IQ.
Perhaps the best thing you can do if you’re looking for ways to increase your IQ, is dedicate a portion of your life to consistent, continued education. Learning as much as you can on a regular basis, by reading, watching documentaries, taking classes, and listening to other people will expand your mind. Studies even show that every additional year of formal education a person received can equate to five additional points on their IQ.
Get a DNA test from Circle DNA today to find out what your intellectual potential looks like, then create your plan for improving your score one day at a time.