Simple ways to get smarter

He who is not smart must be cunning. With a few simple tips, you can become smarter and knock your intellectual colleagues off the throne.

1. Try new things

Sniff smells you don’t know and discover places you don’t often or have never been to. If you are right-handed, do something regularly with your left hand (or vice versa for left-handers). These things stimulate your brain.

2. Play computer games

Video games can help train your memory and strengthen certain cognitive skills. Kind of like making puzzles or solving riddles and maths sums. In order for it to be more effective,  it is important that the games challenge and stimulate you to constantly apply new solutions and strategies.

3. Make sure you are offline enough

Every now and then you have to be able to disconnect from what is expected of you. Your boss who wants you to check your emails at night or on weekends. Your friends expect you to respond immediately to their emails,  check Facebook every two hours so you don’t miss a thing,  But it is not possible to quickly view or answer an email. Before you know it, you’ll be online for an hour. You can also text instead of email. Once your friends or colleagues realise that it is better to text or call you when it is urgent, you will receive far fewer emails and the pressure to always be online will decrease.

4. Transfer your knowledge

By teaching others what you have learned yourself, you challenge your brain to activate the accumulated knowledge in a different way. This causes a different brain activity than reading or learning itself.

5. Get enough sleep

When you have had little sleep, you feel listless and energyless. This also has its effect on your brain and your performance. A good night’s sleep, of about seven to eight hours a night, ensures that the brain continues to function properly. While sleeping, the memory is strengthened (just think of your dreams) and this ensures a better memory during the day. Moreover, getting enough sleep is good anyway to better concentrate on all the information that comes in during the day.

6. Listen to music

There is a link between listening to music and the performance of your memory and maths skills. By listening to music you would be more relaxed and therefore perform better.

7. Learn a second language

A second, or even a third language ensures that the neurons (nerve cells) in our brain make more connections. Not only do children develop new pathways in the brain, it is also possible to make new connections at a later age. This can be done, for example, by learning a new language. Chess has the same effect. An additional advantage is that it is a perfect way to learn to work in a solution-oriented way.

8. Keep practising and solve puzzles

If you want to increase your general knowledge and strengthen your memory, it is a good idea to solve puzzles. That is why the elderly are encouraged to solve crosswords on a regular basis, it could even partly prevent dementia. Learning new words, making new associations, it keeps our brain active.

9. Step out

Are we dumber when we’re alone at home? Actually, yes. Reading a book can make you smarter. But that is only one aspect of intelligence.A lot of thinking happens when we talk, discuss, argue, transfer knowledge or collaborate. Taking a long walk or going to a cafe makes us ‘smarter’. In such offline activities, we act completely differently than when we are online or reading. It will force your brain to work in a different way. This is certainly a good thing for those who have been sitting in front of a PC all day at work. Have you ever stopped to think about why good ideas suddenly appear in the shower or toilet? Because our brains aren’t ‘working’ and our bodies are doing something completely different than usual. This stimulus provides new insights.

10. Live according to your passion

Have you been able to turn your hobby into your profession, or can you lose your passion after your working hours? If you follow your passion, you can handle a lot more, and you will do a lot more than just curl up on the couch after work and watch the umpteenth repeat on TV. You will then live more passionately, your creativity will be sharpened, you will automatically start doing new things, you can handle much more information. In short, you will become smarter – and more successful.