pianoWhile having a high IQ doesn’t guarantee life success, it sure helps with academic achievement. So if you feel you need a little IQ boost, keep reading. Measures of intelligence are not static and can be affected by life and school-related experiences. However, we need to know what works.

For example, My mom worked crossword puzzles every day when she was elderly. She believed that this cognitive activity was keeping her mind functioning well.

Another friend plays Mozart for her baby and believes this will give hr child an IQ boost. But does this really make a difference when it comes to IQ?

1) Take music lessons. Forget making your baby listen to Mozart. Listening to classical music doesn’t really boost your IQ. Now, it certainly won’t hurt your child and may be enjoyable to us as parents. The key here is to change the listening to doing. Give your child piano lessons or any type of music lessons. Playing music is good for the brain and can increase IQ. So if you want to give your child an edge, enroll them in band, orchestra or private music lessons. The benefits to IQ are small but long lasting.

2) Consider your diet. Cut out the saturated fats! These fats can actually slow down your brain’s reaction time and impair memory. Add omega-3 fatty acids (flaxseed oil, mackerel, herring and trout)–all good for brain function. In fact, children who are fed healthier diets at an early age may have a slightly higher IQ according to a study at the University of Adelaide. Those children who were fed a steady diet of junk food had a slightly reduced IQ. OK parents, you have control of what goes into your kid’s mouth. This is one easy way to give them an advantage– feed them healthy food!

3) Stop multitasking. Constantly making the brain switch tasks actually helps you lose creativity. Boost your IQ by focusing on one thing at a time. Earl Miller, a neuroscientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, tells us that answering one email mid task can reduce your IQ 10 points! Focus, focus, focus!

4) Memorize something. Now that we can look up every piece of information we need, we no longer commit even the simplest things to memory. When was the last time you memorize a phone number, a Bible verse, a street address? Every day, try to memorize some fact. Memory is good for the brain. According to Edward Awh, a psychology professor and a member of the Oregon Visual Working Memory & Attention Lab, the number of things a person can remember is associated with fluid intelligence, an ability to solve new problems and identify patterns.

5) Stop watching reality TV. Australian psychologist Markus Appel did a study that found what you watch on TV influences your behavior. In his study, reality TV viewers did poorer on test of cognition after watching the show. Hmmm, interesting. It’s only one study but maybe reality TV isn’t challenging our brains, you think! Actually a better idea would be to do something novel. Be open to new information in order to create new neural networks in the brain. So get off the couch and take a cooking lesson, blaze a new hiking trail, or attempt a new language.

6) Get regular sleep. Not only does a lack of sleep impact stress and mood, but memory as well. Several studies have found a correlation between sleep and grades with school children. Others have noted that getting less than 8 hours of sleep a night can lower IQ the next day. According to Lance Kriegsfeld from the University of California at Berkeley, “…repeated disruption of circadian rhythms is likely going to have a long-term impact on your cognitive behavior and function.” So if you are a shift worker, constantly jet lagged or working your medical rotations at all hours of the day and night, you may have more difficulty learning.

Small and easy changes might just give us that edge we are looking for when it comes to being smarter.

 

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