In the modern world, a person does not need to get on a plane to encounter a new culture. A person who is working to broaden their horizons could visit immigrant friends and learn about the culture of their homeland. Many cities have a “Chinatown” or an area that is “Little Italy.” Visit these neighborhoods and speak with the people. A person looking to grow their IQ could also, with permission, join a friend of a different religion at for a service or discuss a hot button topic with someone of a different political ideology. Interacting with people of a different background will broaden a person’s horizons as long as they bring an open mind and a willingness to listen and learn. A closed mind will not help a person raise their IQ.

Take Care of the Body

Care of the body is as important as care of the mind. This is because the brain is part of the body. A person who does not take care of their body will find it more difficult than it needs to be to grow their brain. A person who wants to raise their IQ needs to eat right. Ditch the chips and canned “cheese-type food,” and cut up some green beans or roast a couple potatoes. Protein is essential to brain growth as are a wide variety of vitamins. Unfortunately, nutritional deficiencies are still common. The spread of vegetarianism and veganism has contributed to an increase in vitamin B12 deficiencies as this vitamin is only found in animal products. B12 is also one of the most essential vitamins for brain growth. A lack of B12 can cause “brain fog” and lead to memory issues, lost concentration or even lasting brain damage.

Exercise is also important to brain growth. The endorphins released by exercise help get more oxygen and glucose to the brain, both of which are essential for brain growth. Cardio workouts also help burn off the stress hormone cortisol and promote the growth of new connections between neurons. Spending half an hour on a treadmill is a wise choice for a person trying to increase their IQ.

In addition to healthy eating and exercise, sleep is essential to brain growth. Anyone who has gone to work the day after a sleepless night will remember having little energy, low motivation, trouble concentrating and difficulty recalling information, if they remember much of the day at all. A sleep debt will hurt a person’s ability to create new memories. There is a reason that 17 hours without sleep is comparable to a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05, more than half-way to the level of legal intoxication. In addition to its importance in forming memories, sleep is also the time when the body flushes naturally occurring toxins out of the brain. If a person does not go to sleep, those toxins build up and can cause brain inflammation and permanent damage.

Choose “Smart” Entertainment

Everyone needs time to relax, and a person trying to raise their IQ is no exception to this rule. A person who wants to promote brain growth, however, should have discriminating taste in their entertainment. A person trying to raise their IQ should spend their down time doing activities that require at least some manner of focus or thought. Rather than clicking mindlessly through Facebook, a person looking to encourage brain growth could play Sudoku, Scrabble or do a crossword puzzle. Instead of watching YouTube cat videos, pick up a book or factual magazine such as “BBC History” or “Science Magazine.” Read from a variety of genres, and make it a point to include some “serious” books such as classic fiction or commercial nonfiction. If a person trying to grow their IQ really needs to put their feet up on the couch and watch TV, they should turn to documentaries and informative channels such as National Geographic or Discovery Channel rather than watching two hours of reality TV. For those who want to spend their down time doing something challenging, playing the Duel n-back game has been proven to help grow a person’s IQ at least temporarily.

A high IQ is a commendable goal, and science has identified several ways to help people reach that goal. Even if a person’s score on their IQ test does not increase, the habits that help increase a person’s IQ encourage a healthier, more open-minded and creative lifestyle. Brain growth can also affect a person in ways other than increasing their performance on a standardized test. Increased brain growth can lead to a new outlook on life, the ability to take better advantage of new opportunities and a healthier brain.

Despite the desirability of a high IQ, the reality is that a person’s IQ is not the only measure of their intelligence or the best predictor of their success. Each person’s brain works in a slightly different way, and each person channels their intelligence differently. A low IQ does not necessarily mean that a person is unintelligent or destined for failure. The IQ test is just one way of measuring intelligence. A person’s drive, passion, ambition, creativity and perseverance are far more indicative of future success than the results of a standardized test.