How to get smarter

A couple of Facebook friends (thanks, Nelson and Jacqueline!) posted links to this guest blog post from Scientific American entitled You can increase your intelligence: 5 ways to maximize your cognitive potential. The author, Andrea Kuszewski, who has worked with children with Asperger’s syndrome and helped them increase their IQs, posits that IQ isn’t something that’s genetically predetermined.

Rather, we can get smarter.

I agree with this from my own experience. Clearing excess candida and getting gluten out of my diet resulted in the dissipation of a brain fog that I hadn’t even been aware of — because I had a brain fog! I remember realizing with joy that I could focus on reading difficult texts that I would have given up on before, and I could retain what I learned.

I also read the book Buddha’s Brain and take most of the recommended supplements for brain health. I’ve noticed a difference from that. My brain seems to be humming along more contentedly, and I feel more integrated.

Tell ya later about brainwave optimization!

Of course, this is anecdotal and not scientific evidence, but it seems to me that that’s always where good research starts — from noticing differences. And if it’s true for me, it’s true for me, and that’s good to know.

Kuszewski’s post draws on research findings published in 2008 that stated that you can increase your intelligence significantly through training. And she says if you can live your life by these five principles, you’ll be smarter:

1. Seek novelty. Be open to new experiences.

2. Challenge yourself. As soon as you master something, move on.

3. Think creatively. 

Creative cognition involves divergent thinking (a wide range of topics/subjects), making remote associations between ideas, switching back and forth between conventional and unconventional thinking (cognitive flexibility), and generating original, novel ideas that are also appropriate to the activity you are doing.

4. Do things the hard way. Use your skills — don’t let technology (calculators, GPS, cars) erode them.

5. Network. Expose yourself to new people, ideas, environments. Everyone benefits.

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