Are you looking for ways to become a smarter person? With so many learning opportunities and strategies to build your knowledge base out there, it is possible to get smarter. All you need to do is make a plan, dig in, and start building up your brainpower.
Keep reading to learn 9 effective ways to get smarter and expand your perspectives!
1. Reading More Books Is One of the Best Ways to Get Smarter
This should be a pretty obvious strategy to get smarter: read more. Adding some daily reading to your to-do list is a simple and inexpensive step that can expand your range of knowledge.
It’s hard to carve out free time these days, so you might need to take small steps to get started. Start by blocking in some reading time a few days a week for 30 minutes at a time. Increase that number as you can, and consider using an app to track your progress.
Figure out what types of books hold your attention. If you’re falling asleep after the third page, that probably means you should find another genre. Aim for a mix of some lighter reads and other books that require a little more concentration.
If you can make a habit of reading before bed rather than watching mindless reality shows, your brain will benefit from it. You could even try a reading date night with your significant other!
2. Boost Your Diet
The answer to the question, “How can I become smarter?” involves taking a look at your diet. Did you know that your diet can impact your brain’s ability to function? It can, and there are strategies you can take to make your diet an asset to your brain.
You’ve probably heard about the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. These acids, found in foods like salmon and nuts, can help prevent mental decline and fortify your brain’s ability to function. Make sure that your diet includes some foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids or add a supplement to your regime.
The cup of coffee you have each morning benefits your brain, as well. The caffeine and antioxidants will keep your brain sharp and alert and make you feel better!
Other beneficial foods include blueberries and dark chocolate, which might come as a surprise. Both foods contain antioxidants that can help keep your brain in good condition. Check out your diet and find places where you can insert these helpful foods.
3. Opt for Documentaries
There are plenty of nights where you want to veg out watching a predictable action movie or lose yourself in an epic romance. The workweek is long, so you do deserve some comfort food when it comes to entertainment. But what about occasionally choosing a documentary instead?
If you can make room for documentaries, you’ll encounter informative films that will help you gain a breadth of knowledge.
Documentaries used to be seen as stuffy, educational films forced upon you in school, but they’ve come a long way. With so many great filmmakers probing wide-ranging topics from our food supply to drug addiction, there’s bound to be a topic that fascinates you. You’ll have to focus when watching a documentary, but you’ll gain new perspectives and a great conversation topic if you watch it with a spouse or friend.
4. Take Up Music
All of those music lessons you had as a kid may have seemed like a chore at times, but they helped you develop some cultural appreciation — and possibly a higher IQ. Research shows that playing an instrument can boost your brainpower as a kid as well as into adulthood.
In other words, it’s never too late to take up the violin or revisit the piano. There are many teachers eager to give lessons to people of any age, and plenty of community choirs and bands that would welcome new talent.
Looking for a new hobby? Music can fill that void and introduce you to new friends. And if you get really good, that hobby can turn into paid gigs.
By devoting some time to music, you’ll become a smarter person and find a creative outlet to soothe your soul. What could be a better combination?
5. Learn a Language
Wondering how to become smarter? Learning a new language is a great way to do this. Plus you’ll get the added benefit of knowing how to communicate with people from other cultures and countries.
If you’ve ever tried to learn a language, you know it’s a challenge. There are so many vocabulary words to memorize and structural differences to consider when you’re trying to conjugate verbs. The mental gymnastics will push your brain to higher levels of thinking.
6. Listen to a Podcast
Podcasts are a convenient way to build your knowledge base. You can listen to them during your commute or while out on an evening stroll. But with over 850,000 podcasts out there, it’s hard to know which ones are the best.
If you’re looking for an option that emphasizes intelligent talking points, check out The Jordan Harbinger Show. You’ll learn perspectives from a variety of public figures as well as stories that will stretch your mind.
Podcasts are the perfect company on a day when you’re snowed in or on an afternoon where you’re busy ironing clothes or doing other boring tasks around the house. Think of it as educational multi-tasking!
7. Write Things Down
You may remember taking notes when you were in school. While teachers stress the value of notetaking at a younger age, it’s a habit that can slip away in adulthood. Don’t let it.
As you listen to a podcast or read a book, write important facts or phrases down. The best way to imprint what you’re learning onto your brain is by reinforcing it through writing. This is why your teachers made you take notes, after all!
Designate a notebook or journal for this purpose. You can jot down notes as you go, make bullet point lists, or write a journal entry summarizing your impressions at the end of the day. By doing any of these options, you’ll give yourself tangible evidence of your hard work — and something you can revisit from time to time.
8. Spend Time With Smart People
Yes, that’s right — an easy way to develop your brainpower is by hanging out with your smartest friends. It’s good to have a variety of friends with different interests and areas of expertise. Find ways to socialize with all of these friends and learn more about the topics that intrigue them.
You’ll gain new perspectives and facts, and develop your friendships in the process. People like to know that you’re interested in what they do or think, so as long as you’re curious, you can pull out some info from them.
Just make sure that the relationship is reciprocal. In other words, you don’t want them to feel like you’re interviewing them constantly. It is good to be curious and ask questions — and share about your own interests, too.
9. Get Enough Rest
Sleeping is an important piece of the puzzle if you’re hoping to become smarter. If you’re staying up late or missing out on precious hours of sleep due to lifestyle choices, it’s time to make some changes. You won’t function at your peak if you’re dragging your feet each day, and there are strategies to fix this problem.
Set a consistent bedtime for each day, even on weekends. Drink some warm milk or caffeine-free tea and dim the lights as you approach your bedtime. And make sure that you have a quality mattress and some ambient noise if that will help you snooze.
Most experts recommend getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. If that doesn’t seem doable for you, start small and build your hours with time. You can also add napping to your routine since naps are an excellent way to refresh yourself midday.
With a little discipline, you can improve your sleep habits. Ask someone you live with or trust to hold you accountable, too, since it’s easy to get sucked into late-night television or computer time. It will be worth it since you’ll feel well-rested and sharp as you start your next day.
There’s never a better time than now to start building your knowledge base. With so many ways to get smarter, you can block in weekly activities that will stretch your brain. From picking up a book to eating more nutrients, there are tons of ways to boost your brainpower.