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How to Get Smarter

Who couldn't use a few more brain cells? Get smarter with these strategies.


  • Step 1: Realize intelligence is malleable Realize that intelligence is malleable. Research indicates that simply knowing it's possible to raise your I.Q. makes you more likely to succeed in doing so.
  • Step 2: Take a nap Sneak in a midday siesta. The brain recharges while you sleep, making you much sharper in the afternoon.
  • TIP: A 90-minute nap works best because it allows time for the brain to go through an entire sleep cycle.
  • Step 3: Get off autopilot Complete a routine activity in an unfamiliar way. Getting your brain off autopilot stimulates it to produce new cells.
  • Step 4: Be an explorer Explore new ideas, entertain different points of view, and be inquisitive. Scientists have discovered a link between curiosity and increased brainpower.
  • Step 5: Learn something new Learn a new skill, preferably one that requires you to use several parts of your brain simultaneously. Mental challenges are like exercise for the brain.
  • TIP: People who learn another language score higher on many forms of intelligence testing.
  • Step 6: Meditate Meditate for at least 12 minutes a day. One man who did this for 8 weeks improved his memory by as much as 50 percent. Now that's something to think about!
  • FACT: In a Swedish study, 15-year-old boys who ate fish more than once a week for 3 years scored better on intelligence tests than those who consumed less, or no fish at all.

You Will Need

  • Naps
  • Curiosity
  • New skill
  • Meditation
  • Language course (optional)

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