Have you ever wondered how to be smarter, have you felt that the people around you know more than you do, or do you want to improve your mental capacity?
Although it is impossible to know absolutely everything, and master all the topics in depth; Yes, there are certain habits, behaviors, decisions, and attitudes that can help you be smarter.
How to get smarter?
The first thing is to understand that intelligence is something flexible, so you can acquire certain habits and behaviors that will allow you to encourage it, just like intelligent people did .
However, you need to develop three mental variables so that when learning how to be smarter , this is much easier. Each of them will be essential for your goal.
The first thing you need to do is train your mental process. Have many sources of information and references and focus on a problem, area of interest or field of work.
We all know how smart Thomas Edison was and how his inventions took humanity to the next level. Analyzing his idea of the light bulb under these variables, we find the following:
Thomas Edison with hundreds of attempts was trained to think logically. He was an electrical engineering expert And finally he focused on solving a problem.
What this shows is that, when asked how to be smarter, you will find the answer in the habits you practice on a daily basis. So to get started, here are 20 things you can do every day to get smarter .
1. Drink two glasses of water within 30 minutes of waking up
Because you’ve been sleeping for hours, your body hasn’t been hydrated in the right way for a long period of time. It has been established that water is necessary to filter the “garbage” in your body and to have a balance.
So two large glasses of water will again balance the amount of water your body needed during the night.
According to two studies ( 1 and 2 ) carried out in children, it was shown that drinking water increases the ability to complete mental tasks.
So make sure your brain is not dehydrated when you wake up, this will undoubtedly help you in your process of how to be smarter.
2. Read a book summary at breakfast
Reading books is great, but at breakfast time, with the little time you have, something shorter is preferable.
Instead of reading news articles that do little to help you in your quest for how to be smarter , read summaries of successful books instead.
3. Listen to podcasts or audiobooks on the go
Even if it is only 10 minutes on your bicycle, in public transport or your car, keep some audio on your cell phone that stimulates your learning. This is one of the keys to reading more books in a year. You can listen to podcast of your favorite authors, entrepreneurs etc.
If you think about it, one of the easiest ways to train your brain and be smarter is to swap your music for podcasts or audiobooks. These are an inexhaustible source of knowledge that you have just one click away.
Many times you don’t have time to sit down to read a book; Between your job, getting around, and working on other personal projects, you may not have much time left.
This is what audiobooks are for, to use that “dead time” when you mobilize and listen to the advice, strategies and points of view of great characters in history, which undoubtedly helps in your search for how to be more intelligent .
4. Drink green tea while you work
While caffeine makes people anxious, green tea contains L-theanine . This amino acid causes an increase in brain “alpha” waves.
Simply put, while coffee can induce anxiety, quality green tea induces a calm focus without producing sleep.
This is why L-theanine is sold as a supplement that helps relaxation and better cardiovascular function.
5. Take naps during the day
Napping lets your brain stay cool. It is even shown that naps during the day increase the speed of learning and therefore contribute to how to be smarter .
Your mind has a rhythm that determines when it is falling asleep and when it needs to sleep.
The average person feels more sleepy between noon and 4 in the afternoon. So this is an exceptional time to take a nap, which will make you more productive and perform at a higher level during the day.
6. Don’t drink sugar during the day
Ideally, you should completely forget about sugar. But, in the case of not being able (for whatever reason), make sure not to consume it in the moments when you need to be more concentrated.
High levels of sugar, followed by low ones, are not recommended for your mind to function intelligently.
You can try swapping high sugar foods for fatty acids, such as fish and eggs.
7. Use your social networks only a couple of times a day
The brain adapts to the type of information you throw at it. If you are constantly bombarding him with non-stimulating and rapidly changing information, such as social media , your attention will be seriously affected.
How to be smarter? Keep your brain stimulated with relevant and valuable information.
If you have the need to put off or entertain yourself for a few minutes, set a timer and don’t lose your mind by scrolling down with the latest posts from your friends.
8. Prefers video games over television series or movies
Watching TV is a passive activity, unless you use Netflix to watch documentaries that train you in some way. This means that your brain is consuming information but is not interacting with it.
Replace this activity with video games. A study conducted in 2014 showed that a simple game like Super Mario has a visible impact on the flexibility of your brain, and consequently on your search for how to be smarter .
To be smarter, involve your brain in as many activities as possible.
9. Read a book instead of watching TV
Like playing a video game instead of watching a movie, reading a book is training your brain .
While the consumption of audiovisual entertainment is a passive activity, reading a book requires you to construct mental images of what you are reading.
The benefits of reading are the same whether you are reading Game of Thrones, The Entrepreneur’s Black Book, or The Complete Investing Guide from the Wall Street Journal. No matter what you read, this habit will make you smarter.
Reading reduces stress , something that makes you feel better about yourself, and increases all three types of intelligence – crystallized, fluid, and emotional.
This helps you solve problems, connecting different pieces of knowledge to have a better day, detecting patterns, understanding processes and correctly interpreting the feelings of other people.
In your job, this translates into a better understanding of how things happen and improving your managerial skills.
10. Learn some programming:
Programming is a great way to learn to think logically and with patterns.
Previously this skill was difficult to learn, but with platforms like CodeAcademy that teaches you for free, or Udemy that has free and paid classes, programming became accessible to everyone.
You can consider this skill as the next level of puzzles; In addition, if you decide to learn, this increases your chances of acquiring a job.
11. Watch the TED talks while you cook:
While you prepare your food you have an interesting space to learn how to be smarter. Use this time to watch a talk that interests you in TED , there are many topics that may interest you and that you can apply in your life.
With a single talk that you watch, you are transforming a dead time into a time of creativity and value for your life. It’s the same as watching the news, but listening to the smartest and most interesting people on this planet.
12. Do some simple exercises throughout the day:
The body and the mind are strongly related. Being in good physical condition, and developing healthy habits , helps your mind work better, and therefore will facilitate your search for how to be smarter.
Although this does not mean that you have to go to the gym every day to benefit from this (you should). Doing some push-ups and sit-ups throughout the day, walking, and climbing the stairs in your building or work can all have a positive impact.
Try to get some exercise every hour of your day, even if it’s just getting up and taking a little walk, stretching or tensing your muscles as much as possible for 10 seconds.
Keep in mind that doing it once in a while does not work, occasionally exercise will not make you smarter. When you exercise regularly it is much more effective than doing it once in a while.
This is because constant exercise makes your cells fill with a protein called BDNF, which helps you with memory, concentration and understanding. What is also known as mental acuity.
Some scientists speculate that sitting for a long period of time has the opposite effect, affecting the functioning of your brain and your mental dexterity.
13. Spend time with people who are smarter than you
Habits are socially contagious. Believe it or not, it is a scientific fact that obesity is transmitted through social networks ( you can see more of this here ).
The positive or negative thoughts, and the habits of the people with whom you spend most of your time will end up being part of you, so choose well with whom you spend your time.
Expose yourself and interact with people who are smarter than you, so you will benefit.
14. Talk to people who disagree with you
Generate pleasant and friendly discussions with people who disagree with you on any topic. Arguing with them allows you to:
- Perfect your arguments
- Convince yourself that you are wrong
In both cases you will win; In the first case, you will convince the other person of your perspective, and in the second, you will understand something that you previously did not know.
15. Go and walk in a park, or in nature
Walking in a park, or close to nature has many benefits in terms of how to be smarter:
You will find more oxygen produced by the plants.
The human mind calms down when it is around plants.
Walking helps your blood circulation.
Walking for a bit during your lunch break can help you tremendously at work. Great people like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg understand the importance and benefits of walking . So take advantage of any time of the day to go for a walk.
16. Keep an agenda or where to take notes
Great minds like Leonardo Da Vinci always carried an agenda with them where they could take notes. They used it to write ideas, make prototypes or to jot down questions that arose.
Having a small notebook where you can write interesting things can help your mind in its mental process and to be more creative.
17. Take 10 minutes out of your day to plan for tomorrow
How do you spend your free time?
If you plan for tomorrow before you start, you will start your day with a plan. This simple activity will allow you to be much more productive.
Understanding how to be smarter implies being clear that to be successful you not only need to work hard, but in a smart way. So develop a routine in the morning that sets you up for a successful day.
How to be smarter through the way you think
success depends on your emotional intelligence
When it comes to learning how to be smarter, keep in mind that it goes beyond your IQ.
And it’s important to clarify because, unfortunately, the educational system has led us to believe that if we are not good enough at math, science or Spanish, then we are not considered smart.
However, this is far from reality; To learn how to be smarter, we must be creative, thoughtful, kind, and have the ability to adapt in an ever-changing world.
In other words, it involves developing different types of intelligence .
MIT neuroscientist Ed Boyden suggests the following mental habits that can help you on your quest to become smarter.
18. Constantly synthesize new ideas
According to this scientist, reading passively does not do much to learn. Rather, it suggests applying the model of scoring, modeling, thinking, and synthesizing.
This will allow you to deepen your learning, come up with much more creative solutions and have a much more receptive mind to different points of view.
19. Learn how to learn
In an era where technology is changing rapidly, having the ability to learn quickly is extremely important.
As Alvin Toffler put it , “the illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn”
How to be smarter does not depend so much on what you know, but on your ability to acquire new knowledge.
20. Always have a long-term goal
The vast majority of people focus on immediate payoff and short-term goals, however the real power lies in setting a plan for your future.
As Bill Gates said in one of his famous hit phrases , “Most people overestimate what they can do in a year and underestimate what they can accomplish in ten.”