We are amid a pandemic, and I, for one, refuse to stay quiet when I could be helping others improve themselves during this crisis. As you can see from my bio, I write to help you get better and smarter every day. In preparation for this article, I pulled up 2 articles — one of which offered 30 tips to becoming more intelligent and another with 10 evidence-backed ways. Neither satisfied me, so I just decided unusually to “be myself” and use my brain. With that in mind, I’ve come up with five daily habits that, if practiced regularly, may increase your intelligence level.

Eat a Healthy and Balanced Diet

A bowl of fruits on a white table surrounded by other fruits
A bowl of fruits on a white table surrounded by other fruits

Gary Keller, in his book The Millionaire Real Estate Investor, suggests that we must “minimize consumption to maximize production.” What he’s saying is you may accomplish more when consuming less, or in the larger context, simply learning to balance consumption habits. A banana with a cup of yogurt in the morning will provide just the amount of energy needed to get through a standard morning. Not only would that be a healthy and balanced choice; it would also be a smart choice, and don’t forget to drink water!

Go For a 10-Minute Walk

A person going for a walk with a city in the background
A person going for a walk with a city in the background

Dr. Scott McGinnis, a neurology instructor at Harvard Medical School, suggests taking a brisk walk a few minutes a day to improve thinking skills. I encourage walking for 10 minutes a day simply to enjoy peace of mind and let your thoughts out. Years ago, I left the house for a walk, and on the way back I went from committing to an employer’s third-party contractor to working for the employer – I made far more money, had more job security and stability, better work environment, etc. Let your body interact with nature by enjoying exercise and simultaneously “flexing” your ideas.

Manage Time

An hourglass on a table next to some books
An hourglass on a table next to some books

This may be the hardest habit to adjust to, yet yield the most valuable results. We have 24 hours in a day — all of us. Similar to a professional sports competition, what we do with every minute of that time is critical. We must, at least, consider what we intend to do, certainly for 12 hours of a given day. How does this increase intelligence? Over time, you get smarter in how you plan around your day. You see, when time suddenly becomes constricted, we as humans pay more attention and stop taking it for granted. Now we’re encouraged to think before we act, which inevitably leads us to think more, think smarter.

Follow Positive People On Social Media

A person looking through social media on their phone
A person looking through social media on their phone

Be honest — I am willing to guarantee at least half of those who view this article have at least one social media platform, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat; you’ve got it. Furthermore, on average you spend at least 1-2 hours a day checking it out. I highly suggest you identify up to 3 very positive, inspiring people and follow them. You’d be surprised how in the midst of all the clutter and negativity, there are one or two select people who inject a little wisdom into your heart. You don’t have to load your timeline with all intellectuals, but just enough to remind you how there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a very refreshing practice that’s good for the brain.

Engage In Activities That Encourage Mental Stimulation

A woman holding a light bulb and pointing to her head
A woman holding a light bulb and pointing to her head

Sudoku, Mahjong, brain teasers, learning Mandarin…do any of these ring a bell? I particularly like how they were all introduced in the form of a game or activity. What that means is the intention is for them to be fun to do, while also allowing you to flex your mental muscles. Kendra Cherry, in an article titled 5 Brain Exercises to Strengthen Your Mind, suggests drawing a map of your city or town from memory. This would most assuredly boost your intelligence. When you teach yourself how to recognize and master these complex activities, you feel good – great, actually; you feel smarter.

In wrapping up, again, I emphasize the importance of developing habits geared toward making wiser choices. Come up with a game plan, have a decent, light breakfast to start your day off, find an app on your smartphone that involves brain teasers, see what that motivational speaker you used to study with tweeted out today, then go for a brisk walk. Practicing these regularly will not just help you think smarter, but help increase your intelligence level over your lifetime.

Have any more tips for boosting your intelligence? Let us know down in the comments.

This article originally published on GREY Journal.