9 habits to adopt to become a little bit more intelligent every day

by Isabel Cabrera | January 18, 2024, 9:31 pm

When we talk about success, one thing that always comes up as an important component is intelligence. 

Intelligence is often equated with prestige and respect. People who are considered intelligent are looked up to and are often given the role of decision-makers and leaders. 

So, it comes as no surprise that we all want to be seen as intelligent. 

The good thing is, there are some habits we can adopt to boost our brain power a little every day. Here are nine of them: 

1) Read, read, and read some more! 

If there’s one habit I’ve found that has a massive impact on intelligence, it’s reading. 

It’s no secret that reading stimulates your brain, expands your vocabulary, and introduces you to new ideas. 

As someone who’s been a book-lover since the age of two, I credit books for opening my eyes to so many worlds and new perspectives. 

Figuring out how to read between the lines, getting to know how other people think and behave, developing focus…these are just a few of the benefits you can get from reading. 

And don’t just stick to one genre or subject, either. By branching out and reading various topics and writing styles, you are continually challenging your brain. 

Fiction, non-fiction, history, science – make your reading material varied so you can be as well-rounded a reader as possible. Plus, it’s a great way to feed curiosity!

2) Embrace curiosity

Remember when you were a kid, and everything was fascinating? We all have a natural curiosity about the world, and it’s something I try to foster every day. 

Asking questions and seeking answers doesn’t just make you more knowledgeable. Iit makes you more intelligent by sharpening your critical thinking skills.

So go ahead and follow wherever your curious mind takes you. Enroll in classes and workshops, experiment and try out new things…your brain will thank you for it! 

3) Cultivate creativity

Just as it’s important to stay curious, so is cultivating creativity. 

Creativity isn’t reserved for artists and musicians; it’s a valuable aspect of intelligence that we all can tap into. 

For example, I love to doodle, write, or even cook creatively. It’s not about creating a masterpiece but about thinking outside the box and seeing things from different angles.

You might think you’re not creative, but I bet you are in your own unique way. 

Experiment with different outlets – painting, writing, cooking, or anything that gets your creative juices flowing. I find it a rewarding and enriching experience that adds to my cognitive flexibility.

4) Practice mindfulness

Another habit that brings huge rewards in terms of brain power is mindfulness. 

Mindfulness is not just a trendy buzzword; personally, I’ve found it to be indispensable in clearing and refreshing my mind and making room for what matters. 

Focusing on the present moment trains us to eliminate distractions and truly concentrate on a problem or a task. 

The good news is, you don’t have to become a meditation guru to practice mindfulness. Simple exercises, even just a few minutes a day, can make a big difference. 

I often take a short break during the day to breathe and center myself, and it genuinely helps in resetting my mental focus.

5) Engage in healthy debate

Engaging in a lively debate is another way I’ve found to flex those intellectual muscles. It forces you to think on your feet, consider various perspectives, and articulate your thoughts clearly. 

Take note, though – debates don’t have to be formal or confrontational. Simply sharing opinions with friends or colleagues and inviting them to challenge your views can be just as beneficial. 

You might not win every single one, but you’ll certainly learn something new. 

And it’s got a hidden plus – you learn how to be diplomatic and express differing opinions in a constructive way. That means you’re also boosting your emotional and social intelligence!

Related: Exploring the complicated link between intelligence and discrimination

6) Build social connections

Speaking of social intelligence, did you know that being social can make you smarter

I used to underestimate the power of social connections. But over the years, I’ve seen how building and maintaining relationships have helped sharpen my emotional intelligence, empathy, and understanding of human nature.

Socializing doesn’t mean you have to be the life of the party. Simply engaging in meaningful conversations, networking, or volunteering in community activities can foster this growth. 

I’ve met some of my best friends through community involvement, and they’ve taught me more than any book ever could.

7) Stay physically active

Who would have thought that exercise could make you smarter? Well, the scientists did. 

In fact, one study found that adults who are inactive experience twice as much cognitive decline compared to adults who stay active. 

That’s quite a glaring difference, isn’t it? 

You see, physical activity enhances brain function, improves memory, and even boosts creativity. 

I can attest to this myself. When I’m feeling stuck on a problem, a quick jog or walk usually clears my mind.

If you aren’t into exercise, here’s some good news: you don’t have to hit the gym hard. 

You can go for a daily walk, stretch, or dance around your living room (one of my favorites), and that will do the trick. 

The key is to find something you enjoy and make it a regular part of your routine.

8) Get a good night’s sleep

While we’re on the topic of physical health, let’s talk about the impact of sleep

I can’t emphasize this enough: sleep is essential for your brain’s health. During sleep, your brain consolidates memories, cleans up waste, and prepares for a new day. 

I’ve noticed that when I skimp on sleep, my thinking becomes sluggish and my creativity wanes.

Prioritize sleep as you would any other vital aspect of your life. If getting adequate restful sleep is a struggle for you, here are some ways to make bedtime easier: 

  • Avoid caffeine and stimulating activities closer to your bedtime.
  • Create a relaxing bedtime routine.
  • Make your bedroom a comfortable environment (I’d suggest keeping your bedroom free of work-related stuff).
  • Keep your room dark to send your brain the signal that it’s time to sleep. 
  • Consider putting away screens and devices at least an hour before bedtime. 
  • Aim for consistent sleep hours. 

Trust me, you’ll wake up refreshed and ready for some new challenges!

9) Embrace failure

Now let’s talk about a mindset that can get in the way of becoming more intelligent. I’m talking about the fear of failure. 

It’s a fear that keeps us paralyzed, stuck in our comfort zones, unwilling to try out new things. 

Nobody likes to fail, but real talk – it’s one of the most effective teachers in life.  

Embracing failure has taught me resilience and adaptability, two essential components of intelligence.

However, learning from failure isn’t automatic. Iit requires a conscious effort and a willingness to examine what went wrong without judgment. 

Here’s how you can harness failure as a tool for growth:

  • Analyze the experience: Look at the situation objectively. What went wrong? What could have been done differently?
  • Identify lessons: What can you learn from the failure? These insights can be more valuable than success, as they provide a roadmap for improvement.
  • Implement changes: Apply what you’ve learned to your future endeavors. This step turns a failure into a stepping stone towards success.
  • Maintain a positive mindset: It’s normal to feel disappointed or frustrated after a failure, but dwelling on those feelings can be paralyzing. Focus instead on what you can control and how you can grow from the experience.

10) Follow intelligent people online

Finally, we get to a habit that’s super easy to do, but packs a lot of benefits – curating your social media feed well. 

Forget the influencers, models, and celebrities. Replace them with thought leaders, industry experts, academics, or creative minds. 

These types of people often share valuable insights, research, and ideas through their online platforms. 

By following them, I’ve found that I can tap into diverse fields of knowledge and stay updated on cutting-edge ideas and trends.

For example, I started following a renowned economist on social media who regularly shares insights about global economic trends. 

Not only has this helped me understand complex economic concepts, but it has also prompted me to think critically about how these trends impact everyday life.

That’s a definite step-up from the old frivolous accounts I used to follow!


Becoming more intelligent doesn’t happen overnight. It’s the result of consistent habits that support growth, exploration, and continuous learning. 

I’ve shared these habits not just because they work for me, but because they’re universal, practical, and can be adopted by anyone willing to take the steps. 

So, are you ready to become a little more intelligent every day? I know I am, and I’m excited to see where this journey takes us!

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