Basic Steps to Maintain Your Intellectual Health

Do you always find ways to be artistic with the stuff you do? Thinking and creativity decrease as you age, but treating your mind is as necessary as you treat your muscle.

Taking care of your mind stimulates you mentally, keeps you inventive, and improves points of view. But, how do you maintain your intellectual health?

A person becomes intellectually healthy by decoding problems 1related to critical thinking, problem-solving, and adapting to change.

It can be kicked off by exploring hobbies, pursuing personal interests, reading books, magazines, and newspapers, and updating yourself with current events and issues. It makes you curious and keeps the mind lively. 

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Studio Romantic on Shutterstock

Intellectual health, one of the seven dimensions of health, is outlined as the strength to think critically, find ways to be creative, and be exposed to new ideas. It states that your general knowledge and common sense are more important than your IQ.

Like all other dimensions of health, balance is a crucial factor in intellectual health to emerge as healthy individuals. It is necessary to price your curiosity, creativity, and lifelong learning to balance your intellectual health. 2

 Some of the Benefits of Intellectual Health

1. Makes You Curious

Intellectual health makes you curious leading to surprising discoveries. Newton discovered the law of gravity as he was curious about why the apple fell to the ground. 

2. Helps You to Learn New Skills

Intellectual health makes you learn new skills and carry out lifelong learning through formal education and informal life experiences. 

3. Develops Critical Thinking

Intellectual health helps build on critical thinking skills to develop good problem-solving and coping skills necessary to keep one more creative and intelligent.

You can develop such skills by practicing puzzles, tricky quizzes, jumbled games, and heightening general knowledge. 

4. Reduces Anxiety

Intellectual health helps out in the reduction of anxiety3 and induces a good sense of calm and inner peace as it provides clarity in thinking and livelier memory. 

5. Increases BNDF

Medically, intellectual health increases BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor4), which improves neurotransmission. 

There are a lot of intellectual health benefits that strengthen your mind and keep you fresh and alert. 

8 Basic Steps To Maintain Your Intellectual Health

1. Puzzle Your Mind

Testing your logic and reasoning skills by solving tricky brain puzzles, word searches, sudokus, and crosswords stretches your brain and opens it to deep thinking.

Researchers have deduced that practicing such intellectually stimulating activities cuts back the danger of diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s by 67%.

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Photo by Ross Sneddon on Unsplash

Puzzles exercise both sides of your brain, giving a real mental workout for the two hemispheres of your brain where the left hemisphere controls analytic and logical thinking while the right hemisphere controls creativity.

A study at the University of Michigan showed that solving puzzles for a minimum of 25 minutes a day can boost your IQ by 4 points.

Instead of wasting your time watching TV, choose a puzzle, have an end plan and solve it as quickly as you can. Your puzzle ought to be fun, but if it gets boring, take a break, as an active look at it after a break may help you see the elements you missed.

Once you finish off, congratulate yourself. Subsequently, challenge yourself with a tougher puzzle. Practice and familiarity with short-term memory-improving puzzles will develop your skills at high speed.

2. Think Critically and Solve Problems

The capacity to think clearly and sensibly is important whatever you choose to do. Critical thinking is the skill to think in an organized and rational fashion to understand connections between ideas and facts.

Critical thinking develops analyzing, reasoning, evaluating, decision-making, and problem-solving skills. It is not just learning but a skill for your life.

Critical thinking, a part of lifelong learning, makes you think creatively outside the box. Practical critical thinkers remain curious about a broad range of topics and customarily have widespread interests.

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Photo by ALAN DE LA CRUZ on Unsplash

The first pace is to identify the problem. Choose a problem involving factors like effective reasoning, decision-making, and problem-solving. Look at the problem from different angles and analyze the problem if it is solvable.

Gather facts, data, or information related to the problem. Concentrate on making educated guesses. Decide which solution fits the situation best, and implement your solution through problem-solving techniques.5

Learn more about developing an abundance mindset: 13 Easy Ways to Develop an Abundance Mindset

3. Read for Fun, Learn for Life

It is never too late to start reading! You may feel it is hard to find time in your busy schedule to read something you enjoy.

However, reading is an excellent way to enhance intellectual health and immerses you in another universe. Get acquainted with where to start so that you can set up a love affair with books and nurture it as time goes by. 

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Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Choose a book that appears fascinating to you. Was there a TV program or a movie that you loved? See if there is a book it is based on.

Books have the power of taking you to completely different worlds you have never visited before, like Harry Potter. Find a perfect atmosphere that is calm and quiet enough to stick to the reading habit. Borrow reading time from the work and actions that are less important to you.

Enhance your reading atmosphere with personal touches like snacks or curling up under a blanket. Choose a time slot when you will be serene. Early morning or late evening are good times to read. Partner with your friend to read as it doubles the fun!

Jot down your emotions as you continue reading. When you are finished with the book, you can look over your thoughts and remember the parts that challenged you, made you laugh, or spoke to you deeply. 

4. Learn a New Skill

Is there any skill that you just continually wished to learn but didn’t find the right time to initiate? Well, now is the time to go out and learn it.

Involvement in a new skill is a fun and interactive way to increase intellectual health. “Mental sweat” boosts your brain in building new cells and increases connections between the cells.

When you upskill in something new, you exercise your brain, improving psychological functions such as concentration, memory recall, and detailed attention.

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Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Decode what to learn and get started right away. Learning a new skill is fun, whether it is crafting, gardening, dancing, or cooking. Commit your spare time to the chase of learning a new skill.

The key point to be followed is to interact with the information. In this era where everything is available at a click of a button, there are many ways to learn. Relying on multiple sources is beneficial. Don’t just learn; master the skill by applying your learnings in action.

Focus on practicing things that you find difficult. Find out what works for you and what does not. Stick to the promise of learning without distraction by working single-mindedly on the task at hand. Adopt a growth mindset resulting in increased intellectual health.

5. Experience the Arts

Art is a visual object or action intentionally created through an expression of skill or insight. Art stimulates the imagination and makes you more observant.

Art boosts self-esteem and provides a sense of accomplishment by reducing stress. If you have ever had the desire to embrace your artistic side, why not give it a try?

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Photo by note Thanun on Unsplash

Explore the world by paying a visit to museums and historical places. Attend and participate in cultural activities involving music, art, and dance as it is a great way to boost your intellectual health while having fun at the same time.

The three straightforward ways to understand art are: 

  1. Look
  2. See
  3. Think

The first two steps are just about using your eyes and observational skills. Looking is about virtually describing what is in front of you while seeing is about implementing meaning to it.

The third one is about sensing what you have observed. Knowing a broader context of your observation helps in creating and stimulating your brain in new ways. 

6. Manage Your Time Wisely

Do you perform the right work at the right time? Time management is the ability to plan and control how much time to spend on specific activities. Good time management makes you complete the task in a shorter period and reduces stress leading to career success.

If you lose money, you would possibly get an opportunity to earn it back, however, a wasted hour is irreplaceable. As you progress towards the trail of success, you feel like your time shrinks. The more prosperous you are, the less time you have.

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Photo by Veri Ivanova on Unsplash

Track your time for at least a week by jotting downtime and what you do at that time. Identify and eliminate things in the time log that takes you off-task.

Organize your workspace by eliminating needless items. Make a “to-do list” that you should achieve in a few weeks. Schedule your events and daily tasks in a calendar.

Execute the tasks that are urgent and important first. Pay attention to your loved ones by outlaying some quality time. Focus on the task without letting your mind get distracted elsewhere.

Also, taking frequent breaks is important as they allow you to work at peak performance without burning you out. Developing time management skills is a key tip to improving intellectual health.

7. Play a Board or Card Game

Are you addicted to video games? Here is a simple way to get out of it. Try a board or card game. They are much more than just fun as they offer several intellectual health benefits, encourage socialization, reduce stress, and keep your mind fresh and active.

Playing such games increases brain function by stimulating brain areas responsible for memory formation and complex thought processes for all ages.

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Photo by Alessandro Bogliari on Unsplash

When the vacations are around the corner, sit with your friends and family and initiate a board or card game.

Try out some interesting tabletop games like Monopoly, chess, scrabble, or the fun “Oh Hell!” card game. Analyze the tough moments and challenges and use different strategies to make the right move.

8. Keep a Journal

A journal is simply a written record of your thoughts, experiences, and observations. As journalling is a writing skill, it improves communication skills and helps you practice your writing. A journal is a great way to help you to take a step back and mirror yourself.

You can self-reflect on gratitude or what you did today and record it in your diary. This practice of daily reflection can be done before going to bed.

Be in a quiet room with no distractions that allows you to focus and concentrate on writing. Be calm, close your eyes and think about the incidents of your day.

Question yourself, like how was your day, what happened today, and were you excited about anything. Feel comfortable in writing the thoughts and feeling you have been having.

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Photo by Cathryn Lavery on Unsplash

Set a time for how long you need to write. Ideally, 5-20 minutes is enough as it helps you to be centred and prevents you from getting carried away.

Once you are finished, re-read your writing and add additional thoughts at the end as a summary. Expressing yourself in a personal space is a pleasant way to stay balanced.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are examples of intellectual activities?

A person engages in a variety of imaginative activities during intellectual recreation, which stimulates the brain’s cognitive processes. These include crosswords, games of chess, sudoku, and more.

2. How does intellectual health affect us? 

It influences our thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. Additionally, it influences how we respond to stress, interact with others, and make good decisions.

3. What is intellectual development health?

The expansion of a person’s capacity for thought and reasoning is referred to as intellectual or cognitive growth. It concerns how people arrange their minds, concepts, and ideas to comprehend the environment in which they live.


Feeling stressed with your life problems? Smile. It can lower your heart rate and calm you down. Have an optimistic outlook by focusing on the good things!

As it goes, “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” Try something outside of your comfort zone and make room for adventure and excitement in your life.

Among all the steps described in developing your intellectual health, which would be your first move? Comment below!

Want top medical experts for all of your health care needs? Visit Cooper University Health Care.

  1. Felton, Rebecca H. “Effects of instruction on the decoding skills of children with phonological-processing problems.” Journal of Learning Disabilities 26.9 (1993): 583-589. ↩︎
  2. Molloy, Elizabeth, and Margaret Bearman. “Embracing the tension between vulnerability and credibility:‘intellectual candour’in health professions education.” Medical Education 53.1 (2019): 32-41. ↩︎
  3. Barnett, Lynn A., and B. Storm. “Play, pleasure, and pain: The reduction of anxiety through play.” Leisure Sciences 4.2 (1981): 161-175. ↩︎
  4. Binder, Devin K., and Helen E. Scharfman. “Brain-derived neurotrophic factor.” Growth factors (Chur, Switzerland) 22.3 (2004): 123. ↩︎
  5. Decker, Keith S. “Distributed problem-solving techniques: A survey.” IEEE transactions on systems, man, and cybernetics 17.5 (1987): 729-740. ↩︎

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