Life Hacks: Gray Matter Intelligence

By janelle krause on June 26, 2013

In today’s world, especially on the internet, “life hacks” are everywhere: on how to improve your life, how to become smarter, improve your memory, make money, save money, etc. There is so much information that it can be incredibly difficult to know where to begin.

First thing’s first: figure out what you want. Do you want to gain intelligence (fun side note: you can increase your intelligence by by forming new neural connections known as gray matter… I’ll get to that later)? Lose weight? Become more socially adept? Learn how to do cool little tricks to make life easier? If all you’re interested in is the latter, there are plenty of useful memes out there.

Now that you have looked at fun life hack memes and possibly Googled a few, let’s get to some of the previously mentioned life hacks. Before diving in you should keep a few things in mind:

  • I am not a professional and everything I am telling you can be found on the Internet.
  • If you want to see results, you have to keep at it and make this a part of your daily life. A couple of days or weeks of said life hacks isn’t going to cut it.
  • Remember that you are doing this for yourself, for your own benefit.

For the time being, let’s focus on intelligence. Warning, this will mean that you you are going to have to learn new things. I recommend that you pick topics that actually interest you or that you’ve been wanting to learn for a while anyway.

So first off: intelligence. More specifically, gray matter. “Gray matter or grey matter is a type of neural tissue which is found in the brain and spinal cord.” Gray matter processes sensory input, kind of like a CPU in a computer. The more gray matter, the faster information gets processed. Autopsies have shown that the more intelligence a person has in a specific subject, the more gray matter in that area of the brain.

Knowing this, you should want to find more ways to gain gray matter. Below I have listed some wonderful suggestions but there are countless ways so find out what works for you!

  1. Learn a new language
  2. Learn how to play a musical instrument
  3. Mindfulness practices
  4. Read books you find interesting (as an added bonus, they will probably provide some new additions to your vocabulary)
  5. Play number and logic games
  6. Develop spatial skills by drawing or painting (you don’t have to become the next Michelangelo)
  7. Move your body, ie: dance, sports, yoga, martial arts

If none of these work for you, find something that you’ve always wanted to learn about. Your brain will thank you.

Currently I am a student at the university of Iowa. Yes, Iowa. Where they grow corn, not potatoes. Idaho does the potato thing. I am a BFA painting student with a minor in art history and a teaching certificate. I enjoy writing, painting, drawing, and making awkward facial expressions in photos.

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