Being intelligent may be attributed to high IQ, but keeping your eye on the ball and staying focused is something you can train yourself to do. Being smart is attainable, if you choose to set your mind to it… Here are some tips:

  1. Use it or lose it. Yes, not using your brain does make it duller. Scientific research indicates that people who regularly engage in mentally challenging activities — playing scrabble, solving a crossword puzzle, learning a second language — are more likely not to get Alzheimer’s or dementia.

2. Re-invent. Remember inventing a new ‘code’ language with your friends in childhood? Duke University research says ‘neurobics’ – mental aerobics – helps your brain think in inventive new ways. Close your eyes and guess at food by taste alone, try using your left hand to do a task instead of the right, get lost on purpose to test your internal GPS.

3. Work Out. A healthy body results in a healthy mind. Exercises like brisk walking, jogging, and swimming pump up your heart-rate and increase blood supply to the brain, rejuvenating nerve cells.

4. Eat brain foods. Your diet should include plenty of fruits and vegetables. Bake or grill meat instead of frying. Focus on fish – rich in Omega 3, it’s been touted for centuries as a memory-enhancing food.

5. Play video games. Too good to be true? Yes, scientists say good video games train your brain, stimulating parts of it that control movement, improve memory and motor and planning skills. Just make sure you pick the right game.

6. Find the right company. Real friends lift you up, not pull you down. Make friends with people who stimulate your mind and have diverse interests. Intelligent conversation, healthy debate, and expressing and analyzing differences of opinion all help you become smarter.