Psychologists and other professionals often compare their patients with each other and the general populace. These comparisons allows for identification of abnormalities and talents. One dimension that is often examined is intelligence quotient. An IQ is a number that represents a person's intelligence relative to an established norm. Many laymen misunderstand the concept of IQ and attempt to increase theirs by performing meditation, facial exercises and eating certain foods. While these activities can improve your score on IQ tests, so can any habit that facilitates physical well-being. Likewise, poor habits can lower your IQ.
Lack of Sleep
An IQ test is still a test. Lack of sleep prior to testing can noticeably decrease performance. Fatigue during routine lessons can also affect IQ by decreasing the opportunity for practice problem-solving. Activities that prevent sleep include taking certain medications, overwork and partying. Keep in mind that oversleeping can also be harmful, making you sluggish and equally unresponsive.
The human body requires a balanced diet to achieve peak performance. Carbohydrates provide energy, while fruits and vegetables supply a host of vitamins and minerals. Depriving your body of these resources can stunt growth, hinder proper brain function and expose you to the debilitating effects of diseases, particularly during crucial developmental years. Eating excess junk food, skipping breakfast and overeating are all activities that facilitate decreases in IQ.
Drugs and alcohol are harmful to your body. These substances destroy cell tissue and upset your natural chemical balance. Even though the effect of certain drugs, such as cigarettes and beer, seems short-term, the long-term physical damage has irreparable repercussions for your IQ. Consumption of drugs also affects your emotional state. Testing while emotionally affected may result in lower IQ scores.
The worst thing to do to your brain is nothing. Performing mindless activities and avoiding learning opportunities affects your IQ more than anything else. Most activities that are believed to lower IQ fall into this category; for example, watching TV, video games, over-reliance on technology. These activities do not in and of themselves decrease IQ. Rather, they can prevent participation in activities that support mental development, such as problem-solving, memorization, communication and creative thinking.
- Jacob Wackerhausen/iStock/Getty Images