Typically people think of intellectual health as academic knowledge, but in fact, it also entails creativity, general knowledge, and common sense. Our thoughts are influenced by each of these factors, which in turn influence our decisions. It’s not only our IQ that matters when it comes to decision making, often times our general knowledge and common sense are more important. As with all other dimensions of health, intellectual health also requires a balance. Maintaining proper nutritional habits and exercising are essential components to our energy levels and willingness to develop into healthy individuals. We hold the key to the limits of our own development. Allowing ourselves to interact with people of various backgrounds introduces us to other viewpoints and expands our creative thought processes. Exposure to diverse experiences also allows for an open-mind.
What are some signs of intellectual wellness?
- Development of good study skills and time management.
- Ability to challenge yourself to see all sides of an issue.
- Becoming a critical thinker.
- Development of your own ideas, views, and opinions about life issues.
- Exposing yourself to new ideas, people, and beliefs that are different from your own.
- Become aware of who you are and what you stand for.
- Use the Health Services Resource Library or the UNH Library Resources to read as much as you can from various sources.
What are some ways to improve intellectual wellness?
Improve Study Skills
- Review study materials within 24 hours of class to keep it fresh in your memory.
- Take notes while you read, while in class, and focus on more than what is written on the board.
- Form a study group session with other people in your class.
- Study in a quiet environment that will not distract you.
- Color coding helps trigger memory – keep one topic per color.
- Find innovative ways to study that work for you.
Improve Time Management
- Use a planner to keep track of assignments, due dates, and other upcoming events.
- Make a “To-Do” list that allows you to cross off completed tasks as you go.
- Prioritize tasks in order of importance and tackle the most important first!
- Learn to say no to social activities sometimes – remember what is important to get done.
- Cut work hours. Money is important, but working too much can cut into your study time.
- Multi-task within your limits. Save time by doing multiple things at once, just don’t over-do it.
- Learn there is more than one way to do something.
- There isn’t always a “right” answer, but sometimes multiple.
- Stay open-minded to new ideas, insights, thoughts, expressions, and values.
- Expose yourself to difference.
Improve Critical Thinking
- Be actively engaged in conversation, readings, and classrooms – think about what is happening.
- Ask questions to yourself or others as you reflect.
- Challenge the norm, don’t take an answer for what it is without agreeing upon it yourself.
- Find patterns and connections to examples that relate to your life.
- Keep your brain active, thinking, and questioning!