Increasing our intellectual wellness

Mental healthHealth TipsMay 30, 2024

When we think about our health and wellbeing, the first thing that tends to come to mind is improving our physical health.

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However, something that is just as important, and often neglected, is our intellectual wellbeing. Optimal mental and spiritual health play an essential role in physical health. A healthy life, therefore, requires a balance between mind and body, rather than a choice between the two.

What is intellectual wellness?

“Intellectual Wellness is engaging an individual in stimulating mental activities to expand their knowledge and skills to help them grow their creativity and potential.”

Simply put, intellectual wellness is "the wellness of the mind", and we can enhance it by trying to maintain good mental health habits and striving towards creativity and intellectual growth. Without intellectual wellness, it can become easy to get stuck in negative thought processes and patterns, which hinder our ability to move forward in life.

Why is intellectual wellness important?

There are several benefits to being intellectually well, some of which relate to us and how we conduct our day-to-day activities. Others relate to growth and development opportunities.

Intellectual wellness encourages learning, inspires exploration, and stimulates curiosity. It motivates us to try new things and develop an understanding of how we see the relationship between ourselves, others, and the environment.

The benefits of a strong sense of intellectual wellness include:

  • Improved cognition, concentration, and memory
  • Improved mood and expanded mindset
  • Enhanced clarity in thinking and focus
  • Enhanced brain function and learning capabilities
  • Enhanced organizational skills both in home life and at work
  • Ability to plan and minimize stress
  • A sense of achievement and overall wellbeing

How can we increase our intellectual wellness?

The ‘best’ way to improve your intellectual wellness will vary depending on how you learn and what your current interests are. However, these are a few things you can try to get started:

Read a book

Pretty much any amount of reading can help with intellectual wellness. Fiction, nonfiction, a classic novel, something off the latest bestseller list, even a biography or the newspaper. The very act of reading can help to grow your intellectual wellness and, depending on what you’re reading, you may learn a thing or two.

Write in a journal

Write down your thoughts or keep a journal of activities and events. Writing about your day, how you feel, and what you are going through can help improve your mental health through self-reflection.

Play brain games

Try solving a weekly crossword puzzle, finding challenging games online, or simply keeping a book of sudoku in the bathroom. Instead of spending your downtime doomscrolling, you can stimulate your brain with puzzles.

Experience the arts

Attend or participate in cultural events (in person or online). Music, arts, dance, and other cultural activities can stimulate your brain in new ways. If you’re keeping a journal, you can note how the art made you feel and provide your own private critiques.

Try a new hobby

This can be anything, as long as it’s something you’ve never tried before. You could paint, learn to juggle, try your hand at knitting, even attend a pottery class. Anything to help you experience new things and get you out of your comfort zone. You might find that they don’t all interest you in the long term, but you also might find a new hobby or make some new friends.

Attend an online class

Lifelong learning is key to keeping the brain active and healthy. You don’t stop learning because you get old, you get old because you stop learning. Whether you’re learning a new skill to use at work or simply pursuing an interest, any level of learning can be good for your brain.


It is also important to understand the connection between intellectual wellness and physical activity. The same areas of the brain responsible for cognitive thinking tasks are activated and developed during exercise. This means that when the body is in motion, the brain comes to life. As we all know: healthy body, healthy mind.

Dr Khatchik Kinoyan