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Intellectual Wellness – Exercising Mental Faculties

The dimension of intellectual wellness is yet another very important dimension of wellness since it has to do with the human mind which is what drives our actions. So, let us try and understand what is Intellectual Wellness.

Intellect vs Intelligence

Before we delve upon the term Intellectual Wellness, we need to understand the difference between Intellect and Intelligence. Both these words are often used interchangeably – and wrongly so – by us in our conversations.


Intellect can be defined as the power or faculty of the mind by which one understands and reasons objectively, particularly with regard to abstract matters.

I also used the phrase – ‘wrongly so’ – while referring to ‘Intellect’s’ interchangeability with ‘Intelligence’. Let me explain. While Intellect is to do with reasoning and understanding, intelligence is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skill. Intellect can be termed a branch of Intelligence.

To further elaborate, a top-notch scientist who is perpetually a silent participant in team meetings and brainstorming sessions can be termed intelligent but not intellectual. There could be many reasons for his silence, e.g. he is not updated on his subject developments; he is not used to discussions and debates with other people; he suffers from some complex; he may be in a disturbed state of mind, disillusioned with life; etc. In a nutshell, he is, perhaps, not be in the best of intellectual health.

Now if we want to define Intellectual Wellness, it can be said that it is the ability to open our minds to receive new ideas and experiences and which may be applied to self and community betterment. The desire to learn new concepts, improve skills and seek challenges in pursuit of lifelong learning contributes to our Intellectual Wellness.

Attaining Intellectual Wellness – Tips for Improvement

The core of this dimension of wellness is your commitment to learning and mental growth. Learning needs to be a continuous process. Even though a valid form of learning, it doesn’t need to be a school like situation. One can learn through experiences and insights, explore and observe the world around, discover new skills and cultivate talents, bring out your creativity to the fore.

The immediate field to explore and learn is that which interests us, however, you need not restrict yourself to it. Exploring new, unknown territory helps us in widening our horizons of knowledge. New perspectives are equally a part of improving intellectual wellness along with strengthening existing knowledge.

Some of the steps that you can take in pursuit of better intellectual wellness are:

Share your knowledge: Knowledge, when shared, improves the world. Share what you know with a mentee or become a tutor. This will keep your brain active by way of discussions, reasoning and critical thinking;

Eliminate stress: Stress interferes with the mind’s thinking process and makes our thinking muddled, leaves us confused. Get regular exercises, good amount of sound sleep and maintain healthy diet. This will keep your mental faculties on full alert and receptive to new ideas and experiences.

Explore, within and outside: Look out for new motivators; develop new hobbies; learn something new; improve upon your existing skills; read a book; engage in ‘thinking’ games like crossword and Sudoku puzzles. In a nutshell, look to further expand your knowledge base.

Break the stereotype: – Often following a routine every single day becomes monotonous and the mind starts acting mechanically like a clock. There is no thinking, no stimulation whatsoever. Try and break this routine for a change. Do things differently. Take public transport to work rather than using your own vehicle. Give your chef an extended holiday and cook yourself. Give your mind a new scenario to think.

In today’s fast-moving world, we face so many pressures in our regular day’s work that we barely think about this important dimension of wellness. Life becomes a cyclical routine and our day is jampacked with activities that we barely find time for our own self. While this is required to make a living, it is crucial that we take a break from this routine on a periodical basis and use this time to relax, introspect and take up some activity to look at the wellness of our mind, body and soul.

All the best!

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12 thoughts on “Intellectual”

  1. Great article, I was not really aware of the difference between Intellect and Intelligence, makes total sense. I do try to keep learning new things, experiencing and also sharing my knowledge. Thanks for this article, it’s very interesting.

    1. Thank you Miguel. You seem to be on the right track for attaining Intellectual Wellness.

  2. Great article! I have been under a lot of stress, and some depression for some time, and this article hit home. I have been working toward correcting things, and I am glad to hear that based on this, I am headed in the right direction.

    1. Thank you for writing Jason. We all go through these phases but it is important to come out of it, asap and it has to be a conscious effort. I have some tips under the ‘Emotional Wellness’ topic
      Feel free to write back (PM) whenever you wish to.
      Cheers and Keep smiling

  3. I learn something new every day. Today, your article has helped me understand the difference between intellect and intelligence. Plus, you have provided ways for me to build and grow my Intellect Wellness.

    I must admit I do practise some of the ways, particularly sharing knowledge, reducing stress and exploring within and without. The only thing I am not so good at is to Break the Stereotype. Guess I am comfortable with my daily routines.

    Yet, I must admit that on days that I do other activities that are not my daily routine, I do feel refreshed, and excited. Perhaps I should do more of those?

    1. I am so glad Timotheus that you found value in my write up.

      Yes, breaking stereotypes is not an easy task as that means getting out of your comfort zone but doing so does open up new horizons and new avenues for learning.

      Cheers & all the best!

  4. From reading this article I now see that I have been neglecting my hobby for writing poetry. It used to give me such clarity in my day-to-day life and now I miss how it used to help me deal with those part of myself that found difficulty dealing with the world. Thank you for sharing this!

    1. Wow Johan! I am so glad that I could be instrumental in reminding you of your talent and the benefits that following your hobby bestowed upon you. Thank you for reading and the encouragement you have given me. Quickly, get back to writing poetry and do share them with the world, too (at least with me, if not the entire world ) 🙂

  5. It’s interesting to read your explanation of the difference that there is between Intellect and Intelligence, I never thought of that before, or at least in that way, so thanks for sharing this information Ashish.

    I see that your website is quite new and I hope that you will continue to post more of these interesting facts.

    Best wishes,

    John ツ

    1. John, thank you for your thoughts. Yes the site is in its early days and am going to add lot more pages and posts. Hope to make it a comprehensive site on Wellness.

  6. Great article! I agree that we need to keep striving to stay mentally active. I try to keep learning new things to keep the old brain working. Meditation is something I would like to do more as well. Keep up the good work!

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