Intellectual Wellness

What is Intellectual Wellness

Wellness in the intellectual dimension is the ability for one to learn, experience, and utilize intellectual capacities through creative and stimulating mental activities with the goal of expanding one’s knowledge and skills. It consists of critical thinking, stimulating curiosity, problem solving, reflection, self-knowledge, and creativity. Further, it includes the ability to recognize biases, helpful and unhelpful patterns of thinking, as well as manage one’s inner dialogue and negative thoughts.

Intellectual wellness includes, but is not limited to:

  • Having a growth mindset
  • Creative expression
  • Short/long-term goals
  • Ability to think critically
  • Curiosity
  • Academic ability and integrity
  • Determination to master new skills
  • Having the capacity to ask questions
  • Willingness to explore new ideas
  • Time management skills

Tips On Managing Intellectual Wellness

  1. Improve your work skills: the right study skills and techniques can also help you retain knowledge and gain understanding of things more effectively. Regardless of whether you are an undergraduate, PhD student, or not in school, adequate preparation before studying and the right techniques while you study are essential to make the work you do meaningful and successful (University of Saskatchewan). One example is the Pomodoro technique, which is breaking up your work and breaks into regular, short increments that prevents burnout. You can read more about the technique in a presentation by the Writing Centre here (PDF file).
  2. Participate in conversations: While interacting with other people can help with our relational wellbeing, having substantive and deep conversations more instead of just small talk has been linked to having a happier and more meaningful life (NCBI). Small talk can be defined as a conversation where all parties leave knowing the same and only thing, while substantive and deep conversations are where meaningful information is exchanged or developed between parties (Medical News Today). Listening to perspectives from different walks of life and reciprocating the desire to understand one another can broaden your way of thinking and how you see the world around you. (
  3. Express yourself creatively: creative expression, such as painting, playing music on an instrument, writing, or just making things, can allow people to enter a state of deep focus (being “in the zone” for you kids). This kind of neuroactivity suggests improved cognitive function, such as brain connectivity and memory (MDPI). Creative expression can also help process emotions and thoughts, and cope with difficult situations by expressing feelings through other means besides words (ACRM).
  4. Learn a new language: while learning a new language has its more upfront benefits such as expanding your current skillset, it can also expand on your way of thinking. For example, ideas and concepts don’t always have a direct translation or exist in English, or they differ from what is understood in English. An example is that in Japanese, shades of green to blue are defined by one term, ao () which means blue. This is because the Japanese word for green did not exist until post-WWII, and to this day, people still use the word “blue” to identify green items (Day Translations). Differences like these in how language is developed and used can open new perspectives because they may interpret the world differently, especially if they are languages that are not like English (Edge).


Looking to enhance your intellectual wellness? Below are some resources both on and off campus, as well as general information related to intellectual wellness.

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On Campus Intellectual Wellness Resources

Off Campus Intellectual Wellness Resources

General Intellectual Wellness Information