As the old saying goes, no man (or woman) is really happy or safe without a hobby. Hobbies are ways in which we can carry out our passions recreationally and can cover a large range of activities – from watching Netflix to playing video games.
While these are valid hobbies, they may not be the most productive in nature. What I mean by productive hobbies are those which can help you enhance your productivity levels and make you smarter, faster.
Engaging in hobbies which not only pique your interest but stimulate your mind as well have been proven to help aid brain function and keep your mind sharp and engaged.
Below, I’ll share 9 different hobbies that have been proven to make you smarter, faster. So, the next time you’re sitting at home bored wondering what to do, consider trying out one of the following hobbies to not only fill up your time productively but stimulate your brain at the same time!
While it is no easy feat, learning a new language is a hobby that is sure to challenge your brain and make you smarter in the process. The process of learning a new language forces you to analyze a new and unfamiliar language and pick out various structures and patterns from it.
Studies have shown that individuals who speak two or more languages have significantly better cognitive abilities than those who are only able to speak one language.
And while the task of learning a new language may seem daunting, there are a plethora of online resources available for free, such as Duolingo which will help get you on track to learning a new language of your choice.
One of the more obvious choices of hobbies that will help to improve your intelligence and sharpen your mind is playing brainteaser games. These require you to think in unconventional ways and challenge the way you would normally go about solving problems.
This kind of behavior is known as ‘lateral thinking’, in which you must approach problems in a more indirect and creative manner, which doesn’t always follow a clear “step-by-step” sequence.
Setting aside at least 30 minutes every day to solve riddles and logic puzzles online will be sure to keep you on your toes and challenge your brain to work in ways it is not normally used to.
Multiple studies have shown a correlation between playing a musical instrument and achieving academic success, in both children and adults.
Learning to play a new instrument is a hobby that not only helps to stimulate your brain but also aids in improving a variety of cognitive functions, namely the ability to memorize things (such as a piece of music).
If you think about it, learning to read pieces of music is really like learning an entirely new language, in which all the symbols bear no resemblance to any other language at all.
Learning to play an instrument also requires you to be patient and will help you to develop a better sense of resilience.
The practice of meditation is one which is not just good for your physiological health, but your mental capabilities too! Several studies have shown that after just a few days of short bursts of meditating, participants showed significant improvements in both their memory and cognition, with the added bonus of lower stress levels.
The beauty of meditation is that now, thanks to social media platforms like YouTube, we have access to a vast range of guided meditation videos, all for free. Beginning your journey to becoming a smarter, more zen version of yourself is just a google search away!
Writing is another great hobby that you can pick up to improve your brain function in a variety of areas. Creative writing is a great way for you to get your creative juices flowing, and in doing so it will help to improve your imagination, as well as your skills in descriptive writing.
Or, if you are less creatively minded, consider keeping a diary in which you recount your days. Not only is this activity therapeutic, but it will also help to improve your comprehension and allow you to better express yourself eloquently through writing.
While it may seem like a fairly passive hobby, reading is an incredibly useful tool that you can use to sharpen your mind. Reading books will not only give you better levels of comprehension but will also enrich your vocabulary.
While it may feel tempting to watch TV or play your favourite video game once you’ve come home from work, it would be much more beneficial for you to read your favourite book.
An added benefit of reading is that, if done before bedtime, it will help you get a good night’s sleep. And who doesn’t want that?
This hobby has been made vague intentionally, as there is such a huge range of online classes you can choose from. Regardless, my point is that now, more than ever, we have an incredible level of access to online classes in all kinds of subject matters.
You can learn lectures taught by professors at Harvard in the comfort of your own home! How cool is that?
Learning a new skill from an online class will not only help you to keep your mind sharp but may also benefit you in your professional life. By upskilling in your free time, you can make yourself an invaluable asset in the workplace.
Exercise is beneficial not just for your physical health, but for your mind as well. From a physiological perspective, exercise helps to provide better blood circulation across your body and vital organs, benefitting your brain in the process.
Furthermore, exercising for at least 30 minutes every day has been proven to promote a good night’s sleep, and adequate sleep is essential if you want your brain to function optimally.
What’s more, studies have shown that exercise can help to improve short term focus. So, in the 2-3 hours after exercising, you will be at your peak in terms of being able to complete tasks with a high level of precision and focus.
Finally, being productive during a workout will often perpetuate the cycle of productivity onto other tasks you need to accomplish. This stems from the fact that when we have done something productive, we are compelled to be productive and succeed in other areas of our life.
Though this may seem like an unexpected addition to the list, cooking is actually a hobby that helps to improve brain function! This is in large part due to the fact that cooking fosters your creativity, while also forcing you to pay attention to all the different elements of your dish.
This is even more true for baking, where measuring out ingredients turns into an exact science. When baking, your mind is forced to focus on measuring out each ingredient and combining them in the exact right way at the perfect temperature to create a dish free of error.
Everyone wants to get smarter right? But if you can do it whilst having fun and making new friends then all the better.
Many hobbies not only help you stay fit and keep your body mind and soul healthy they can also train your brain. Hobbies that make you smarter faster can be fun and not just reading boring books all day and trying to hold in all that knowledge. But engaging with others, swapping thoughts and addressing issues in a constructive manner. Will make you smarter and happier!