Hobbies are not only great for keeping us entertained, distracted from the worries of work and helping us meet new people, but they can actually make you smarter too. We’ve collated a list of five hobbies that have been scientifically proven to improve intelligence; and you should definitely try one of these this year.
Play a musical instrument
There are various researchers who have shown that music stimulates the brain, and both listening to music and playing an instrument can increase memory capacity. As well as this, learning to play an instrument also teaches you patience and perseverance while sharpening your concentration, as it takes time and effort. So pick your instrument, get learning and impress your friends.
Learn a new language
This may take some time, but it will be worth it in the end. Learning a new language will not only help you when you’re on holiday by letting you immerse yourself into a new culture, but it can also have numerous advantages that can make you smarter. Getting to grips with a different language involves analysing grammatical structures and learning new words, both of which can improve your brain health and intelligence. Being confident in another language can also help you professionally, allowing you to communicate with people overseas if necessary and help you to move up the ranks. Duolingo is a free tool that lets you learn a new language in easy to manage bitesize chunks.
Read, read and read
We all know we should read more and we’ve all got an ever growing list of “must-reads”, however with its ability to reduce stress and increase all three types of intelligence, what are you waiting for? Whether it’s fiction, non-fiction or autobiographical, whatever you read can really help your understanding of a topic and productivity in how you go about achieving your goals. It can also help you to understand processes and accurately interpret and respond to other people’s feelings, which is hugely beneficial in the workplace.
Following on from a study published in “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” in 2006, which included the Dalai Lama and scientist Richard Davidson, it has been proven that those who were told to meditate and focus on compassion came in to a deeply compassionate state of mind. This became interesting to people as they believed they could control their own brain waves, meaning they could calm themselves down, reduce stress and feel more powerful, an ideal skill to have in the world of business. Try the Headspace app to get you started.
Regular exercise is not only important for a healthy body but for a healthy brain as well. Exercising is key to keeping your brain and your body functioning to the best of its ability. Doctors agree that working out increases blood circulation to the brain and this means increased brain function. Scientists also speculate that sitting down for prolonged periods of time can actually have the opposite affect and be detrimental to the workings of our brain.
So why not take up one, or even ALL of these hobbies, give your brain a workout, have fun and increase your intelligence all at the same time.