Our hobbies are often the important counterpart to our work and provide much-needed relaxation. However, there are some hobbies that offer far more than just a balance to work. Here, we present to you ten hobbies that playfully combine a pleasure with efficient brain calisthenics.
1. Reading – Keep your eyes open
We admit it: That reading is good for your brain is not really a secret. Nonetheless, many people underestimate the advantages that come from reading regularly. If you’re constantly reaching for a book or newspaper, you’ll strengthen the interconnectedness of those brain cells responsible for linguistic receptiveness.
2. Writing – Set your mind free
Besides reading, writing is also good for your head. In particular, formulating your own thoughts and feelings supports reflective thinking. As a result, it will often become easier to take a step back from your emotions, act less impulsively and take stock of yourself before making important decisions.
3. Doing sports – Keep moving
Sports offer an incredible number of benefits. It doesn’t matter whether, for example, you’re increasing your stress resistance or fostering your creative thinking: Being physically active means effective training for body AND mind.
4. Music – Train your brain while pampering your ears
Music offers first-class training for your brain. How does it work? When you make music yourself or learn a completely new instrument, it creates new connections in the brain while training their cross-linkage. So you’re challenging your brain and providing top-rate brain calisthenics by repeatedly using new connections.
5. Video games – Make the right decisionmore often
You weren’t surprised by the hobbies listed so far? How about video games? If you play your way through virtual levels on your home computer or games console, you’ll do more than just kill time, studies say. With video games, you can train your brain to make better decisions in high-pressure situations – a skill that can certainly come in handy in your everyday work.
6. Cooking – Want to try something new?
A reason for hobby cooks to jump for joy: Cooking makes you smart! Preparing new dishes in particular fosters creativity and forces the brain to pay very close attention to many different details. If you cook regularly, you’ll be doing your own multitasking talent some good.
7. Traveling – Get out of your comfort zone
Paris today, Tokyo tomorrow and then off to Madrid? Traveling is not only a lot of fun. It also provides peak mental performance on the side. Stress is reduced incredibly efficiently when traveling, allowing you to concentrate better on the task at hand. In addition, you leave your familiar environment and open yourself to new things. That benefits creative thinking and also boosts inspiration. If you travel more, you’ll come up with better ideas more often.
8. Meditating – Just take a break
Sometimes you just need to cut your head a break. Meditating is perfect for this because it offers a good balance to our often fast-paced and stressful everyday lives. Nonetheless, meditation is more than mere relaxation. If you take time to meditate every now and then, you will increase your attention span and concentration: Tranquility is the source of strength.
9. Getting a pet – Stimulate your brain
Pets are not only loyal companions. They also make us a little smarter by and by. That’s because pets foster our empathy. This way, it’s easier for us to approach problems constructively and consider them from different perspectives.
10. Learning a foreign language – Expand your own Horizons
Learning a new language is not just incredibly practical for travel, but also slows the aging process in the brain. If you master several languages and use them (relatively) regularly, you’ll expand your own horizons and help the brain to switch quickly and efficiently between different scenarios.