9 Hobbies That Improve Brain Function

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People likely tell you all the time that you should take up a new activity and give up one of those nasty habits you seem to have developed over the years. No one ever bothers to clarify, however, exactly why you should dedicate your time to learn a new hobby; all they know is that it is in your best interest. So why exactly should you bother picking up a new hobby?

For starters, having routine hobbies can go a long way in helping you achieve your long- and short-term goals. Regularly participating in mind-stimulating hobbies can also help you improve your intelligence level and brain health, or function. While it might take you some time to learn, or pick up some of these new hobbies, investing your time in such activities is great for your mental and physical wellbeing. Try taking up one of these new hobbies today, and start working, no, enjoying your way towards a smarter, more productive you tomorrow.

1. Read relentlessly

Reading not only teaches you about thousands of different subjects, it also improves your productivity, and exposes you to new ways of thinking. Reading has been shown to reduce stress, and it challenges you to use your imagination, and better comprehend descriptive language. Be sure to expose yourself to a plethora of subjects, and start learning something new with each page.

2. Cook meals

Most people look at cooking as a burden, or as something that’s totally unnecessary in this restaurant and fast-food driven world. Cooking, however, is not only enjoyable, but also incredibly beneficial. It improves on your ability to focus, and pay attention to detail, as well as your creativity (once you have an idea of what you are doing). Cooking also helps you become more organized, as it often requires multitasking. Try taking on a variety of dishes and recipes in order to also improve on your analytical, and decision-making skills.

3. Exercise and play sports

Physical activity is not only great for your body, but also for your mind. Exercise provides better circulation of your blood to your vital organs, including your brain, which needs oxygen to properly function. Exercise also reduces tension in your muscle, and promotes healthy and restful sleep. Participating in sports can also improve brain health by forcing you to perceive and anticipate different scenarios and force you to make quick decisions about them.

4. Meditate

Meditation is another great way to relax, and improve your brain health. Meditation requires both patience, and control, as you search for inner peace and a better understanding of yourself and your surroundings. It helps to reduce both physical and mental stress, and offers the satisfaction of self-reflection, which can help you achieve your goals and become all-around, a more productive individual.

5. Write

Writing is another great activity to take up in order to improve brain health and function. Creative writing helps to improve your imagination and visual comprehension by way of descriptive language. Writing short stories or poems stimulates your brain to explore rhyming patterns and the perspective of others. Writing in cursive is also great for keeping your mind sharp because it stimulates both visual and tactical responses between your brain and the muscles in your hands and fingers.

6. Challenge your brain

Investing in a crossword puzzle, or Sudoku book is another great way to develop a mind-stimulating hobby. Puzzles and riddles keep your mind sharp and focused, and force you to think in ways you are not used to. Doing new things also helps promote good brain health. Try taking a new route to work every other morning, without using the GPS, or make a habit of literally learning something new by alphabetically scrolling through different subjects on Wikipedia. There’s always something new to learn.

7. Learn or play a musical instrument

Music is great on a number of different levels. Just listening to it can relieve stress, and improve memory function. Playing an instrument also has the added benefit of helping your mind developing complex emotions and muscle coordination. Learning an instrument, however, does require patience and dedication, but it is totally doable, after which you’ll likely end up a more patient individual. Skilled, proficient musicians can then work on improving their comprehension of music and the instrument, allowing you more freedom and creativity.

8. Learn a new language

Like taking up an instrument, learning a language is a complex, and time-consuming hobby, but it can be done if you dedicate yourself to the cause. Learning a new language, both in writing and speech, forces you to analyze language in a way that lets you see structure and symmetry. Along with learning new words and literary/grammatical laws, learning a new language helps improve your overall intelligence and brain health. It also improves your decision-making and problem-solving abilities.

9. Travel

Not everyone can afford to constantly travel, but if you can find a way to work in a little weekend trip every month or two, it can go a long way in relieving stress and improving your overall mood. Traveling also exposes you to new cultures and lifestyles, and forces you to consider new perspectives and ways of thinking. Depending on where you go and how you get there, traveling can also get you a solid physical and mental workout, so instead of just sitting around all weekend, plan out a little weekend excursion, take some photos, and make some memories.

Marc Holt
I am a marketing manager from Minnesota and a copywriter with an interest in a wide variety of topics. By night, I am a fan of '80s rock.
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