Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
WORK-LIFE BALANCE / OCT. 07, 2015
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Top 10 Hobbies That Make you Smarter

In a way, we all think of ourselves as smart individuals. Nobody calls himself or herself a genius 24/7, apart from hardcore narcissists, but we all see our own mind as superior. It is simple, no one would like to trade his or her memories and experiences with anyone else, we would all love to lead lives different from the ones we have, but we would never surrender our own individualities to do so. However, regardless of how smart we are, or how smart we think we are, we would all love to gain some new valuable insight and knowledge, as long as we are not bored to death in the process.

See Also: The Positive Impact of Acting Smarter Than You Are

Fortunately, learning is more of a subconscious than conscious process, therefore the most effective form of learning is when you are unaware that you are acquiring some new skills, useful memories or knowledge. Now let us look at our hobbies; the ultimate learning tools, as long as you choose the right ones. In other words if you are not obsessed with filming cats, learning to twerk, putting glitter on everything around you, or something similarly nonsensical, chances are your hobby will help you develop your wits.  

1. Chess

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could play chess like Sherlock and Moriarty in the movie “A Game of Shadows”? You know, playing without even looking at the board, and asserting your mental dominance on your opponent, proving once and for all you are the alpha brain in the room. Up until that movie, chess never managed to achieve such high levels of swag. Chess has been around since 600 A.D, and it is one of the most balanced games in existence. As a hobby, it increases analytical skills, critical thinking and gives our IQ a slight boost, which is why it is good for kids to start playing at an early age.   

2. Video Games

playing video games
Superstock

Not all video games are good for your wits. I mean, if you play games like Postal or Prototype, which are basically focused on outbursts of violence, you won’t be mentally elevated. You might feel good and proud, but not smarter. However, even these games have a lesson attached to them - if violence does not solve all of your problems, you are simply not using enough of it.

A lot of video games require you to solve puzzles, which means your brain is actively working on the problem. It can also boost your organizational skills, which can be helpful if you work in a management department, and they can boost your productivity at work. Furthermore, games need to have some educational value before they are approved, so you can find out various fun facts as long as you pay attention. Lastly, if the game is not in your native language, you are very likely to learn a great deal. Once again, children reap more of these linguistic benefits. Also, games teach us how to survive a zombie apocalypse, how to assassinate people, and how to give a dramatic speech when facing our arch-nemesis or final adversary.          

3. Playing Musical Instrument

Lindsey Stirling violin
musicrowgirl

How do you expect to play someone like a fiddle (violin), if you do not know how to play a fiddle in the first place? While we are on the topic, do you have any idea just how hard it is to master an instrument like the violin? Your brain has to multi-task like you are an evil master-mind. No wonder classy villains have great appreciation for this instrument.

Playing any instrument can boost our memory to a whole new level – think about it, there are a lot of notes that you need to play with expert timing.  

4. Reading Books

cat reading a book
unibilgi

Well this one is rather obvious, since books are generally used as tools to increase someone’s knowledge, vocabulary, and even adopt a more insightful philosophy. Imagine living in a world where nobody knows how to kill a mockingbird, or in a world where nobody knows what happened to Winston Smith in 1984.

Good writing is always a pleasant sight, and even if you read something as bland as an instruction manual, you become slightly smarter. So, reading is, without a doubt, the best hobby to make you smarter. It’s good for your stress problems, for your analytical skills, memory, mental stimulation and so many other things.       

5. Crossword Puzzles

man solving crossword puzzle
Shutterstock

You have no idea how smart you are until you start solving crossword puzzles. You’ll be surprised to see how many things you think you know, but at the same time can’t remember. If you teach yourself to love crossword puzzles, coping with old age will come much easier to you. Once you start solving puzzles for five hours a day, you’ll practically become an old man.

Crossword puzzles are an amazing exercise for memory, it’s also great for expanding your vocabulary, and keeping dementia at bay. They are also fun to do when you solve them in groups.  

6. Watching the Right Videos and Shows

If all you do is watch “America’s Biggest Loser”, “Keeping up with Kardashians” and “Toddlers & Tiaras”, then you probably have a rotting potato where your brain should be. What happened to the time when only watching Ren & Stimpy made your IQ drop? There are so many shows, and it is mostly reality TV shows that are utterly mind-numbing.

Fortunately the Internet is filled with a wide variety of educational shows, as long as you know where to look. For starters, you can give the YouTube channel CrashCourse a shot. These guys can help you make up for all the knowledge you forgot from your high-school days, and lessons are both entertaining and educational.

7. Meditation

meditating
shutterstock

Well this one is a no-brainer. Once you manage to unlock all seven chakras, you become a divine entity connected to your astral self, and the world of possibility opens up. But, I don’t know for sure, these are only rumours. However, a study from UCLA has some interesting findings on the topic. It appears that people who meditate managed to preserve their gray matter cells better than those who do not practice meditation.

8. Physical exercise

Exercising
Shutterstock

That’s right, working out benefits brains and brawns at the same time. If you go to the gym and strive to execute each exercise perfectly, then you must know the level of concentration it takes to do so. It only looks simple on the videos, but focus and resolve are likely to grow along with your muscles, and you will feel better at the same time.    

9. Taking naps

napping
shutterstock

Finally, a hobby for everyone. Did you know that while you sleep the unconscious side of your brain is active, and you are learning without even knowing? If you didn’t it is because it is not true. Naps do not increase our base of knowledge nor our intelligence, but they do refresh our brain, and make us more productive and highly focused, whilst increasing our memory performance. It is actually better to take a nap than to drink a cup of coffee. Unfortunately, it is more inconvenient when it comes to time management, so coffee it is.

10. Blogging

As long as blogging is your hobby, you are constantly learning, and if you aren’t, well, then you are not a very good blogger are you? You do lots of research, think about how to formulate a sentence, dredging through your mind to find adequate synonyms and phrases, and as you research links, you obtain new information. Not only do you need to learn lot, but also you need to find the right words to convey that knowledge, so as long as you are engaged in blogging you are constantly growing. Unfortunately, it can be too time-consuming if you want to do it professionally, but hey, as Denzel said in “Equalizer” – “Progress, not perfection.”

See Also: Just Act Smarter, You’ll Be Fine

There you have it, any of these hobbies will most definitely make you an intellect. So, if you ever feel bored, give some of them a try – you won’t be disappointed.  Who would have thought that hobbies actually improve your IQ? You could even start several hobbies at the same time, and who knows, you could easily become a genius!

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