7 Hobbies That Will Make You Smarter

In today’s world, we put so much focus on improving our bodies, always trying to get more physically fit, but we spend little time paying attention to how we can improve our minds.

Though it’s tempting to think the only way to boost our intelligence is through seemingly boring tasks such as going to school or reading an encyclopedia, improving your brain power can be easily done through everyday activities, many of which you probably enjoy.

Just as we try to fit in 30 minutes to an hour of exercise daily, we should be doing the same with outside hobbies. Participating in these activities can not only help us gain additional knowledge, but they can help with memory, focus, and even emotions. If you’re interested in expanding your mind and maximizing your potential, try the following seven hobbies that can make you smarter.

1. Playing An Instrument

Whether you’re a fan of the piano or the violin, playing an instrument can improve your cognitive abilities, from sharpening your memory, reading abilities, to improving neural processing.

This is because playing an instrument uses both the creative and analytic hemispheres of the brain, and it even strengthens the connections between the two.

play piano photo
Photo by nayukim

2. Reading

While reading can help improve your vocabulary, writing skills and knowledge of the world, enjoying literature can also help you excel in other areas.

Studies have found that reading can additionally improve your empathy, decrease stress, and help prevent memory decline.

reading photo
Photo by katerha

3. Meditating

Meditation is a great form of stress relief, but turns out it also can change your brain chemistry to make you smarter.

Studies have found that people who meditate have greater gamma wave activity in their brains, which is associated with thinking, cognition and memory. Meditation can also increase attention and learning skills.

meditation photo
Photo by Kashirin Nickolai

4. Writing

Though any type of writing is good for the brain, if you want an added bonus, try writing by hand.

Studies have found that writing by hand uses different parts of the brain that focus on visual information as well as motor skills. Much like playing an instrument, combining the two helps strengthen the interactions between these parts of the brain.

writing photo
Photo by crdotx

5. Playing Games

Playing games, whether it’s a puzzle, board game, or even a video game, helps to improve neuroplasticity in the brain, especially in areas associated with attention and sensorimotor function. Engaging in games also helps to improve memory and mood.

scrabble photo
Photo by Kables

6. Exercising

Working out regularly does more than just affect your body. People who exercise frequently have higher levels of BDNF in the brain, which helps improve development of neurons and improves blood flow to the brain. Studies have also found that memory and cognition is improved following a workout.

work out photo
Photo by CherryPoint

7. Learning A Language

Regardless of your age, learning a new language helps improve concentration, attention, and focus.

Knowing more than one language can help your memory, make you more perceptive to your surroundings, and even help you improve your vocabulary, math, and reading skills.

rosetta stone photo
Photo by woodleywonderworks 3