6 Easy Hobbies That Help to Sharpen Your Brain...
Scientific evidence shows that you can raise your brain power by learning new skills that stretch your mental capacity. These six easy pastimes can make you faster, sharper and smarter….
It was once thought that we are born with a fixed quantum of capabilities and intelligence; and therefore the best one could do in life was to simply strive to live up to that innate potential.
However, scientific evidence shows that Man can raise his potentials and actually enjoy himself while doing so. Fact is, by learning new skills and stretching our capabilities, we develop new neural pathways that increase brain power, capacity and abilities.
Here is a selection of enjoyable hobbies that make you faster, sharper and smarter in life.
Playing a Musical Instrument
Playing a musical instrument impacts our creativity, analytic skills, fine motor skills and more. Playing musical instruments creates new connections that strengthen the corpus callosum that links both left and right hemispheres of the brain. Improved corpus callosum supports executive skills, memory, problem solving capabilities and overall brain function, irrespective of age.
Reading a Book
The benefits of reading are almost the same whether you are enjoying a Newspaper or Things Fall Apart, or just anything else you lay your hands upon. Leisure reading reduces stress, makes you feel better about yourself, and increases your crystallised, fluid and emotional intelligence.
Occasional or irregular exercise alone will not give you much benefit. Planed regular exercises are much more effective than once in a while strenuous work-outs. Regular exercise stimulates the flooding of the body cells with BDNF, a protein that enhances memory, learning, focus, concentration and overall mental acuity.
Learning a New Language
Research shows that bilingual people are better at solving puzzles than those who speak only one language. Learning a new language helps your brain perform mentally demanding tasks better. These include typical executive skills like planning and problem solving.
In addition to your mother tongue, you can also master any one or more of English, French and German languages. Apart from the known neural benefits to your brain, you also gain more communication advantage that augments your social life and professional CV.
Keeping a Journal
Apply the concept of cumulative learning to your life and work experience by keeping a pocket journal that captures noteworthy bits and pieces of ideas, information and knowledge you stumble upon everyday. These should include your takeaways from books, from meetings with people, and from negotiations. Keep a pocket journal filled with anything that captures your attention or interest. That way, you integrate cumulative learning into your self-improvement program.
Workout Your Brain
Sudoku, Puzzles, Riddles, Board games, Video games, Card games and similar activities increase neuroplasticity. Always engage in them to improve the ability of your brain to reorganize itself.
Despite your very busy schedules, you are encouraged to always find time to engage in some of these activities. They relax your mind and body while enhancing your mental acuity; just as your productivity soars.
All the Best!
Agunbiade Sanya is a Guest Blogger on Before40-Africa