Most people are not aware that, just like the body, you can exercise the mind by keeping it active. Beyond the usual activities like reading and writing, there are plenty of other ways to maintain an active brain. So this article will look into five hobbies that you might not think of at first but are great for training your mind.
1. Plant a garden
There’s a lot of brain power that goes into gardening, such as mapping out your garden or keeping in mind the life-cycle of all your different plants. In fact, researchers from the University of Tokyo have found that gardening can also improve your overall health and reduce feelings of depression and anxiety. If you’re worried about not having a green thumb, start small with a few pots of herbs or flowers that complement your windowsill and go from there.
2. Learn a new language
A study from researchers in Italy found that speaking at least two languages improves our cognitive reserves (CR). Our CRs are what delays neurodegeneration— this means that as we learn a new language, we store more brain tools for later use. Our writer, Joy Menet, also talks about how language learning helped her develop new relationships and see the world through a different culture. Begin with apps like Duolingo and Memrise or find someone to tutor you on their language and culture.
Meditation is an important part of neuroplasticity— as it presents a lot of benefits both physically and mentally. It calms us down, giving us control of our lateral prefrontal cortex, where our reasoning and rational thinking happen. Indeed, meditation serves to improve your mental health— something that psychologists at Maryville University explain is intricately tied to learning success. A clearer mind will help us be much more adept at dealing with the stresses of life whether at home, school, or work. In other words, meditation helps us be more insightful towards ourselves and our surroundings and allows us to interact with people around us with a clearer state of mind.
4. Improve your hand-eye abilities
Take up hobbies that can improve your hand-eye coordination, such as knitting, painting, or drawing. These activities can boost your fine motor skills, reaction times, and even athleticism. Several studies collated by Bustle expound on how the process of making art were shown to improve both memory and concentration, as they require planning and thinking ahead, and enhance strategic thinking.
5. Sign up for a class
Aside from learning a language, learning something new in general is a great way to exercise your brain. For instance, you can take up a cooking class— learning how to cook uses a number of senses: tasting, seeing, smelling, and even hearing, which all involve different parts of the brain.
There’s really no shortage of ways in which you can keep your mind sharp, active, and receptive to new benefits and information. Choose a hobby that you find yourself most interested in and get a start on sculpting your brain the way you want it to be.
Written exclusively for the Neurosculpting Institute
Hiya guys, Amy Michaels here. I love life, music, cooking and heading out to random secluded beaches during the weekends.
Since I was little, I have always kept a diary (so EMO, IKR! =p) to keep record of random thoughts that popped into my head. So you can imagine how typical my teenage years was like! I always had this fascination with writing but never dove into actually putting it up and sharing it online. Never had extra time. Many things to do. And a ton of seemingly valid excuses to NOT start blogging!
Time flew and I realised, some of my thoughts and opinions may actually matter. Then and only then I decided to share my musings with the world.
Here it is now. Get to know me. Read on and hopefully you’ll enjoy the journey!