Personal Development

8 Hobbies You Can Pick Up To Become Smarter

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Have you learned all there is to life yet? Well, sometimes it feels like we have. We've lived our whole lives a certain way, and sometimes we're not sure where else really to go with it. Here is compiled a few ideas of new hobbies you can do that not only give you something new to learn, but can significantly increase the power of your brain. They will let you see the world in a different way, learn new things about cultures and communities and help expand the boundaries of your mind to let more positive knowledge flow into you. Getting into a new hobby can be intimidating, but after a few months you'll wonder what it was you did before, while you are striking a professional yoga pose with the ease and grace of a seasoned master.

hobby1. Learning a new language

People think learning a new language is difficult, but with the amount of help there is on the internet, Youtube, and your community, it actually couldn't be easier. You no longer have to travel to the favelas of Brazil or cities of China to learn a foreign tongue. There are tutors working at schools and from homes in your cities, expats who are all eager to share their native tongue. You can take Spanish lessons or use apps like Duolingo to improve your French. Learning a new language let's you see the world in a different way, through grammar and word structure. You can learn how others depict the universe, and if you ever do travel to that place you've always wanted to go, you have a bit of vocabulary ready.

2. Playing a musical instrument

If you speak three languages and play an instrument, that instrument is your fourth language. Music is another language, a way of interpreting the sounds around us in an organized script. Learning to play an instrument isn't reserved for kids and youth – it's never too late to pick up a small instrument and spend a few hours learning how to do it. There's a learning curve to anything, but after a few months you'll forget about all the beginning frustrations. Playing music lets you interpret the world differently and unlock a new way of listening to music. It engages parts of your brain which are usually turned off and introduces you to new sciences of communication.

3. Actively listening to music

If you don't have the patience to learn an instrument, consider listening to music as a hobby. Although we take it for granted these days since music is all around us in our cars, workplaces and supermarkets, taking the time to sit down and listen to all the instruments of a record is becoming a lost art. This is the difference between passively listening to music and actively listening to music; in the former, it passes through your head, and you don't absorb any of it, and in the latter, you are explicitly listening to and engaging what is happening. This is perhaps something music reviewers do. Try getting into classical music and listening to all the instruments while you write down your thoughts, goals, or doing puzzles.

4. Practicing yoga

Yoga is as much an exercise as it is a hobby or lifestyle. It is designed to reconnect us with our mind, body and soul. It may seem expensive, trendy, or out of the way at first, but once you get into it, you will wonder what you were doing before. Check out a menu of classes at a local yoga room and talk to the attendant for more information. You'll learn that yoga is not necessarily the back breaking sweat workout you thought it was. There is yoga designed for hot rooms, cool rooms, fitness, pregnancy, the elderly, the novices, experts, and everything in between. It's a great new hobby that engages your whole body and mind.

5. Learning how to exercise

There's a difference between going to the gym and watching Oprah on the treadmill, and taking fitness more seriously. Advances in technologies now have apps that are designed to instruct us on interesting home and gym exercise routines that are available at a fingertip, loaded with fitness tips and blogs. Instead of the gym being a chore, try engaging the fitness world a little more closely and learning the ins-and-outs of the trade. Who knows what beneficial things you will discover about your body and health.

6. Making sketches

It's commonly perceived that getting into art as a hobby is not easy. Where do you even start when it comes to art supply stores, paint shops, and easel boards? It's not that complicated. In fact, all you need is a pen or a pencil and some paper.
To make things a bit more interesting, get yourself a miniature sketchbook and maybe some nice looking art pencils. Play with them a bit, pick up a magazine and try copying images from real life examples. It's hard to do at first, and you'll no doubt create some interesting images. But sketching and doodling, much like the trendy new adult colouring books, are great ways to explore your imagination and pass time to relieve stress.

7. Collecting stones

If you engage yourself into any hobby, the point is that you are learning something new. Geology is an interesting hobby that invokes minerals, gems, constellations, astrology, and a whole world of literature based on the study of gemstones and rocks. Your community is bound to have guilds devoted to stone collectors and jewellery designers, sharing articles and discoveries together. It's a fun new thing to learn about, and will expand your ideas of what the earth is really made of.

8. Origami

In the same vein as adult colouring, origami is an interesting hobby to pass time and develop creative motor skills. It's also quite easy! There have for years been a great interest in origami publication, and you could go to your local bookstore and pick up any sized instructional book on the subject. Most will come with history, lessons ranging from beginning to advanced, and even appropriately sized and coloured paper for you to succeed in your efforts. Try it out and you may find it a lot of fun – even as a party trick at cocktail events or when you just don't feel like talking to that guy at a bar.

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About the author

Steven Aitchison

Steven Aitchison is the author of The Belief Principle and an online trainer teaching personal development and online business.  He is also the creator of this blog which has been running since August 2006.