3 Surprising Hobbies That Make You Smarter: Sharpen Your Mind In Your Downtime


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We all want to make ourselves as smart as possible – it’s a major advantage in day-to-day life, and most people are curious about hobbies that could give them an edge when it comes to brainpower and smarts.

However, there are an absolute ton of hobbies out there, and much as we might all like to be pros at everything ever, that’s simply not realistic; you’ve got to pick with care when it comes to how you spend your free time.

So, what hobbies could give you a brain or mood boost? Obvious ones like reading are easy picks, but there are some much more surprising activities you can engage in that will stimulate the mental pathways and ignite the old grey matter.

So, let’s launch this learning train and see what’s what in the world of hobbies.

1. Pick Up Knitting


Do you think this is a hobby for only grannies who sit around sipping tea and chin-wagging all day? Think again: knitting is becoming an increasingly cool hobby regardless of your age or gender, and tons of people are taking up the needles for a whole range of reasons – but I bet you didn’t know that brainpower was one of them!

Both knitting and crochet are thought to be super good for your mind and health; they relieve stress, bump up your hand-eye coordination, and increase your brain activity, which can improve its ability to function. More studies are needed for us to truly get to grips with how knitting can be good for the mind but whip out those needles or that crochet hook and start creating in your spare time – you won’t be sorry.

Of course, the benefit of this hobby is that you’ll also get some really cool stuff out of it, which you can even sell! There are plenty of free tutorials and patterns online and they’re surprisingly easy skills to learn, even if they’re a little complex when you first get going.

Hats, gloves, scarves, and even things like baby booties – you can make almost anything with this kind of skill, and you’ll be doing your brain a favor. Some people even find that this kind of hand activity helps them focus while they’re listening to lectures.

2. Try Online Gaming


Yes, online gaming is actually on this list; quite a few scientific studies have suggested it’s capable of improving your cognitive functioning! There are probably a few reasons for that, and of course, it depends on what e-games you play – but many kinds of games encourage you to hone your problem-solving skills, think critically, and read other people’s body language to give yourself an edge. That practice has been shown to speed up an individual’s thinking and sharpen their mental faculties.

Furthermore, it releases dopamine, which can give you more focus and help you stay on task. It may even be able to help you learn from your mistakes. All that said, you do need to make sure you’re gambling responsibly, and pick your games with care; games like poker and blackjack require critical thinking and memory, while playing online slots might be better when you just need to unwind and give the brain a bit of a break. Whatever you choose to enjoy, gaming is an unusual way to sharpen your brain, but research has indicated that it’s pretty effective!

It’s not just casino games either: some studies have indicated that playing other video games can give you a brain boost and an edge when it comes to learning, critical thinking, and problem-solving.

3. Meditation Mindfulness


Meditation has also been linked with some pretty significant mental improvements, and who’s going to complain about the opportunity to take a quick break and calm down in a world that is often ridiculously stressful and hard to deal with? It takes some practice to learn how to meditate well and you’ve got to be pretty dedicated in order to master this, but once you’ve got it, it’s really good for your mind!

Meditation helps you disconnect from the world around you and reduces stress, making it an important technique for pretty much everybody these days; we’ve all got things weighing on our minds. But why is it so effective? There are several reasons!

One is that if you can achieve deep meditation, your brain activity will slow down, and that gives your brain more chance to reorganize itself and take a break. The deep breathing that usually accompanies meditation is effective for reducing the stress hormone cortisol, and that also makes it easier to focus. So yes, meditating regularly could actually make you smarter!


There are tons of reasons you might want to give your grey matter a boost and elevate your mental abilities, and these three hobbies run the gamut of options, so you can pick whichever feels most “you” – or even go for all three if you prefer and got the time. You’ll be as smart as can be in no time!

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Shirley Owen
Shirley Owen
Shirley Owen is a blogger and writer who enjoys writing blogs on education, technology and general news. An avid reader, she follows all the latest news & developments to report on them through her articles.

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