While the feeling of learning something new can stimulate our mind and body in amazing ways, sitting down and learning is a challenge at any age. Thankfully, there are ways to build intelligence beyond just reading and taking information. There are hobbies that make you smarter which can help to stretch and build your mind in amazing new ways.
Here are five hobbies that will help build your intelligence and make you smarter in the end.
1. Play Chess
Playing a game that makes you work your brain, focusing on strategy, and always having to be several moves ahead of your opponent makes you smarter. It’s not just a pretentious or intellectual hobby for the sake of it. It’s actually a very powerful way to exercise your mind.
Playing chess against a computer or online is fun, but there are lots of leagues and casual games happening all over the planet. There are people who play at cafes, in rec rooms, or even at pubs across the land. With almost 200,000 potential outcomes for any game, you have to pay close attention to how it will all unfold.
Chess is as much about your choices as it is about reading your opponent. Much like poker, it’s important to read your opponent to know what to do next. Your moves are dependent on your opponent, who can be influenced by just the way you stare at the table.
You’ll become smarter as you learn how to influence your opponent’s psychology and balance that out with a deep knowledge of what moves can lead to which other moves.
2. Try Out a Sport
Sports are a great way to build your focus which can influence your ability to learn new things. The easier it is for you to focus on the task that you’re working on, the more you can get out of doing that task. The same things are applicable to sports.
If you’re playing a team sport, you get to learn about the dynamics of working together as a team and how to relate to other people. The better you’re able to recognize the strengths of other people and how to position them for success.
This kind of strategic thinking, even in the context of a hobby, is a great way to build your intelligence. You’ll be thinking constantly as you make snap decisions on what to do in order to win.
A sport that requires the focus of golf or archery is a great way to employ the kind of focused thinking that will build your intelligence. If you’re looking into archery, compound bows for youths can give kids the tools they need to succeed and build their confidence. Confidence is closely linked to the intelligence so why not build both.
3. How About a Puzzle?
Working on a puzzle is one of the best hobbies to help make you smarter. You’ll be stretching out the potential of what your brain can do while having a good time. You could work on any puzzle, from a word game to jigsaw, and expand your ability to think creatively.
Even just working on a jigsaw puzzle is a way to check out and organize your thoughts. While you might not think of it as a meditative act, it’s a powerful way to detach from your chaotic thoughts and focus on what matters.
Trying to organize your thoughts while watching a movie or while working through one of your problems can be hard. The way that you’ll plumb the depths of your mind while you’re working on a crossword puzzle can give you fresh insight on your ideas. Just a word or a stray thought could come into your mind and help you solve a problem you’ve been struggling with.
If you’re looking to build your intelligence, you need to clear out all the clutter. Working on a puzzle and solving a problem could give you the hit of positivity that can get you through your problem.
4. Meditation is Important
While it’s not thought of as a purely intellectual exercise, if you can understand the value of stretching before running, you can understand the need for meditation.
Just as it’s hard to fill a glass with water when the sink is full of dishes, it’s hard to focus on an idea when you don’t have your thoughts in order. Meditation is a great hobby to get your thoughts together on a daily basis. Most people struggle to keep order their day, their desk, their bedrooms, let alone their thoughts.
Stay a step ahead of everyone around you and become the calm brilliant center of the storm in your next meeting when you come in after meditating. Your thoughts will be clearer and your ideas will be better formed.
5. Play an Instrument
When you think creatively, you get the opportunity to think broadly and solve problems in new ways. Intelligence has a lot to do with creative problem-solving. Smart people know how to take on a difficult task in a new way and dismantle issues in a manner that other people couldn’t think of.
Playing an instrument will activate a different part of your brain than what’s usually activated when you’re thinking. Playing music is important for building intelligence in people of all ages. When you memorize a piece of music that you love to play, you activate so many parts of your mind that you’ll be firing in ways you never thought possible.
Hobbies That Make You Smarter Are More Fun
Hobbies that make you smarter have a way of always surprising you, engaging you in new ways, and never leaving you bored. Hobbies that don’t work on your intellect will run out of steam and lead you to seek out new thrills after not too long.
If you want to use exercise as a way to become smarter and focus better, check out our guide to working with a personal trainer.