Through several centuries, humans believed that your talents could only be god-gifted. They thought we were born with a certain IQ level, and that was it. Today we can even calculate the IQ of animals!
Science has revealed that we can fine-tune our intelligence and augment our capability. Imbibing new skill-sets helps our brain build neural pathways that benefit its functioning.
We have gathered 7 hobbies that increase your IQ, proved by science:
1. Play A Musical Instrument
A research suggests that regularly playing an instrument changes the shape and power of the brain and may be used in therapy to improve cognitive skills.
This is the most important of all the activities, since it has the greatest effect. It increases your imagination, observatory power, communication, mathematics, etc.
Many people state that participating in team sports has just as much effect on your brain. However, the one particular area where this hobby surpasses all others is: it provides strength to the corpus callosum which forms a link between the hemispheres of our brain.
This benefits our memorizing power, functioning of the brain, skill in execution, etc.
2. Read Anything
It’s no accident these highly successful individuals read fiction. And research shows it might not be just for fun.
I’m a huge fan of this point in particular. Reading is therapeutic in ways more than one. Be it The Song of Ice and Fire series, The Lord of The Rings, or the recent Business Weekly, the effect is the same. It helps to calm your nerves and soothe you. This activity adds to all 3 kinds of intelligence- crystallized, fluid, and emotional.
It helps in stringing together information, solving issues, navigating problems better, recognizing patterns, understanding human beings, etc. In the business world, this accounts for great skills as an HR.
3. Exercise Regularly
A review was conducted of studies that assessed the effects of acute bouts of physical activity on adults’ cognitive performance.
You cannot do 20 push-ups once in three months and expect to see results. No. Regularity is key. You do not have to have an extreme work out session everyday. Even if it’s for 15 minutes a day, do it.
It charges the cells with BDNF, improving your memory, concentration, and understanding.
It is important to note that if you remain seated for too long, it does more harm than good. So, mix it up.
4. Learn A New Language
Instead of whiling your day away on crosswords, teach yourself a new language. Studies state the ones who speak more than one language are better disposed to tackle puzzles than others.
It fine-tunes your brain and makes your memory sharper. Even your organizational skills will seem positively affected.
This also helps your resume significantly. So many jobs require you to know a language besides your mother-tongue. So, it’s a heavily win-win situation.
5. Test Your Cumulative Learning
Most of us are familiar with the concept of memorizing an endless number of pages before an exam. Often, we forget this information soon enough because we don’t really need it.
When you imbibe a new language, your intelligence shoots up because it requires cumulative learning. You learn words, punctuations, syntax, in a bulk and have to repeat it in order to retain it.
If you use this technique in your daily life, it will help significantly. Maintain a pocket-book to jot down things of importance, and keep going through those snippets in your free time.
6. Work Out Your Brain
Anything that exerts your brain: mystery games, crosswords, jumbles, riddles, etc. increase neuroplasticity.
In simpler words, it allows the brain to organize itself better.
If nerve cells differ in their response, our mental horizon widens. It helps us see the causal relationship of emotions and hones our cognitive skills significantly.
Neuroplasticity, being involved in impairments like tinnitus, can even help us fight some conditions like stress and depression.
The Wall Street Journal published “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences“. It spoke of when scientist Richard Davidson conducted an experiment on the Dalai Lama and his fellow monks. He wanted to test if certain mental waves could be produced on demand. While meditating, when asked to concentrate on compassion, Davidson found all of them in deeply compassionate states.
The greatest impact of meditation is manipulating your emotions. You can help the brain re-wire itself, and call any feeling to action, whenever you need it. It makes for a stronger human being.
We see how all these hobbies affect our brain, so we can use them wisely to become better and more efficient versions of ourselves!