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Taking Up These 10 Hobbies Will Make You Smarter

Taking Up These 10 Hobbies Will Make You Smarter

There is a general perception that we can’t do much to enhance our intelligence. It’s almost always believed that whether you’re smart or not is determined right at birth and you can’t do anything about it.

However, these are all misconceptions. While some people have conditions that prevent them from being able to increase their intelligence level, for most people, there are plenty of things that can be done to make them smarter.

Hobbies are integral parts of our lives, and once developed, we find ourselves immersed in them on a regular basis. Hobbies are fun and invigorating- and they can also have a great influence on our intelligence.

Below are 10 hobbies that will help to make you smarter- all backed up by scientific studies and experiments:

1. Play a musical instrument.

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    Confucius said a long time ago, “Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without”. Music stimulates your brain, and this has been proven by research as well.

    Music has the power to invoke complex emotions and psychological states. Various researchers have shown that both listening to music and playing a musical instrument increases memory capacity.

    Playing a musical instrument also teaches you patience and perseverance for it takes time and effort to learn to play a musical instrument. It also sharpens your concentration.

    2. Read voraciously.

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      Reading goes a long way towards increasing your intelligence level- this is further the case if you read voraciously across many different topics, from fiction and biographies, to anthologies.

      Reading reduces stress, helps you to experience multiple emotions, and teaches you a lot about many subjects. All these factors help you to feel better about yourself; being at peace with yourself is one of the most important foundations for positive wellbeing.

      Reading is very important for enhancing your knowledge on a subject, preparing for all sorts of situations and being more productive in how you go about achieving your goals.

      3. Meditate regularly.

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        The foremost benefit of meditation is to help you focus on yourself and to get you to know your true self. Being engrossed in meditation helps individuals transcend to a higher state of being.

        Meditation helps to reduce stress levels and gets rid of all sorts of worries. With a calm and composed state of mind obtained through meditation, you can learn, think and plan things in a much more effective way.

        Regular meditation helps you to have full control over yourself. Being aware of distractions and effective methods of self-control are of the utmost significance when working to improve your intelligence.

        4. Work out your brain.

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          Just as you need to work out regularly to keep your body fit, you also need to work out your brain to keep it in good shape. Regularly challenging the brain to do new things enhances its abilities and helps to keep you sharp.

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          You can work out your brain in plenty of ways such as through: sudoku, puzzles, board games, and riddles. All these activities help the brain to continue forming new connections. Through such activities you also learn to respond to situations in creative ways, develop the ability to see things from a lot of different perspectives and become significantly more productive.

          5. Exercise often.

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            A healthy body helps to ensure that you have a healthy brain. After all, your brain is like another muscle in your body. Exercising regularly keeps your brain and body functioning as they are supposed to. It reduces tension and helps you to sleep better.

            Doctors agree that better blood circulation to the brain means increased brain function. Various studies on mice and humans have shown that cardiovascular exercise can create new brain cells, and thus improve overall brain performance.

            6. Learn a new language.

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              Learning a new language may not always be an easy task but it definitely has numerous advantages-making you smarter, being one of them.

              The process of learning a new language involves tasks such as analyzing grammatical structures and learning new words, which enhances your intelligence and brain health.

              It has also been proven through various experiments that people with high levels of verbal-linguistic intelligence are great at planning, decision-making and problem-solving.

              7. Write your feelings down.

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                There are tons of benefits that you can receive from writing, including increasing your overall level of intelligence.

                Writing improves your linguistic abilities, of course. But it also helps you to develop such skills as focus, creativity, imagination, and comprehension.

                Writers are often considered as having very high levels of intelligence. You can write in different ways. You can write things with your hand or you can create your own blog. Whatever you do, you are giving words to the images in your mind; learning to express yourself clearly is a great way to boost your intelligence.

                8. Travel to new places.

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                  Travelling is not just a way to kill your boredom- there’s lot more to it than that. Travelling can really boost your intelligence.

                  The physical and mental workouts involved with travelling, rid your mind of stress. As you become stress-free, you are more able to focus on tasks, observations, and deepening your understanding of subjects.

                  Every new place you travel to offers new things to learn. You encounter diverse people, food, culture, lifestyle and society while travelling, which puts you in touch with ideas you might never have thought of previously.

                  9. Cook different kinds of meals.

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                    Many of us feel that cooking is a mere waste of time and it’s something we very much want to avoid.

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                    But instead of whining, you should feel happy when you have the opportunity to cook. Regular cooks, particularly the ones who try out a variety of meals, have high levels of creativity. They are committed to quality, aren’t afraid to try things out and they pay great attention to details.

                    Whenever you cook something, you are learning to multitask, measure with precision and make quick decisions. With all of these skills you’re acquiring, you’re becoming smarter too.

                    10. Participate in sports actively.

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                      Participating regularly in sports activities doesn’t only exercise the muscles but also does the same for the brain. Playing sports regularly makes the brain more flexible and improves overall brain health.

                      Sports have added benefits too. Watching sports has been linked with increased brain function, and through exercising you work out your muscles. Involvement in sport also enhances responsiveness, coordination, capabilities, and confidence.

                      Top athletes are known for their special form of intelligence. It doesn’t matter whether you play football, basketball or cricket. Consider being regularly involved in some form of sport to boost your brain’s performance.

                      Featured photo credit: Tatyana__K via shutterstock.com

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                      Nabin Paudyal

                      Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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                      Last Updated on April 6, 2020

                      10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

                      10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

                      Most discussions on positively influencing others eventually touch on Dale Carnegie’s seminal work, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Written more than 83 years ago, the book touches on a core component of human interaction, building strong relationships. It is no wonder why.

                      Everything that we do hinges on our ability to connect with others and formulate deep relationships. You cannot sell a house, buy a house, advance in most careers, sell a product, pitch a story, teach a course, etc. without building healthy relationships. Managers get the best results from their teams, not through brute force, but to careful appeals to their sensibilities, occasional withdrawals from the reservoir of respect they’ve built. Using these tactics, they can influence others to excellence, to productivity, and to success.

                      Carnegie’s book is great. Of course, there are other resources too. Most of us have someone in our lives who positively influences us. The truth is positively influencing people is about centering the humanity of others. Chances are, you know someone who is really good at making others feel like stars. They can get you to do things that the average person cannot. Where the requests of others sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, the request from this special person sounds like music to your ears. You’re delighted to not only listen but also to oblige.

                      So how to influence people in a positive way? Read on for tips.

                      1. Be Authentic

                      To influence people in a positive way, be authentic. Rather than being a carbon copy of someone else’s version of authenticity, uncover what it is that makes you unique.

                      Discover your unique take on an issue and then live up to and honor that. Once of the reasons social media influencers are so powerful is that they have carved out a niche for themselves or taken a common issue and approached it from a novel or uncommon way. People instinctually appreciate people whose public persona matches their private values.

                      Contradictions bother us because we crave stability. When someone professes to be one way, but lives contrary to that profession, it signals that they are confused or untrustworthy and thereby, inauthentic. Neither of these combinations bode well for positively influencing others.

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                      2. Listen

                      Growing up, my father would tell me to listen to what others said. He told me if I listened carefully, I would know all I needed to know about a person’s character, desires and needs.

                      To positively influence others, you must listen to what is spoken and what is left unsaid. Therein lies the explanation for what people need in order to feel validated, supported and seen. If a person feels they are invisible, and unseen by their superiors, they are less likely to be positively influenced by that person.

                      Listening meets a person’s primary need of validation and acceptance.

                      Take a look at this guide on how to be a better listener: How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)

                      3. Become an Expert

                      Most people are predisposed to listen to, if not respect, authority. If you want to positively influence others, become an authority in the area in which you seek to lead others. Research and read everything you can about the given topic, and then look for opportunities to put your education into practice.

                      You can argue over opinions. You cannot argue, or it is unwise to argue, over facts and experts come with facts.

                      4. Lead with Story

                      From years of working in the public relations space, I know that personal narratives, testimonials and impact stories are incredibly powerful. But I never cease to be amazed with how effective a well-timed and told story can be.

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                      If you want to influence people, learn to tell stories. Your stories should be related to the issue or concept you are discussing. They should be an analogy or metaphor that explains your topic in ordinary terms and in vivid detail. To learn more about how to tell powerful stories, and the ethics of storytelling, take a look at this article: How To Tell An Interesting Story In 4 Simple Steps

                      5. Lead by Example

                      It is incredibly inspiring to watch passionate, talented people at work or play. One of the reasons a person who is not an athlete can be in awe of athletic prowess is because human nature appreciates the extraordinary. When we watch the Olympics, Olympic trials, gymnastic competitions, ice skating, and other competitive sports, we can recognize the effort of people who day in and day out give their all. C

                      ase in point: Simone Biles. The gymnast extraordinaire won her 6TH all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships after doing a triple double. She was the first woman to do so. Watching her gave me chills. Even non-gymnasts and non-competitive athletes can appreciate the talent required to pull off such a remarkable feat.

                      We celebrate remarkable accomplishments and believe that their example is proof that we too can accomplish something great, even if it isn’t qualifying for the Olympics. To influence people in a positive way, we must lead by example, lead with intention and execute with excellence.

                      6. Catch People Doing Good

                      A powerful way to influence people in a positive way is to catch people doing good. Instead of looking for problems, look for successes. Look for often overlooked, but critically important things that your peers, subordinates and managers do that make the work more effective and more enjoyable.

                      Once you catch people doing good, name and notice their contributions.

                      7. Be Effusive with Praise

                      It did not take me long to notice a remarkable trait of a former boss. He not only began and ended meetings with praise, but he peppered praise throughout the entire meeting. He found a way to celebrate the unique attributes and skills of his team members. He was able to quickly and accurately assess what people were doing well and then let them and their colleagues know.

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                      Meetings were not just an occasion to go through a “To Do” list, they were opportunities to celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small they are.

                      8. Be Kind Rather Than Right

                      I am going to level with you; this one is tough. It is easy to get caught up in a cycle of proving oneself. For people who lack confidence, or people who prioritize the opinions of others, being right is important. The validation that comes with being perceived as “right” feeds one’s ego. But in the quest to be “right,” we can hurt other people. Once we’ve hurt someone by being unkind, it is much harder to get them to listen to what we’re trying to influence them to do.

                      The antidote to influencing others via bullying is to prioritize kindness above rightness. You can be kind and still stand firm in your position. For instance, many people think that they need others to validate their experience. If a person does not see the situation you experienced in the way you see it, you get upset. But your experience is your experience.

                      If you and your friends go out to eat and you get food poisoning, you do not need your friends to agree that the food served at the restaurant was problematic for you. Your own experience of getting food poisoning is all the validation you need. Therefore, taking time to be right is essentially wasted and, if you were unkind in seeking validation for your food-poison experience, now you’ve really lost points.

                      9. Understand a Person’s Logical, Emotional and Cooperative Needs

                      The Center for Creative Leadership has argued that the best way to influence others is to appeal to their logical, emotional and cooperative needs. Their logical need is their rational and educational need. Their emotional need is the information that touches them in a deeply personal manner. The cooperative need is understanding the level of cooperation various individuals need and then appropriately offering it.

                      The trick with this system is to understand that different people need different things. For some people, a strong emotional appeal will outweigh logical explanations. For others, having an opportunity to collaborate will override emotional connection.

                      If you know your audience, you will know what they need in order to be positively influenced. If you have limited information about the people whom you are attempting to influence, you will be ineffective.

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                      10. Understand Your Lane

                      If you want to positively influence others, operate from your sphere of influence. Operate from your place of expertise. Leave everything else to others. Gone are the days when being a jack of all trades is celebrated.

                      Most people appreciate brands that understand their target audience and then deliver on what that audience wants. When you focus on what you are uniquely gifted and qualified to do, and then offer that gift to the people who need it, you are likely more effective. This effectiveness is attractive.

                      You cannot positively influence others if you are more preoccupied by what others do well versus what you do well.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Influencing people is about centering your humanity. If you want to influence others positively, focus on the way you communicate and improve the relationship with yourself first.

                      It’s hard to influence others if you’re still trying to figure out how to communicate with yourself.

                      More Tips About Making Influence

                      Featured photo credit: Wonderlane via unsplash.com

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