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7 Creative Hobbies That Will Make You Smarter and More Productive

7 Creative Hobbies That Will Make You Smarter and More Productive

What good is a life that does not involve pleasure or fun?

Today’s corporate culture is primarily driven by productivity. The more productive you are, the more likely you are to earn respect, fame and appreciation in the workplace. Diminished productivity is linked to an increased amount of stress, which, in turn, may set you up for the onset of a number of stress-related conditions and diseases.

Pursuing a hobby is a great way to spend your extra time during the day. Hobbies help keep you away from the mental and physical effects of stress by filling your life with a new energy and happiness. They may not fetch you extra cash in your pocket, but they can certainly help improve confidence, learning, and experience.

Getting busy in a hobby or leisure activity brings a lot of fun, relaxation and happiness in life. It is believed that pursuing a hobby is not only a way to pass time or do something different from routine work, but also helps improve the overall quality of life. With this simple form of relaxation, you get an opportunity to meet new people and express creativity. Be it an indoor activity or an outdoor one, indulging in a hobby is a great way to get away from the daily hustle-bustle of normal routine.

Indoor Activities

Meditation

Meditation

    One of the most popular and the simplest ways to indulge in an indoor hobby is to practice the art of meditation. It not only helps pass the time and keep you healthy, but it also helps boost concentration and the immune system function. Additionally, meditation helps eliminate anxiety, depression, negative feelings and stress. All these benefits, in turn, help improve your overall productivity.

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    It is not necessary to devote a fixed amount of time every day for meditation. From five minutes to one hour, any amount of time is sufficient to help channel inner peace.

    You should make sure that you set yourself up in a calming environment before saying your Oms. You may turn on soft music, light candles and lay yourself down on a yoga mat to set the right mood for meditation. Once you are able to find the right environment and mood, meditation can definitely be fun.

    Become a gamer

    Become a Gamer

      No matter how much your parents or your partner may dislike you playing video games, this hobby might actually help relieve day-to-day stress. In addition, playing video games helps improve cognitive flexibility and decision-making in real time. The improved decision-making ability is not only restricted to games, but also shows at the workplace where you will be better equipped to handle the workflow and make quick decisions.

      In addition, the music that plays in the background when the game is on is quite progressive in nature. The sound corresponds to the rewards and achievement that you earn during the game. It is believed that having those sounds or songs play as you work helps improve the productivity by almost ten times.

      Embroidery

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      Embroidery

        Embroidery can be meditative in nature too. Believe it or not, there are people who find pleasure and happiness in embroidering everything they can, be it a flower or a quote. Embroidering is something that you can do on the go, while watching movies, or while watching your children.

        Embroidery is a relatively simple, affordable and enjoyable hobby to pursue. From T-shirt embroidery to embroidery for logo, there are multiple ways to decorate a piece of fabric using beads, thread, pearls, sequins and a needle. Embroidery brings out the best creativity in you, as you try your hand at giving your old clothes a new and unique look.

        All you need to start embroidering today is a small pair of scissors, an embroidery hoop, needles and floss. There are multiple online portals that offer tutorials on how to create patterns, designs and logos using thread and needle.

        Crafting

        Craft Work

          Ever heard of “best out of waste?” Yes, turning trash into something that is useful can be fun too! Crafting can be highly therapeutic in nature, as it helps fight anxiety, chronic pain and depression. More importantly, you do not need to go anywhere to do it.

          Sitting in the comfort of your home, you can decide to pick up needles and turn the trash in your home into a treasure that you can possess till eternity. It might be hard to believe, but you will find yourself getting addicted to this practice pretty soon.

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          Try finding objects and things that you do not use anymore and then ask yourself: Can I turn this into something useful? Find an appropriate DIY idea that you can apply to the object to turn it into something creative and useful.

          Outdoor Activities

          Hiking and trekking

          Hiking and trekking

            Taking up hiking or trekking as a hobby does not necessarily mean that you have to be a pro at climbing mountains. In fact, it is one of those weekend hobbies that you can incorporate into your routine according to the level of exertion that you can handle. Once you get used to the trail, you can gradually increase the difficulty level of the trek by changing the path.

            It is believed that hiking and trekking helps improve productivity. It not only exposes you to the natural beauty of the environment, but also frees your mind of all the worries and stress related to the day-to-day life. More importantly, it acts as a great exercise that helps maintain physical strength and stamina.

            Cycling

            cycling

              Another outdoor activity that you can choose to pursue as a hobby is cycling. Apart from the physical benefits, there are several incredible mental and psychological plus points associated with riding a bicycle.

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              Cycling is a great way to escape from a stressful environment by getting closer to nature. It is believed that bicycle riding helps improve memory by facilitating the build-up of new brain cells in the hippocampus region of the brain. In addition, cycling also helps make you more productive by boosting your energy level. Health experts believe that a quick cycling session in the afternoon may help significantly improve productivity in the evening.

              Additionally, cycling helps build creative thinking. From artists to musicians and writers, many who suffer from a mental block turn to cycling. The influx of fresh air helps improve problem-solving skills and creativity.

              Rock climbing

              Rock climbing

                Rock climbing is yet another way to ward off stress. It is not necessary to find real rocks and mountains to climb; you can go to indoor rock climbing centers that might not give stunning views, but are as beneficial as real rocks.

                Rock climbing is considered to be a full-body workout. This hobby doesn’t just let you maintain appropriate physical fitness levels and greater cognitive ability, but also has many emotional and psychological benefits associated with it.

                Rock climbing helps with goal-setting and acts as a great stress reliever. In addition, it helps improve confidence and perseverance. Climbing a mountain is something that you can flaunt for the rest of your life.

                Featured photo credit: Jonathan Mueller via flickr.com

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                Last Updated on December 2, 2019

                10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

                10 Powerful Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living Today

                Plato knew that the body and mind are intimately linked. And in the late 1800s, the Mayo brothers, famous physicians, estimated that over half of all hospital beds are filled with people suffering from frustration, anxiety, worry and despair. Causes of worry are everywhere, in our relationships and our jobs, so it’s key we find ways to take charge of the stress.

                In his classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie offers tools to ditch excessive worrying that help you make a worry-free environment for your private and professional life.

                These are the top 10 tips to grab worry by the horns and wrestle it to the ground:

                1. Make Your Decision and Never Look Back

                Have you ever made a decision in life only to second-guess it afterwards? Of course you have! It’s hard not to wonder whether you’ve done the right thing and whether there might still be time to take another path.

                But keep this in mind: you’ve already made your decision, so act decisively on it and dismiss all your anxiety about it.

                Don’t stop to hesitate, to reconsider, or to retrace your steps. Once you’ve chosen a course of action, stick to it and never waver.

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                2. Live for Today, Package Things up in “Day-Tight Compartments”

                You know that feeling: tossing, turning and worrying over something that happened or something that might, well into the wee hours. To avoid this pointless worrying, you need “day-tight compartments”. Much as a ship has different watertight compartments, your own “day-tight” ones are a way to limit your attention to the present day.

                The rule is simple: whatever happened in the past or might happen in the future must not intrude upon today. Everything else has to wait its turn for tomorrow’s box or stay stuck in the past.

                3. Embrace the Worst-Case Scenario and Strategize to Offset It

                If you’re worried about something, ask yourself: “What’s the worst thing that could happen?” Could you lose your job? Be jailed? Get killed?

                Whatever the “worst” might be, it’s probably not so world-ending. You could probably even bounce back from it!

                If, for example, you lose your job, you could always find another. Once you accept the worst-case scenario and get thinking about contingency plans, you’ll feel calmer.

                4. Put a Lid on Your Worrying

                Sometimes we stress endlessly about negative experiences when just walking away from them would serve us far better.

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                To make squashing that worry easier, try this strategy, straight from stock traders: it’s called the “stop-loss” order, where shares are bought at a certain price, and then their price development is observed. If things go badly and the share price hits a certain point, they are sold off immediately. This stops the loss from increasing further.

                In the same manner, you can put a stop-loss order on things that cause you stress and grief.

                5. Fake It ‘Til You Make It – Happiness, That Is

                We can’t directly influence how we feel, but we can nudge ourselves to change through how we think and act.

                If you’re feeling sad or low, slap a big grin on your face and whistle a chipper tune. You’ll find it impossible to be blue when acting cheerful. But you don’t necessarily need to act outwardly happy; you can simply think happier thoughts instead.

                Marcus Aurelius summed it up aptly:

                “Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

                6. Give for the Joy of Giving

                When we perform acts of kindness, we often do so with the expectation of gratitude. But harboring such expectations will probably leave you disappointed.

                One person well aware of this fact was the lawyer Samuel Leibowitz. Over the course of his career, Leibowitz saved 78 people from going to the electric chair. Guess how many thanked him? None.

                So stop expecting gratitude when you’re kind to someone. Instead, take joy from the act yourself.

                7. Dump Envy – Enjoy Being Uniquely You

                Your genes are completely unique. Even if someone had the same parents as you, the likelihood of someone identical to you being born is just one in 300,000 billion.

                Despite this amazing fact, many of us long to be someone else, thinking the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But living your life this way is pointless. Embrace your uniqueness and get comfortable with who you really are: How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

                8. Haters Will Hate — It Just Means You’re Doing It Right

                When you’re criticized, it often means you’re accomplishing something noteworthy. In fact, let’s take it a step further and consider this: the more you’re criticized, the more influential and important a person you likely are.

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                So the next time somebody talks you down, don’t let it get to you. Take it as a compliment!

                9. Chill Out! Learn to Rest Before You Get Tired

                Scientists agree that emotions are the most common cause of fatigue. And it works the other way around, too: fatigue produces more worries and negative emotions.

                It should be clear, therefore, that you’ve got to relax regularly before you feel tired. Otherwise, worries and fatigue will accumulate on top of each other.

                It’s impossible to worry when you are relaxed, and regular rest helps you maintain your ability to work effectively.

                10. Get Organized and Enjoy Your Work

                There are few greater sources of misery in life than having to work, day in, day out, in a job you despise. It would make sense then that you shouldn’t pick a job you hate, or even just dislike doing.

                But say you already have a job. How can you make it more enjoyable and worry-free? One way is to stay organized: a desk full of unanswered mails and memos is sure to breed worries.

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                Better yet, rethink about the job you’re doing: What to Do When You Hate Your Job but Want a Successful Career

                More About Living a Fulfilling Life

                Featured photo credit: Tyler Nix via unsplash.com

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