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Science Reveals 5 Hobbies That Make You Smarter And Happier

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If someone asks about your hobby, how often do you say it’s watching TV? Well, binge-watching might sound like a hobby but it isn’t a healthy one. Research says it isn’t a cozy, family activity. It is considered a solo activity which contributes to the widening of the generation gap between the teens and the parents.

In another study, 80% of the young adults recognized themselves as binge-watcher. It concluded that this binge-watching activity is associated with poor sleep in young adults.

A psychiatrist and author of the book “The Brain That Changes Itself”, Norman Doidge, said the following regarding to watching TV.

“Because typical music videos, action sequences, and commercials trigger orienting responses at a rate of one per second, watching them puts us into a continuous orienting response with no recovery. No wonder people report feeling drained from watching TV. Yet we acquire a taste for it and find slower changes boring.”

How are hobbies helpful?

Hobbies have proven to contribute to good health. One study concluded that hobbies which involved imagination, learning from doing, and arts and music are advantageous to us.

Another research deduced that hobbies help protect your brain. One of the conclusions was that the longer someone involves doing what they like, the risk of dementia is lower.

So, what are the hobbies which contribute to our happiness and brightness?

1. Photography

A research in photography, by Peter Naish, Doctor of Psychology at The Open University, concluded that looking through photo albums makes you happier than chocolate, music, or even your favorite TV show. He compared moods of people using four typical enlivening treats with those surfing through their favorite pictures. The mood of the latter was lifted by 11%.

When one goes through personal photos, it positively influences relaxation, calmness and even their sense of being valued and popular. Hence, it results in an overall happier score.

2. Meditation

Back in 1992, a couple of scientists were summoned to study Dalai Lama’s brain waves while he meditated. During this endeavor, the researchers found that he could enter into a state of emotional being that was at a higher and deeper level than what most people experience.

Meditation helps one become master of their emotions and thoughts.

3. Gardening

A research concluded that gardening is very effective in elevating your mood, even more than other relaxing leisure activities. There were two groups who first performed a stressful task and were then given two options: either to read or do gardening for 30 minutes. Understandably, the ones who opted for gardening testified being in a better mood.

Why? Another research said that Mycobacterium vaccae found in the dirt makes you smarter and happier. So, this bacteria in the environment already has antidepressant qualities. Experts believe that these bacteria help stimulate learning behavior. Consider what Dorothy Matthews of The Sage Colleges in Troy, one of the researchers, had to say: “This research shows that M. vaccae may play a role in anxiety and learning in mammals.

4. Writing

When you involve in expressive writing, it can draw the line between stressful and blissful, concludes a research. It is speculated that this might be true due to expressive writing’s ability to enable writers to make sense of bad experiences.

Yes, writing about traumatic experiences is troublesome in the beginning but it only gets better with time. The said research revealed that writing for as little as 15 minutes over a 3-day period resulted in improved mental and physical health.

This study has been replicated a lot, among different kinds of people in varying countries. The advantages remain the same and they last!

5. Drawing and Painting

In 2009, a study was conducted among prison inmates and it concluded that art therapy was useful in producing a positive effect. The results implied a betterment in mood and internal locus of control among the participants.

Why do painting and drawing contribute positively in elevating mood? It’s because of the dopamine which is released when you indulge in such activities. It is the hormone responsible for making you feel good and happy.

If you consider it wholly, hobbies make our life more interesting and worthwhile but it largely depends on the kind of activity you pursue as a hobby. Some of you might already have a few of these hobbies and some of you might consider adopting a couple of these. Whatever you chose, just ensure it makes you happy and helps you develop skills.

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