4 Types Of Educational Hobbies That Don’t Suck
Educational hobbies can not only keep your brain in prime working order, but they can also help you guard against addiction, if one study of lab mice out of the University of California-Berkeley is to be believed. Yasmin Anwar of the Berkeley News reports that even short-term educational endeavors can help the brain alter its reward system to guard against addiction.
From the report:
“Scientists tracked cocaine cravings in more than 70 adult male mice and found that those rodents whose daily drill included exploration, learning and finding hidden tasty morsels were less likely than their enrichment-deprived counterparts to seek solace in a chamber where they had been given cocaine.
“‘We have compelling behavioral evidence that self-directed exploration and learning altered their reward systems so that when cocaine was experienced it made less of an impact on their brain,’ said Linda Wilbrecht, assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at UC Berkeley and senior author of the paper just published in the journal, Neuropharmacology.
“By contrast, mice who were not intellectually challenged and/or whose activities and diets were restricted, were eager to return to the quarters where they had been injected with cocaine for weeks on end.”
By continuing to pursue educational hobbies you can enrich your life in so many ways in other words, and here are X of our favorites.
1. Enrichment Educational Hobbies
Enrichment educational hobbies could include anything from study of a foreign language to learning how to play a musical instrument. Two of the most common — reading and writing. The great thing about these two hobbies is that they have a lower barrier to entry. Most of us learn how to read and write early in our educational development, so these can come second nature and don’t necessarily have to tax the brain like music and foreign language learning do. Even so, achieving mastery over these two areas can be difficult, but as long as you’re challenging yourself with new types of reading and writing, you can get there. For example, you probably don’t still read Goosebumps whenever you need a good scare. You’re more likely to go with Stephen King. Just like, from a writing perspective, there is a big difference between brainstorming and storytelling.
2. Creative Educational Hobbies
Not every educational hobby has to be for enrichment. Sometimes the act of creation can teach you more than you would ever think possible. Creativity is great because it doesn’t follow a set standard of quality. You’re free to experiment and to make mistakes as you improve whatever craft you’re attempting. One creative educational hobby that I picked up recently is the art of making an eBook cover for platforms like Kindle and iBooks — more and more important as books are published to readers instead of print publications. The act of designing an eBook cover entails working with graphic design programs, content management systems, different file types, and collaboration (I’m not much of an artist). You can see how one creative educational hobby can teach you a variety of skills and give you the confidence to develop your own style or voice. Other creative hobbies per List Plan It that you may want to try: pottery, drawing, photography, making jewelry, cross-stitching, and scrapbooking.
3. Collecting Educational Hobbies
The act of collecting antiques or comic books or war memorabilia has a more educational slant than you may be thinking, and it’s greatly beneficial to developing research skills needed for higher level education. And what you’ll find as you begin down this path, be it collecting coins or sports cards or [insert hobby item here] is that learning about the history of one thing you’re interested in can lead to several more avenues for expanding your knowledge. Other similarly useful collecting educational hobbies that you may wish to try are collecting decor, postcards, or genealogical information on your family tree.
4. Outdoor Educational Hobbies
If you really want to build on your education, then you may wish to consider stepping away from the books and going outside. There are a wide number of hobbies that you can do outdoors that also teach you something that could be useful inside the classroom. Hiking, bird-watching, and fishing, are just three such hobbies that get you in touch with nature so that you can see how your world works instead of simply reading about it.
If you feel like you could be using your time better or need help with dangerous or unproductive habits, the educational hobbies above should set you on the right pathway. Choose one or more that meet your interest levels and watch your productivity and performance soar.