Many successful business leaders today have praised the art of setting aside time for fun hobbies. The CEO of Goldman Sachs plays the turntables while Nasdaq CEO Adena Friedman swears by Taekwando. Yet, with chaotic schedules and the undeniable rise of workaholism, it can be difficult to find the time in your day, let alone know which hobby to choose. Here are some pointers on how to get started:
1. Reconnect with Your Inner Child
Dr. S. Ausim Azizi from the Neurology Department at Temple University has claimed that engaging in old childhood activities has the ability to trigger our pleasure centers. “When people have hobbies that make them feel good it activates an area of the brain called the nucleus accumbens, which controls how we feel about life,” said Dr. Azizi. Research has shown that happiness raises practically every business and educational outcome.
2. Try Something New
Try a hobby that uses an area of your brain you don’t get the chance to exercise often. Dancing, music, theatre and sports can help boost your brain’s executive functioning, while games of strategy help boost brain plasticity. Playing a musical instrument can help bridge your left and right brain hemisphere. Even learning a new language can improve cognitive functions. Trying out any of these hobbies and so many more will not only be an enjoyable and relaxing experience, but your brain will also be better off for it.
3. Find Your “Flow State”
Flow is defined as the state where you are entirely immersed in something, so much so that hours can fly by. Carol Kauffman, assistant clinical professor at Harvard Medical School, told the New York Times “the lost sense of time in the flow state restores your mind and energy. It also requires a high level of concentration, and can enhance your creativity and help you think more clearly.” Whether you achieve your own flow state through painting, working out, or cooking, you won’t regret taking up some new hobbies.
Although adding some hobbies into your routine may seem like a daunting task, it will ultimately serve as exactly what your mind needs to take a step back from the chaotic nature of daily life and work. In doing so, your mind will be able to relax and reset and your happiness will improve significantly, all while improving brain function and work performance.
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