assorted photos and notebook

Memory Hobbies

Hobbies and Memory

Our memory skills can be maintained by practicing engaging activities, such as hobbies. Hobbies can also promote mindfulness, which can improve our memory by enhancing our attention and clearing up headspace.

The Importance of Engagement for Improved Memory

Memory, our ability to recall information, is essential to our well-being. Unfortunately, memory tends to decline with age. Luckily, practice can maintain and improve it.

While there are dedicated memory exercises, they can be tedious and thus miss an essential component: engagement.

It has been shown that in order to maintain and improve cognitive abilities, such as memory, it is recommended to practice engaging activities.

Individuals who participate in a variety of cognitive activities have been found to be more likely to maintain a higher level of cognitive functioning […]

Frontiers | Activity Engagement and Cognitive Performance Amongst Older Adults

It seems that not just mental activities can help improve our memory, but also physical activities:

Just a single exercise workout has positive effects on learning and memory in young adults, according to a recent review of published studies.

Exercise improves learning and memory in young adults | ScienceDaily

Here again, engagement might play a crucial role:

Research has shown that regular physical exercise is one way to improve cognitive functions like memory recall, problem solving, concentration, and attention to detail. However, it is not clear if the physical aspect alone boosts your brain or if a combination of other factors — like the mental challenge of the activity, the frequency you do it, and the desire to improve — also contribute.

Train your brain – Harvard Health

Hobbies Can Introduce Engagement to Our Disengaged Routine

So, it seems that engaging activities are key to improving our memory skills, cognitive skills, and overall well-being.

As simple and basic as it might sound, our everyday lives tend to lack engaging activities.

School and work, which take up a big chunk of time in our adult lives, are – more often than not – disengaging. The rest of our time we often pass by recovering from school or work, mundane routines and tasks, or mindless screen activity.

Educational attainment and leisure activity engagement were individually associated with memory performance.

The relationship between cognitive engagement and better memory in midlife – Wiley Online Library

Engagement might be missing from our lives. Here lies the importance of hobbies. As engaging activities, hobbies can help us exercise our minds and maintain and improve our mental abilities, such as memory.

Instead of tiring ourselves with technical memory exercises, we might benefit from immersing ourselves in activities we truly find interest in. Our interest in our hobbies can also promise consistent practice, which is crucial for improvement:

You can’t improve memory if you don’t work at it. The more time you devote to engaging your brain, the more it benefits.

Train your brain – Harvard Health

Hobbies Can Further Enhance Our Memory Through Mindfulness

As with many other aspects of our lives, mindfulness can enhance our memory. The logic is simple, as we clear headspace through mindfulness, we improve our attention and make more room for mental activities such as memorizing.

Memory and mindfulness are intimately related; in the Buddhist tradition, mindfulness and memory share the same meaning, and mindfulness seems to tap onto key elements in memory, such as attention and consciousness.

Mindfulness and Memory: a Review of Findings and a Potential Model | SpringerLink

Engaging in hobbies can be an effective way to foster mindfulness.

Explore all hobbies →