Happy and successful people understand the vital importance of leisure time, but the role of hobbies in sharpening different areas of the brain certainly isn't lost on them. Business Insider gives the example of playing an instrument, which can "stimulate your creativity, analytical skills, and fine motor skills." When choosing a hobby that doubles as a mental exercise, consider the following leisure activities of some of the world's most successful people:
Kate Middleton colors. Even the Duchess of Cambridge isn't immune to the allure of a good adult coloring book, according to Prince William. The art form has actually been found to reduce stress and help organize one's thoughts.
Tim Gunn soaks up art. The Project Runway co-host spends every Sunday at the Metropolitan Museum "until [it's] about to close," he told the New York Times. "I'm a huge lover of art."
Richard Branson plays chess. "I think chess may just be the best game in the world," Branson wrote on Virgin's blog. "It combines the greatest aspects of many different sports—tactics, planning, bravery and risk-taking."
Meryl Streep knits. The award-winning actress has found a source of comfort in knitting: "For me, it was a place to gather my thoughts and understand the contemplative [life] … it's a sort of clearing out place."
Marissa Mayer bakes. The Yahoo! CEO credits baking for some of her career success: "I've always loved baking. [My hobbies] help me come up with new and innovative ways of looking at things."
For more, read up on the three simple hobbies that will actually make you smarter.