Reasons Why Collecting Things You Love Is Good for Your Brain (Part I)

Compulsive hoarders who can’t seem to throw anything away have a real problem. One’s choice of collectible may also display an strangeness or two. I met a woman who had collected so many antique cookie jars that she’d mounted special shelves for them that covered every wall in her home. An acquaintance has an apartment filled with snow globes, bringing a year-round wintry feel to his residence.

Collecting Vinyl Records

For standard collectors, here are reasons why their hobby is good for them:

Builds observational skills. You have a habit of becoming more aware of details of the things you collect, which makes you a better discoverer and searcher. Objects and their characteristics that might have been lost in the background before you became a collector will stand out, connecting the gap between the known and unknown. As a girl, I had a huge collection of toy animals that I carried outside to be in my sandbox (desert), birdbath (lake), or under rhododendron leaves (jungle). Having these creatures made me want to discover more about the real-life versions and I spent hours reading encyclopedias. My growing knowledge and interest evolved into a passion for nature hike and a gift for being the first to spot wildlife.

Improves organizational thinking. Collections typically call for sorting into categories, regardless if it is coins or stamps, or even unicorns. This can transform into more useful thinking in other tasks, particularly when doing research or studying for tests, as well as doing projects or school papers.

Enhances pattern recognition. Categorizing objects enriches our capability in identifying usual characteristics and denotes gaps in a pattern. Fragmented patterns are typically the ones that school us the most by inspiring our expectations and preconceptions.