When was the last time you completely finished reading a book from front to back? A full book, a novel, whatever it may be; any substantial piece of literature.
If you are thinking, “hey I do read, I read all the time!” I don’t mean Tweets and social media posts or the back of the air freshener when you forgot to bring your phone into the toilet.
It’s important you stop what you are doing and fully engage for the next 5 minutes and find out how reading can benefit you. Reading is a tool that, unfortunately, few people have taken advantage of.
Studies show that by maintaining regular stimulation of our mind we benefit our future cognitive health. Progression of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is slowed down significantly and in some cases completely prevented depending on genetics and or frequency of mental stimulation.
What is mental stimulation? Playing chess, Sudoku, or reading.
What this means is that you must use what you have or you will lose the ability to use it. Every muscle in the body follows this law and although the brain itself isn’t a muscle it makes sense that one make use of the brain to maintain its full potential and capability.
Reading is perfect for this if you are already an avid chess player. 🙂
When you become immersed in a book, whether it be on success principles or an adventure story about a hobbit, this present energy you have when reading will eradicate stress from your life. It doesn’t matter what you are worried about the moment the book has a grip on you, that becomes your reality. Stress will drain while your mind opens up to the ideas and possibilities the words have in store for you. So you must read more to de-stress.
Every sentence you read is an opportunity to learn something new, think about that.
The more you read, the more likely you will expose your mind to new ideas, new concepts, new theories. Over time as you read more and more you will start to understand so much more about the world around you. Many concepts interlink into one another. The more you know about one thing, may mean you understand more about something else.
Knowledge is good, seek knowledge and never be content with the knowledge you currently have.
Humble yourself. Read and open your mind to the unknown. Let your mind be a blank canvas and let the words from the book paint a picture.
Reading may very well be the most crucial aspect to success.
Most things in this world are physical, your car, your home, these are items, objects, which you can lose. Despite what you think your friends, even your family, in some cases aren’t forever.
What is beautiful about knowledge is that it’s something you can never lose. If you are reading this, you have been given the opportunity to gain knowledge at free will.
Don’t take this for granted.
Your exposure to new words expands as you read more. I could write another 10 benefits on the pros of having an expansive vocabulary. The main point is that the ability to be articulate provides you with an edge in this world. This may be professionally or purely in your ability to convey and exert your ideas into the world with conviction. The articulate are promoted quicker.
By reading more you also improve your ability to pick up new languages.
To fully absorb a book’s concepts, ideas, plot twists, etc, you are required to dissect and memorize assortments of characters, nuances, how a book’s ideas intertwine together to overall create something you can comprehend.
Every memory that manifests in your brain will create multiple synapses or pathways. What does this mean? By creating new synapses you are reinforcing the integrity of current ones.
This has the profound effect of stabilizing the way we feel and also a general improvement in short-term memory.
When you are exposed to more detailed and complex words your ability to publish the later will be affected. By observing various writing styles, your own will flourish. With the increase in vocabulary that comes with reading, your own style will also increase in quality. Masters of crafts such as artists or musicians tend to be influenced by various other masters. I believe that products of creation are rarely fully organic, rather they are the collection of influences.
The point is the more you’re exposed to others writing, the more inspiration you have for your own.
Our lifestyle has blessed us with talent in the art of multi-tasking. Although multi-tasking can be a good trait, constant diversion of attention may prevent you from being centered on one specific task. This constant diversion of engagement leaves most with a slightly disengaged state of mind. Thinking about too many things at much increases cortisol levels and lowers our productivity.
Through reading books from front to back, your attention is 100% directed to one single task meaning you are extremely present and grounded.
I prefer hardcover books to ebooks as you minimize the chance you get distracted by notifications. By focusing on being mindful and attentive and to do nothing but read, this focus and skill will cross over to the rest of your life and in theory, increases your productivity and lowers your stress.
Let’s take a mystery novel, this genre is a great example of how reading can be a useful analytical thinking tool. For example, many people can figure out the ending to a story while only half way through. You must put together pieces of evidence and information, sort of like a puzzle to be able to figure out who killed who.
Reading by itself won’t necessarily build on analytical skills. Rather it is the type of reading you engage in. If you continuously question the ideas and concepts presented to you and then use them to form your own logical conclusions and opinions, this is practicing analytical thinking, otherwise known as ‘active reading’.
The benefits that will come with more reading are subjective to the genre of book. All books will benefit you in some way as some reading is better than no reading. However, if you center your reading on spiritual and self-development topics there is a sense of calm and tranquility that follows.
It has been shown that blood pressure levels may even decrease and by reading these sorts of books symptoms of depression may be alleviated.
It becomes free entertainment, it’s fun. Many people see reading as a chore and something that cannot be associated with fun.
But everybody who can read is going to have a style or a genre of a book that they really enjoy.
It is important to constantly explore authors and styles until you find what makes you click. Whether you like jokes, fashion, planes, biographies, spiritual development, books travel, there will be something out there for you. I urge you to cultivate a sense of urgency in doing so as the benefits are priceless.
All you need is yourself and a book to read. Lifehack has a great article on how to
Lifehack has a great article on how to help you read more.
Open a book and immerse yourself in the wonders of words.
Speaking of books: Here’s a link to The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
My favourite book. This one’s a goodie.