Why You Should Start Reading Regularly
In 2017, you can be hard pressed to find people who prefer to read a book over watching their favorite show on Netflix or scrolling through social media and catching up on what’s going on with friends. In a world where we’ve become so engrossed with instant gratification, many have come to forget about the wonder of starting to read a new book. Our busy lives have lead us to believe that we no longer have the time required to sit down and read, and to many, the thought of reading is boring. Despite this, there are numerous benefits of reading that can help develop you into a better person.
As kids, we were forced to read the books chosen by our teachers and school curriculum. This turned many young minds off to the thought of reading, quickly causing reading to be labeled as boring. Even as adults, we hear of the benefits of reading, yet we make up excuses to never start a new book. Yet studies have shown that reading can reduce stress, increase tranquility in your life, and open your mind up to new possibilities. At the end of a long and busy day, opening a book and getting lost in the story can help you escape the worries in your head, and allow you to relax. If you prefer non-fiction, a compelling book will hone in your focus, and bring you to the present.
Researchers at Yale University conducted a study of those over 50 years of age on their reading habits and their health. Those that read every day for 30 minutes or so were shown to lead healthier lives, and were more resilient to mental decline. When reading, the brain makes new connections, called neural networks, and these can promote quicker thinking and a healthier brain. In addition, reading fiction can boost your empathy and emotional intelligence, which can result in more positive interaction with people around you.
In a world that is ever-evolving, knowledge is power. Reading is a perfect way to open yourself up to new ideas and inspiration. In fact, the most successful people in the world often contribute their success to their love of reading. Wildly popular talk-show host and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey credits reading to have, “Allowed myself to see the world beyond the front porch of my Grandmother’s house”. A book can have the power to inspire you to create something new, cause to follow your dreams, or even help you gain a better understanding of the world we live in.
For those that say they don’t have time to commit to a book, ask yourself: How often to I watch TV? How often am I browsing social media? Give yourself the opportunity to let your imagination wander or your curiosity thrive. Turn your mind on and allow yourself to absorb new things. The joy of becoming engrossed in a novel, or the wonder of learning something new and fascinating is a true gift we can give ourselves. All we need to do is open a book.