When was the last time you read a book, or a substantial article? Do your daily reading habits center around tweets, Facebook updates, or the directions on your instant oatmeal packet? If you’re one of countless people who don’t make a habit of reading regularly, you might be missing out: reading has a significant number of benefits, and just a few benefits of reading are listed below.
Everything you read fills your head with new bits of information, and you never know when it might come in handy. The more knowledge you have, the better-equipped you are to tackle any challenge you’ll ever face.
Additionally, here’s a bit of food for thought: should you ever find yourself in dire circumstances, remember that although you might lose everything else—your job, your possessions, your money, even your health—knowledge can never be taken from you.
2. Improves Your Quality Of Conversations
Your vast array of new found knowledge will help you to become more involved in discussions, you will be more able to instigate much more variable and interesting levels of conversations.
Obtaining more information will give you a distinct advantage over the others because you will have gathered a much wider understanding of many subjects and topics of conversation. Limited knowledge can seriously hold you back and leave you feeling left out in some social situations.
Ultimately this will make you a very much more interesting and refreshing person to be around.
3. Stronger Analytical Thinking Skills
Have you ever read an amazing mystery novel, and solved the mystery yourself before finishing the book? If so, you were able to put critical and analytical thinking to work by taking note of all the details provided and sorting them out to determine “whodunnit”.
These analytical skills will give you the ability to visualize, articulate, conceptualize or solve both complex and uncomplicated problems by making decisions that are sensible given the available information. Such skills include demonstration of the ability to apply logical thinking to gathering and analyzing information, designing and testing solutions to problems, and formulating plans.
4. Mental Stimulation
Studies have shown that staying mentally stimulated can slow the progress of Alzheimer’s and Dementia, since keeping your brain active and engaged prevents it from losing power. Just like any other muscle in the body, the brain requires exercise to keep it strong and healthy, so the phrase “use it or lose it” is particularly apt when it comes to your mind. Doing puzzles and playing games such as chess have also been found to be helpful with cognitive stimulation.
5. Memory Improvement
Reading gives your brain a different kind of workout than watching TV or listening to the radio. Whether you’re absorbed in a page-turner or simply scanning an instruction manual for your coffee maker, “parts of the brain that have evolved for other functions—such as vision, language, and associative learning—connect in a specific neural circuit for reading, which is very challenging,” Ken Pugh, PhD, president and director of research of Haskins Laboratories, said. The habit spurs your brain to think and concentrate.
6. Vocabulary Expansion
The more you read, the more words you gain exposure to, and they’ll inevitably make their way into your everyday vocabulary. Being articulate and well-spoken is of great help in any profession, and knowing that you can speak to higher-ups with self-confidence can be an enormous boost to your self-esteem. It could even aid in your career, as those who are well-read, well-spoken, and knowledgeable on a variety of topics tend to get promotions more quickly (and more often) than those with smaller vocabularies and lack of awareness of literature, scientific breakthroughs, and global events.
Reading books is also vital for learning new languages, as non-native speakers gain exposure to words used in context, which will ameliorate their own speaking and writing fluency.
7. Improved Focus and Concentration
In our internet-crazed world, attention is drawn in a million different directions at once as we multi-task through every day. In a single 5-minute span, the average person will divide their time between working on a task, checking email, chatting with a couple of people (via Messenger, Skype, etc.), keeping an eye on twitter, monitoring their smartphone, and interacting with co-workers. This type of behavior causes stress levels to rise, and lowers our productivity.
When you read a book, all of your attention is focused on the story—the rest of the world just falls away, and you can immerse yourself in every fine detail you’re absorbing. Try reading for 15-20 minutes before work (i.e. on your morning commute, if you take public transit), and you’ll be surprised at how much more focused you are once you get to the office.
8. Tranquility and Stress Reduction
In addition to the relaxation that accompanies reading a good book, it’s possible that the subject you read about can bring about immense inner peace and tranquility. Reading spiritual texts can lower blood pressure and bring about an immense sense of calm, while reading self-help books has been shown to help people suffering from certain mood disorders and mild mental illnesses.
In a British study, participants engaged in an anxiety-provoking activity and then either read for a few minutes, listened to music, or played video games. The stress levels of those who read dropped 67 percent, which was a more significant dip than that of the other groups.
9. Encourage life goals
Reading about someone who overcame obstacles may motivate you to meet your own goals, Ohio State University researchers found. If you’d like a raise, following a character into the boss’s office may give you the courage to make the same request. The more you identify with a character and experience the events as if they were happening to you, the more likely you’ll be to take action.
10. All Leaders And Successful People Read
Books are very powerful, they change and transforms lives. Nearly all successful people will tell you that there is at least one book that they read that completely turned around and transformed their life. Information and knowledge can mean power, it can lead to inspiration and success, but only if you apply the right information to help you better your life. Reading it’s not just about information, it can also bring you great enjoyment and laughter which is great for your well-being, while the mystery novels will stimulate your imagination.