How many books have you read since the beginning of the year? How much more will you read? Why read at all?
Reading is an investment in yourself. And if there is not enough time for this, then do not complain about fate for not being able to achieve your goals.
Below are some of the other benefits of reading. Keep them in mind when deciding what to do with your evening.
1. Enter the flow state
The state of flow is the feeling of total immersion in the activity you are doing. Time seems to stand still and you feel as if you yourself have become this activity. This state is directly related to happiness. The more often you are in a state of flow, the happier you are.
The advantage of reading is that it is the kind of activity that allows you to enter the flow state. When you are completely immersed in a book, all your attention is on it. This means that negative thoughts cannot enter your head.
2. Reduce stress
Research shows that reading for just 6 minutes can reduce stress by as much as 68%. In fact, reading has even more beneficial effects on the psyche than tea, music or a walk.
Psychologists believe that this is due to the fact that diverting attention to the world of the book eases the tension in the muscles and heart. Cognitive neuropsychologist Dr. David Lewis, who conducted the study, says: “To lose yourself in a book is to completely relax.”
3. Acquire knowledge
When you read, you fill yourself with knowledge, and they can come in handy at any point in your life that you don’t know for sure. Reading makes you more resourceful and interesting in life, enriches your communication arsenal, increases literacy. But not only this is important. The quantity, quality and type of knowledge largely determines your ability to find your own way in this world.
4. Learn to write better
Whether you're an aspiring writer, want to start a blog, or need to write reports for work, reading as much as you can to improve your writing skills.
5. Expand your vocabulary
There is no better way to improve your vocabulary than reading. You can, of course, fill it up with just a dictionary, but you will not achieve tangible results due to lack of context.
6. The act of knowing yourself
In his essay "Why Read?" Mark Edmundsun refers to a passage from Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time which reflects Proust's hope that by reading his books people will encounter aspects of their lives that were previously unexplored. Know yourself and you will come much closer to happiness.
7. Mental stimulation
When you read a book, you have to keep up with the characters, their actions, the development of the plot as a whole. In addition, you must remember what the main character and secondary characters did or did not do in the past – this alone can keep your brain in good shape.
By reading, you learn to make assumptions, analyze words and deeds, the logic of characters' actions, and much more.
8. Have a new experience
Literary critic Harold Bloom argues that you must read to live many lives:
- To get to know more people than they could in reality.
- To see that love and hate can come in many different forms.
- To experience those emotions that you do not experience in your life.
American writer William Styron adds:
“A great book should give you experience and drain you a bit at the end. When you read, you live multiple lives."
After all, the brain cannot really distinguish between reading about an experience and actually experiencing it. Whether you read about it or experience it, the same areas of the brain are being stimulated.
Meanwhile, not only the number of books you read is important, but also the experience and knowledge that you draw from them. After all, what is the point of reading a hundred books if you haven’t memorized any of them and applied them in your life?!
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