10 Incredible Benefits of Reading

Incredible Benefits of Reading and Learning

Let’s get in the zone!

 

One of the benefits of reading is that it’s one of the activities that it allows you to get into the zone.  When you’re fully engrossed in a book, all of your attention is placed on its pages. This means that there’s no attention left over to listen to the little voice in your head, which is absolutely blissful!

 

In positive psychology, flow, also known as the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does, and a resulting loss in one’s sense of space and time. (Wikipedia)

 

When was the last time a loud noise interrupted your reading, and you were startled to suddenly find yourself sitting snuggled on your sofa, wrapped in your fluffy throw instead of being engrossed in The Book Thief or enveloped in the thought of seeking enlightenment in The Power of Now?

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Reading Reduces Stress

 

And reading works better and faster than other methods to calm frazzled nerves such as listening to music, going for a walk or settling down with a cup research found.

 

Psychologists believe this is because the human mind has to concentrate on reading and the distraction of being taken into a literary world eases the tensions in muscles and the heart.

 

Reading is the best way to relax and even six minutes can be enough to reduce the stress levels by more than two thirds, according to new research.  The research was carried out on a group of volunteers by consultancy Mindlab International at the University of Sussex.

 

Reading is the best way to relax and even six minutes can be enough to reduce the stress levels by more than two thirds, according to research.

 

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Become More Socially Proficient and Understand Emotions!  Really!

 

A study originally published in the Journal Science showing that reading literary fiction can improve people’s ability to understand others’ mental states. In turn, being able to detect and understand other people’s emotions is a crucial skill in navigating complex social relationships.

 

Why would reading literary fiction improve your social skills? “The researchers say the reason is that literary fiction often leaves more to the imagination, encouraging readers to make inferences about characters and be sensitive to emotional nuance and complexity.”

 

So, if you want to sharpen your ability to understand others’ emotions, pick up a copy of Jane Ayre by Charlotte Bronte.   Jane’s journey is gut churning and emotional. Through her life she experiences real sadness, the kind that would make a lesser person give up. She also experiences true friendship, the type that comes across perhaps once in a lifetime and cherished. But, most significantly, she experiences true love.  A blinding novel which allows your sixth sense to intensify and will take you forward in your understanding of others.

 

However, having lots of knowledge doesn’t just make you a brilliant conversationalist and help your job prospects. The amount, and the type of knowledge that you have, largely determines your ability to make your way in the world. “It really doesn’t matter what book you read, by losing yourself in a thoroughly engrossing book you can escape from the worries and stresses of the everyday world and spend a while exploring the domain of the author’s imagination.

 

Reading a real book helps you relax more than zoning out in front of a screen before bed. Screens like e-readers and tablets can actually keep you awake longer and even hurt your sleep.

 

When you read you’re filling your head with all sorts of knowledge, and knowledge has a way of coming in handy when you least expect it . . . at social parties, during job interviews, when meeting your future in-laws, and so on!

 

However, having lots of knowledge doesn’t just make you a brilliant conversationalist and help your job prospects. The amount, and the type of knowledge that you have, largely determines your ability to make your way in the world.

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Gain Knowledge and Boost Intelligence

 

Diving into a good book opens up a whole world of knowledge.  And starting from a very young age is hugely beneficial. Exposure to that new vocabulary not only leads to a higher score on reading tests but also higher scores on general tests of intelligence. Plus, stronger early reading skills may mean higher intelligence later in life.

 

Diving into a good book opens up a whole world of knowledge.  And starting from a very young age is hugely beneficial. Exposure to that new vocabulary not only leads to a higher score on reading tests but also higher scores on general tests of intelligence. Plus, stronger early reading skills may mean higher intelligence later in life.

 

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Become a Better Writer

 

Whether you’re an aspiring writer, you want to start a blog, or you have to write reports for your job, you’ll want to become a better wordsmith. And the best way to become a better writer is to read.  Simple!

 

One of the benefits of reading is that it allows you to get to know yourself.

 

John Green once said that “Great books help you understand, and they help you feel understood.”

 

You will identify with the character and empathy for what she faces.  You may not feel what the characters feel, per se, but as a reader, you can understand the feeling relating to your own experiences.

 

One way in which reading can help you to feel understood is through memoirs. A memoir written by someone who’s similar to you, or who has gone through a situation that resembles what you’re currently dealing with, can help you to think:

 

“Thank goodness, it’s not just me.”

 

“Others have gotten through this, and so will I.”

 

And this can have a profound effect on your psyche.

 

Learn About Different Cultures

 

One of the best books I’ve ever read is The Shaman in Stilettos

 

When celebrity journalist Anna Hunt takes a break from her glamorous, high-powered and fast-paced job to live in Peru for three months, none of her friends take her seriously. A burn-the-candle-at-both-ends 29-year-old with a love of stilettos, chocolate, fast cars and Sauvignon Blanc, she seems to have it all, including a wealthy boyfriend and a comfortable pad in Marylebone. How will she manage in a Third World country?

 

Anna’s quest takes her from the wilderness of the Amazon jungle where she drinks ayahuasca, one of the most mysterious and potent hallucinogens known to man, to a passionate affair with Maximo Morales, a disarmingly seductive and charismatic shaman who offers her the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become his apprentice.

 

Anna embarks on what is to be an utterly exhilarating, life-changing journey of mysterious rituals and burning passion. Will she find the fulfilment and inner peace she craves? And how will she bridge her two worlds and bring the ancient healing arts home to 21st century London?

10 Incredible Benefits of Reading

Mental Stimulation

 

Most of us spend a large part of our day searching and surfing the internet. This keeps our brains in constant motion, which scatters our thinking. Reading, on the other hand, focuses our attention. At the same time, focused attention is necessary for richness of thought.

 

When you’re reading a book you have to keep up with all of the different characters, their backgrounds, and their ambitions. In addition, you have to remember who did what to whom, make inferences and predictions from subtle clues, and even reach your own conclusions and the joy of reading is every reader comes to their own conclusions. There is no right or wrong to your imagination! To say the least, reading keeps your brain on its toes.

 

To quote William Styron, an American novelist and essayist who won major literary awards for his work:

 

“A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.”

 

After all, the brain can’t make a real distinction between reading about an experience and actually living it. Whether reading or experiencing it, the same neurological regions are stimulated.

 

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Finally…

 

As an adult, I understand it can be hard to find time to read.  However, I hope that after reading the huge benefits of grabbing a great book  persuades you to move reading higher up on your list of priorities.

 

Live your best life by reading more.

 

Take a minimum of 6 minutes a day to read. Pick any book, newspaper or learning material you prefer. Add this to your daily ‘Let’s Get Intentional’ routine to reap the rewards!

 

P.S. And remember, you will be setting a fabulous example by reading in front of your children, allowing them to see your enjoyment whilst reading, and the great discussions you can have about your reading materials around the dinner table.  What a way to teach your children the way forward!

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