As I eagerly await my newest Amazon order filled with books from every spectrum of my interest- from energy gardening to chakras, fiction to autobiography- I wanted to share some compelling reasons to start reading more.
I read more because I have to- it’s hard-wired into my brain since I awas a child that reading is expansive freedom. I always have a book in my purse, on my phone and forever in my carry-on luggage. I have books on nightstands, bookshelves, tables in stacks…
If I stop reading actual books, I get dull, I get floaty, I stop writing with engagement, I stop thinking clearly. In fact, it’s the first thing I ask myself if I’m having a stuck time: What should I start reading?
Here are so many ways that science agrees that it’s time to start reading!!!
On Oprah.com, Maryanne Wolf, the Director of the Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University explains:
“Typically, when you read, you have more time to think. Reading gives you a unique pause button for comprehension and insight. By and large, with oral language—when you watch a film or listen to a tape—you don’t press pause.”
You can deeply benefit from reading books, and here are some of the very science-backed reasons why.
Engage your empathy.
Reading improves the ability to comprehend other people’s emotions. It’s a way of connecting more to others and their point of view. I can tell you that from reading my friend’s books I’ve gotten to understand and know them so much better in an intimate way that is revealed in their pages.
Neuroscientists at Emory University found that reading a novel enhances the connectivity in our brain, allowing for better comprehension of information and the ability to put yourself in “someone else’s shoes”.
Empathy is so important. In fact, it might be the most important quality we all posess and develop, living together on a planet that could use more understanding, connection and unity to create peace. Not to mention how many day-to-day struggles, anger and resentments could be solved with more empathy.
Reading biolographies, autobiographies and even well-written fiction novels unlocks a world of insight into the minds and spirits of characters, helping us to imagine life from their point of view.
Wherever you’re in conflict, can you imagine if you were writing the story of the conflict from the point of view of your opposition?
Sharper memory and brain-strength.
Reading can prevent dementia and Alzheimers Disease:
In the journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, it was found that people who read on a regular basis are 2 and ½ times less likely to develop a “debilitating Illness.”
There are many studies about mental sharpness and engaging with books that address people at every age who are readers vs. non-readers.
Every study points to reading as a key to brain “strength” and longevity.
Your vocabulary expands. So your experiences expand.
When you read, you come across words you wouldn’t hear in regular conversation
Keep a note pad nearby- or your dictionary app- and write down and look up words you do not understand, looking them up, using them in sentences, seeing how they apply to life.
The broader your vocabulary is, the better you are able to articulate and convey yourself to others. In fact, a broad spectrum of emotions and human experiences developed as language developed and became more nuanced and specific.
Can you see from the feeling wheel above just how much more “understood” and self-expressed you’d be by being able to name your emotions with more specificity?
It’s a beautiful thing to have more words to use.
Reading stimulates the senses on every level. A study conducted at Washington University found, after scanning the brains of people who regularly read fiction novels, that the subjects created intense images of sights, sounds, tastes and smells that all simulated actually experiencing these things in real life.
Of course, reading creativity books expands creative thinking, but reading all types of books expands and deepens emotional experiences of life.
As it turns out, reading is a profound way to escape everyday stress, putting your focus on different ideas and emotions.
A study conducted by the University of Sussex found that reading works better to relax your body more so than listening to music or drinking tea:
They found that “reading can reduce stress by up to 68%” !!!
That’s a very big deal!
Hit the library and pile on the books. Load up your Kindle or tablet reader. Browse Amazon and fill up your cart.
The benefits of piles of books are enormous, so find yourself an awesome chair or seat under a tree and read and read and read!
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I spent the last year creating this e-guide to balancing and unblocking life by pulling together the best of a decade of space-changing and life-shifting feng shui! It’s 50 days and 50 ways to use feng shui to shift your space and your routines to move from “stuck” to creatively inspired and alive.
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