Whether you read a good book, the newspaper, or your favorite blog, reading is a great way to bring out your creativity, enrich your imagination, and expand your knowledge.
There are many benefits in practicing daily reading, but maybe it’s not a habit that you currently have or have managed to fit into your schedule. If you are interested in changing that and want to know how reading can improve your lifestyle, keep reading!
Reading is, arguably, one of the most critical skills that we can acquire during our lives. Imagine it as a bridge that connects you with knowledge and facts, sitting at the core of how we communicate and share information.
This means reading is a skill we could use at every moment, and in different situations, not only when we work or study. As such, it’s important to develop it.
As with every other skill, reading is something that can be improved by doing it constantly. Dedicating a portion of your free time to reading allows you to develop your capabilities and efficiency in processing the information you access.
Being consistent in how and when you read will give you a new level of comprehension of the subjects and themes that interest you. Developing your reading skills also means you will be able to communicate and express yourself better, both in written and oral form.
This will boost your social skills and interactions with other people, be it in academic, professional, or casual environments.
Naturally, the benefits of reading extend beyond being able to decode information better or faster; in fact, reading can have a good impact on your physical and mental well-being and do wonders for your self-esteem. If you want to know what these benefits are, and how can they help with your self-improvement, we have put up a list you will find interesting.
In line with what we established before, reading expands your vocabulary by introducing you to unfamiliar words that were outside your reach. Having a better command of the language means you will have more tools to understand and be understood by others more easily.
That means it is a great idea to open up the range of themes and reading materials you decide to check. Not only it will help you explore different subjects and areas of expertise, but it will also give you new ways to express yourself!
Reading opens a window into a new world of possibilities. Whether you are reading a book of literary fiction, a scientific study, or a newspaper, you will be exposed to fresh information that needs to be interpreted by using any previous knowledge you have. Taken as an exercise, it will compel you to approach the text from different angles and open novel ways of analysis that will ultimately improve your problem-solving skills.
A study has also pointed out how reading allows you to be more flexible and able to understand different ideas and belief systems, effectively making you more empathetic to situations that occur outside your sphere of influence. A good book then can be the perfect vehicle for personal and emotional growth.
Just as your body needs exercise to stay healthy, so does your brain. In this sense, reading provides an excellent workout routine for your brain, by giving it the stimulation and activity necessary to stall the effects of aging. For example, research has shown brain activity increases while we read, opening new pathways and networks in various regions of the brain, possibly influencing the way the brain develops in young children who engage in reading more often.
Fortunately, in this day and age, there are various ways for you to access reading materials for very little money or none at all. You could check your closest public library or websites such as Project Gutenberg, Goodreads, and plenty more which offer a wide range of free e-books for you to download at any time. If you have an e-reader or a modern smartphone, you can access thousands of titles without spending a dime!
One of the main benefits of reading is it gives you the perfect excuse to slow down and place your thoughts away from the mental headspace you occupy at all times. Reading books is a fantastic way to relax, take it easy, and enjoy the tranquility and solitude we all need from time to time.
The relaxation achieved through reading can also help overcome alterations in your sleeping patterns. By taking the habit of reading before you go to bed, you can signal to your body and mind it’s time to decompress and disconnect from everything else and let go of its worries until the next day. This way you will create the right environment for a good night's sleep.
Great books require your full attention to be enjoyed. Reading asks you to focus on the information given, demanding concentration to reach comprehension. If you read every day for at least 30 minutes or more, you will be training your attention span effectively, allowing you to be more efficient in your daily activities in the long term.
When we read, we need to remember different names, characters, settings, and even proper nouns to understand the full scope of a given story. Having to constantly recall past information is a good exercise for both your short and long-term memory and will help you fix new information in your brain more quickly the more you do it.
It’s no surprise that great writers make for avid readers. Reading frequently will hone your writing skills, not only by expanding your vocabulary, but also by subconsciously feeding you lessons in grammar, structure, and style that you will then use intuitively in an assertive manner. Writing and expressing yourself will be easier that way, helping you come off as assured and composed to other people.
Of course, you will not always be in the mood to dedicate your reading time to the best books you can find; sometimes alternatives such as blogs or social media offer you a lighter, faster way to keep up with current events occurring around the world. Taking the time to read the news will make you more knowledgeable about what is happening around you and give you more topics for casual conversations.
So you are now interested in reading more often, but you may be wondering how to fit it into your life. Luckily, reading books is not the only way to do it, as there are plenty of alternatives to get started and ease you into this new activity, and not all require you to sit to get the most out of them!
For example, you could start by checking out a literary podcast to help you find the best kind of books for your taste or mood, and familiarize yourself with literary and analytical discussions of them. There are many options out there for you to discover that can help you find what you need.
Another possibility is to listen to audiobooks to get your reading fill. Some people find that listening to a book while they are exercising or doing an activity that doesn’t require their full mental bandwidth can be a good alternative to get more out of their time. In that sense, you can think of audiobooks as a good complement to “classic” reading and an interesting way to introduce it into your routine.
Naturally, you can also go for more typical options, like starting with short novels or comic books for less dense stories or reading the newspaper in the mornings.
You could also try creating a curated reading list of books you are interested in checking in the nearby future to have it more organized and keep you motivated.
So, there you have it. Reading is a fascinating and enriching activity that has numerous benefits for your health, and you should be seriously considering adopting it for your personal and professional self-improvement. Hopefully, now you will be convinced to try and get started as soon as possible. You won’t regret it!
If you want to learn more about how to be a better reader, learn techniques to improve your memory, or have a healthier lifestyle in general, make sure to check out our blog for more tips and advice!
Ingeniero de Producción. Fundador de Tiny Rockets y Meaningful (Agencia de Growth Marketing). Ha liderado proyectos de Growth Marketing para grandes empresas de Silicon Valley como BetterUp, Grove y Rocketplace. Participó en el Workshop de hábitos con James Clear en el evento de Habit Hackers Colorado 2018. Más de 5 años desarrollando productos para ayudar a las personas a construir mejores hábitos.