Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Why reading is good for you!

Have you read a book lately? Or even an interesting newspaper article for that matter? Or are you one of these social readers, who only reads what suits them; Facebook status updates, tweets etc. Perhaps your daily reading only consists of following the instructions on your pot noodle! For those of you that find reading a chore and not the beautiful leisure activity that it is, here are a few of the benefits to reading that might make you think twice.

1. It stimulates the mind

It is a known fact that reading stimulates the mind. But it is scientifically proven that stimulating the mind in such a way can prevent the progression of diseases such as Alzheimer's and Dementia. All muscles in the human body need exercise and just like the legs need jogging to keep them strong and healthy, the brain needs reading.

2. It reduces stress

Daily life is hectic, we all know this. Work, family, bills. All these things add up to cause huge amounts of stress. But when you lose yourself in a truly great story, all that stress simply slips away and for a few hours at least, you can find yourself in another world, completely oblivious to the present. Just like a bath calms and soothes, reading helps you to relax.

3. It can make you clever

Whether you realise it or not, when you read, you are constantly picking up new bits of information. One day you may find yourself in an important job interview, or if you're lucky enough, even on a tv quiz show. You may be asked a question and the answer will suddenly pop to the forefront of your mind, because you know it, because you have read it somewhere before. Unlike materialistic things, knowledge stays with you forever.

4. A human dictionary

You don't just gain knowledge from reading, you can learn new words too. Words perhaps you wouldn't normally use but inevitably end up in your everyday vocabulary, making you come across as a well learned and knowledgeable person. This can be an advantage when meeting new people, particularly when looking for a new job and or promotion, or even when it comes to impressing the new girlfriend's parents!

5. You remember things

After reading a book, you may be a little overwhelmed. You've met lots of new characters, learnt of their backgrounds, what they aspired to and who they were as people. Not to mention the place and history in which it's set along with all the relevant sub plots. Reading exposes you to all sorts of new situations and experiences.  The brain remembers all these wonderful things and uses them to create new pathways and even strengthen ones you already have. 

6. The new Sherlock Holmes

There are many wannabe detectives, or CSI's out there who delve into a mystery novel and imagine themselves as the next best in the crime solving world. It may sound silly, but reading books of the same nature can help you when it comes to critical and analytical thinking.  In your mind you can use the clues to form your own suspicions and try and work out who dunnit.

7. Teach you how to focus

There are way too many distractions in todays world. Through the internet we are able to work, send emails, chat and all in the space of a few minutes. This makes it difficult when you need your focus, to concentrate on a specific task. When you read, all your attention is focused on the story. You will find by reading from as little as 15 minutes per day, you'll learn to keep your focus.

8. It can help you write

Reading not only helps you with your vocabulary skills but its helps with your writing skills also. From reading alone you expose yourself to some of the world's best and well written work. It's not just about words but finding a fluidity. You may find different writers will influence your own writing in different ways, but the more you expose yourself to, the better you will become.

9. It can bring you peace

Reading is tranquil. Depending on the subject matter of what you read you can often find yourself feeling at times a sense of peace. Certain texts including spiritual ones can even lower blood pressure. People who suffer from mood swings will even find that reading can calm the senses and often help with mild mental issues as well.

10. It's fun!

Most importantly of all reading is fun. At the end of the day it is free entertainment. Ok you can buy books, of course, like anything else, but nothing is stopping you going to the local library or borrowing off of your friend the latest gripper that they recommend.  Reading is enjoyable, just as much so as films, just as much so as browsing on facebook and twitter and all the other latest crazes. Reading is one of the oldest forms of personal entertainment, it has been around for many years and will be for many years to come.

So what are you waiting for, pick up that book you've been neglecting and improve your life in more ways than one, and remember...