Reading is all around us. Whether you are reading Facebook status updates, Tweets by your favorite celebrity, or chatting with a friend on What’s App, you are constantly reading. We live in a society that thrives on bite size chunks of reading. I have a question for you though, when was the last time you read a book?
In a world where we are constantly bombarded by notifications, where binge-watching is a stress reliever and where multitasking often seems like an essential, many have let go of reading for pleasure. We look for quick and efficient blog posts that can be read in less than 5 minutes and summary articles on professional development topics that interest us. The thing is, pleasure reading should be part of our personal and professional growth game! The benefits of daily reading go far beyond the obvious that are often highlighted to children and teens. Adding an intentional 15 – 30 minutes of reading a day can be game changing to one’s personal and professional life.
Here are my top 5 benefits to daily reading.
1. Increased Knowledge. When you are reading, whether fiction or non-fiction, you are adding tons of new bits of knowledge to your reserves. In addition to gaining knowledge in areas of interest, you are also improving your vocabulary. The more you read, the more words will be added to your written and spoken vocabulary. The knowledge gained will increase your confidence and will come out when you need it. Knowledge is something that can never be taken away from you!
2. Mental Stimulation. Focused reading is mentally stimulating. Think of the brain as a muscle. In order to build and keep a muscle strong you need to constantly exercise. When you add consistent reading into your daily routine, you will gain the benefits of this stimulation which include improved memory, focus and concentration.
3. Stress Relief. Reading can provide a breather from everyday life. Personal and professional lives will be stressful at times. A good book can transport you to another world, have you laughing aloud uncontrollably, and in many cases, even giving you a sense of tranquility or inner peace.
4. Readiness. In life, many things often feel like luck. But is it really luck, or is it when preparation meets opportunity? Daily reading in areas of interest keep you constantly prepared and ready to jump on new opportunities.
5. Increased Empathy. When we read about the lives of others, the circumstances they have been faced with, and the paths they have taken, it makes us more in-tune with the needs of others. In turn, this helps us to understand and work with or be with people that are different from us.
Take the time to make an intentional reading plan for yourself. Choose a time and devote 15-30 minutes each day to reading. Challenge yourself to make it a habit and get it done. Then sit back and enjoy the benefits that come!
Shifting Perspectives is a weekly conversation with Yolande. Yolande, a Canadian of Caribbean descent, now calls the Turks and Caicos Islands home and in this podcast challenges Caribbean woman worldwide to fuel themselves with diversity in the way they think, the way they work, the way they parent and the way they live.