Scribing these words on what feels like the 158th day of January, the feelings of overwhelm are real. If you are among the many over-achieving women struggling to claw back some serenity and stillness back into your life, how about putting reading back into your routine?
Many of us lead busy lives, juggling work, family and perhaps a side hustle, it probably feels like there is no time to squeeze in reading a book for pleasure, but there are numerous positive benefits. Aside from providing a welcome break from the frenzy of daily life, we’re here to remind you that getting lost in a good book has the potential to completely change your experiences, your world view, and ultimately the stories you tell others.
Perhaps one day you’ll write your own story, these guys, StoryTerrace can help you do that, but for now, here’s a list of reasons why reading should be back in your regular routine.
Studies have shown that staying mentally stimulated can slow the progress of (or possibly even prevent) diseases like Alzheimer’s and Dementia, since keeping your brain active and engaged prevents it from losing power. Just like any other muscle in the body, the brain requires exercise to keep it strong and healthy, so the phrase “use it or lose it” is particularly apt when it comes to your mind.
No matter how much stress you have at work, in your personal relationships, or countless other issues faced in daily life, it all just slips away when you lose yourself in a great story. A well-written novel can transport you to other realms, while an engaging article will distract you and keep you in the present moment, letting tensions drain away, allowing you to relax.
Everything you read nourishes you with new bits of information, and you never know when it might come in handy. The more knowledge you have, the better-equipped you are to tackle any challenge you’ll ever face. Should you ever find yourself in dire circumstances, remember that although you might lose everything else—your job, your possessions, your money, even your health—knowledge can never be taken from you.
When you read a book, you have to remember an assortment of characters, their backgrounds, ambitions, history, and nuances, as well as the various arcs and sub-plots that weave their way through every story. That’s a fair bit to remember, but brains are marvellous things and can remember these things with relative ease. Amazingly enough, every new memory you create forges new synapses and strengthens existing ones, which assists in short-term memory recall as well as stabilizing moods.
Stronger Focus and Concentration
When you read a book, all of your attention is focused on the story—the rest of the world just falls away, and you can immerse yourself in every fine detail you’re absorbing. Try reading for 15-20 minutes before work (i.e. on your morning commute, if you take public transit), and you’ll be surprised at how much more focused you are once you get to the office.
Now that you remember the benefits of regularly reading for pleasure, browse our Books section for your next page turner.