Currently, my husband and I are looking for a house to buy in the local community, but it’s looking like right now is not a good time for us to buy. It’s so difficult to get a decent house without competition! So in the meantime, we’ve been day-dreaming and talking about what we want in our ideal house. One thing that I’ve been obsessing over is having a library. It may seem a little bit outdated to have one since technogy is over taking traditional books, but the thought of have one seems pretty cool (call me hipster-ish). Also, I have a problem parting with books because you never know the next time you’ll want to read it again.
Did you know that reading has a lot of great benefits for you besides an increase in knowledge and vocabulary? There are a lot of news articles and blog posts about the benefits of reading made before my post, so I’m not going to bore you with research and data… Plus, I’m too lazy to format my post in MLA- style. So below are benefits I’ve noticed in myself and my family from reading.
#1 – Reading helps strengthen your memory
Again, I won’t go into the scientific research about how reading affects your memory, but I will provide you with justification. Reading a good story makes you remember the main characters and what happened. Of course, reading takes a little more time to get through compared to watching a movie, so you have to rely a little more on you memory to get you through the story. Also, your brain is like a muscle. You have to work out your brain and keep it active in order for it to be healthy!
#2 – Reading is like meditation
I suck at meditation. I can’t do meditation on it’s own, and the only time I could really do it is if I got a good workout from Yoga. So, how do I find the time to sit quietly and do minimal? Reading can certainly help you in the aspect of sitting for a long period and doing minimal.
#3 – Reading helps calm you down
Speaking of sitting for long periods, reading also helps you calm down in terms of “meditation”. In fact, I’m quite certain reading could potentially lower your blood pressure if your blood pressure is a concern due to stress… Of course, there are many other factors associated with high blood pressure that you cannot just blame stress on it, but reading might be able to help you decrease it.
If you decide to experiment on this, let me know what your results were! I’d love to know!
#4 – Reading can make you a little more empathetic
As you read a book, you get wrapped up in the main character’s adventures and misfortunes. When something happens to them, you generally feel bad and wished that the author didn’t write what they did. Even though we might not know what the main character’s going through, we can somewhat relate to that character’s feelings. If we can become empathetic towards fictitional characters, we can certainly do the same for others. Reading might be able to help us recognize certain behaviors in others and learn how to work with them.
#5 – Reading can help improve your sleep
When I was first stationed overseas, I was having major problems going to bed at night. One of the docs I used to work with talked to me about “sleep hygiene,” and one of the things that I took away from that conversation was that the bed should only be used for sleep and intimacy. Everything else, like studying and lounging around should not be done on a bed, and thats because you want your body/mind to associate your bed with sleep and relaxation. Another thing I remember was that reading can also help you fall asleep as well. Again, it goes along the line of using reading as meditation – it calms you down and you’re sitting quietly while reading. That ought to help you put your lights out!
#6 – Reading can also help with family bonding
There are many ways that you can do this, and one of them involves parents reading to their young children. I’ve since then stopped reading bedtime stories to our oldest since he’s able to read on his own now, but I do encourage him to read to his baby brother. Reading to our children also has benefits of encouraging children to be book-worms!
Another way reading can foster family bonding is by being able to set some time aside in our busy days and be able to read together. Everyone doesn’t have to read the same book, but family members of the same age or reading level can read the same book to spark conversation. The thrill of reading is like watching a movie, only waaaay slower.
#7 – Reading is a great distraction from the world
Apart from meditation and being lost in the plot of a book, using reading as a distraction from the world could also help you with your stress. I used to love going of FaceBook to see pictures of my friend’s babies and seeing what’s everyone been up to. However, now, FaceBook is overrun by politics and things that could easily stress us out. Putting down your phone and immersing yourself in a good book will make for a great distraction from these times.
What other benefits can you think of that we can get from reading? Share your ideas in the comments below!