Our ideal day looks a little something like curling up on the couch with a psychological thriller that has a ton of plot twists and turns, some snacks, maybe a glass of coffee or wine, depending on the time of day, and we are set for the day (or evening!) And while we love reading, we know that there are a ton of people out there that don’t, so if you’re needing a little extra inspiration, here is why science says you should be reading more as well as a few tips to really get you going! Let’s get started.
(image via: istock)
Reading Boosts Your Problem Solving Skills
You know how when something (anything) happens to us in real life and we feel obligated to make not only a decision but the best decision on a whim and we don’t really feel like we can afford to sit and think for one solitary second before doing so? Well, when we read works of fiction, no matter the genre, we can suddenly afford and embrace uncertainty, and our minds can stop for a second and consider a number of possibilities. In fact, studies have shown that when it comes to readers and non-readers than readers tend to be more creative and flexible in their problem solving versus non-readers who felt they simply need to reach a decision quickly.
Reading Books Not Only Improves Your Life But Also Lengthens Your Life
While we fully support reading anything you like be it books, magazines, or newspapers, studies have shown that those that read books for roughly 30 minutes per day, on average, live two years longer than those that read magazines or newspapers; those who read more than 3.5 hours were 23% less likely to die and participants that read less than 3.5 hours were 17% less likely to die. (Source)
Reading Takes the Stress Away
You’ve probably heard this a million times, but it’s the number one reason we love curling up with a good book. Reading decreases a person’s stress levels significantly. In fact, reading something for just six minutes can increase a person’s stress levels by 68%. People really mean it when they say reading is an escape, this also justifies the need some people have for reading before bed!
How to Read More
(image via: free design file)
Stop reading books you think you should read, and read what you want to read. Listen, the classics are great, they’re classics for a reason, but that reason is not always because they’re real page-turners; so go ahead and pick up that murder mystery or romance novel!
Did you start a book and now you hate it? Stop reading it! Somewhere along the way, we all decided we shouldn’t stop reading a book even though it nearly physically hurts us to continue reading it, and we don’t approve. If you are hating a book, put it down and move on to a new read.
Make time to read. This is a big one because our number one excuse for not reading is that we don’t have time. So schedule some time! Maybe read with your morning coffee or right before bed each night; maybe you start with just ten minutes to read with the intention of increasing that time eventually. There are no rules. Only set aside reading time.