The Value of Reading

In my opinion, reading is invaluable. I personally have had a love hate relationship with reading because reading was a  childhood struggle for me. But with time, I learned the importance of reading.  Reading  has been improved my self-esteem, quality of life, education and independence. I have come to appreciate reading so much that I set reading 2 books a month as a personal goal for this year.  I have been working very hard to stick with this resolution.

Reading improves one’s sense of wisdom. So clearly, the more books you read, the more wisdom you can obtain. Research has also found that the mental stimulation of reading can slow the progress and even prevent diseases affecting memory — such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia. When you read, your brain needs to work in different ways to remember characters, storylines, settings and background information. This forces the brain to create new pathways, strengthen existing ones,  and ultimately improves  short-term memory and recall abilities  as well as stabilizing one’s mood!

Reading is also a great tool to help manage stress and improve one’s ability to focus. Stress is a part of everyone’s daily lives. Whether you are experiencing stress at work, in your daily life, in your relationship, or financially, reading is a  can help you slip away and disconnect when needed. Reading can be a perfect distraction to allow tension to drain and bring inner peace and relaxation.

In our internet-crazed world, our attention is drawn in a million different directions at  the same time. Usually my attention is being pulled between working on a task, checking my email, responding to texts or Facebook messages and holding conversations with co-workers. This type of behavior — and the need to respond to so many demands simultaneously —  increases stress levels and frequently lowers my productivity. Whether reading or listening to a book, one needs to focus your attention on the story at hand to absorb the details. Try reading or listening to a book for 15-20 minutes on your way to work or school.  You may be surprised at how much more focused you are for the rest of the day!