In a recent report published by the Journal of Neurology, it was noted that those who engage in mentally stimulating activities (like reading) had a 32% lower occurrence rate of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia than those who did not engage in such activities. Thirty-two percent! That’s huge! By simply exercising our minds in reading, writing, or doing crossword puzzles, we can preserve our mental acuity and memory—something we all hope for as we age.
We also learn to be more empathetic. A good book or article can emotionally transport us, allowing us to momentarily walk in someone else’s shoes. We find ourselves relating to the person or character’s joy, struggle, and pain. As we do, we build up feelings of empathy, and this helps us in our real life situations. The world would be a far better place if we increased our empathy for one another.
Reading can also help us sleep better. Those who have established a pattern of reading a few pages before bedtime each night have learned this benefit. It calms our minds, reduces stress, and cues our bodies that it’s time for some shut-eye. But be warned, this may occasionally work against us when we find a book or article so engaging we can hardly put it down.
For those looking to climb the ladder or increase earning potential, a great place to start is by reading more. Reading increases our knowledge, analytical skills, ability to focus and concentrate, and expands our vocabulary. All necessary traits if we are seeking personal and professional growth.
Of course, there are those who say they don’t enjoy reading at all, because they never found a book that kept their interest. These are often the same people who are up on the latest fashions, can share great recipes, tips on decorating or gardening, or who know all the latest celebrity gossip. How? They read it on-line or in their favorite magazine, and yes—this too is reading.
So whatever the reading pleasure, from Moby Dick to Us Weekly—enjoy! We’re doing something good for ourselves.