Easily Increase Your Lifespan Today by Reading More!

Reading is one of the most incredible things you can do for your brain.

Did you know that?

While I know everyone learns differently, and there are many reasons why reading isn't accessible to everyone (believe me, I have like all the eye deficiencies. The eye therapist laughed when she read the ophthalmologist's note that said I was an avid reader. She said, based on my test results, she's surprised I even can) but there is something so powerful about reading.

It's an adventure. The best books can take you out of this world, into a wonderful adventure. Yes, even non-fiction books can do this.

I love getting to dive into a new adventure, a new world, a new life. I love the escape. I love learning new things and new perspectives.

I have this weird thing where I always have a stack of books on the go. I read so incredibly slowly, but I just want to start all the books! I always have at least one fiction book and one personal development or nonfiction book on the go—and a bunch more!

I love reading for fun, so it's important that I have a fiction book on the go. However, I also know how important personal development and continued learning are.

There is so much research on how working your brain can help fight cognitive decline, and so many people, companies, and brands have tried to capitalize on that. There are tons of brain training games and apps that can help (trust me, I play a few because they are so fun!).

But nothing beats what happens in your brain when you pick up a physical book. There are many ways to digest the contents of the book, and while all learning is great, a little fun fact is that reading a physical book provides you with so much more than other styles of digesting information (including e-books).

It's not that consuming literature is ever a bad thing. Audiobooks, e-books (where are my other Kindle fans at!?), etc. are all great, but we will just be discussing the benefits of reading a physical book in this article. Because what happens in your brain when you actually read the book, physically hold it, versus listening to it, is different. As I said, audiobooks are great, and consuming literature is great in all forms. The benefits are just different.

When we read e-books or consume audiobooks, etc., we miss out on what's called "spatial navigability." Humans rely on location cues as a way of navigating the world, and by reading a physical book, you are able to touch the pages and see where they end, providing you with more in-depth information.

Reading versus other forms of taking in information provides so many incredible and powerful benefits:

1. It has many incredible benefits for your brain

I touched on one above but reading has so many more brain benefits!

For example, reading actually changes the structure of your brain. Carnegie Mellon conducted a six-month daily reading study. Their participants read every day for six months, and they found that the "volume of white matter in the language area of the brain actually increased."

Your brain is concentrated and active during reading. Brain scans have shown that brain connectivity is increased while a person is reading and for days afterward.

It also goes as far as preventing age-related cognitive decline and decreases the likelihood of developing dementia. According to research and studies done in the Blue Zones, centenarians in the Blue Zones keep their brains stimulated and read often, contributing to their high percentages on cognitive tests.


2. It can increase your self-awareness and empathy.

First, reading provides you with time that you're dedicating to yourself and helps you think about your life in a way you may not have previously. Learning from many different perspectives is key to an overall healthy mindset and strategies for overcoming different aspects of our lives. 

But they can also help you understand others' perspectives and provide you with a greater depth of knowledge of others' experiences. You will never fully understand what others are going through, but it can help you see the meaning behind the way others behave, helping you to feel more empathy instead of immediately reacting with judgement.

This occurs when reading both fiction and non-fiction. Self-help books are a way for us to learn more about ourselves as well as other people. We are social creatures and there will always be a time in our lives where we have to rely on others. Having empathy is one of the most vital traits we can possess in life. Fiction books give us concrete examples, presented in an engaging way, of perspective-taking and empathy. We actually get to see into the mind of a character, hear their inner thoughts, and then see the actions they take. Their actions often don't match their thoughts, but we get to understand more by having access to those thoughts.

These two traits go hand in hand. We need the self-awareness of our own thoughts, feelings and actions, which we learn through reading personal development books, to understand others' thoughts, feelings and actions. If we have no knowledge of either, we will always simply react to what others are saying or doing instead of responding.

3. Reading helps develop critical thinking, problem-solving and creativity.

Reading boosts brain power, improves memory and provides us with new perspectives, sharpening our critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.

Aside from simply understanding yourself and others on a deeper level, reading books actually provides you with answers to many different problems and many different ways of looking at various situations. From these answers, you are better equipped to solve problems and be able to think through various situations with more depth.

Specifically, when you read a lot of different personal development books, you learn new things, expose yourself to different theories and strengthen your arguments.

Along these lines comes creativity. Creativity is a form of innovation. It's about creating something new or repurposing something old. These ideas are sparked by an ability to think critically and the brain's ability to create something from nothing based on a vast knowledge of different topics.


So, have I convinced you yet? Have I convinced you to pick up a book and do a little reading? Roughly 33% of high school graduates will not read a single book the rest of their life and roughly 25% of adults won't read even one book this year. Don't let that be you!

Open up a new world and possibilities.

Our main goal in life is to stay alive and live the best life we can for as long as we can. Books can provide incredible life-giving benefits. Our ability to stay alive comes from our brain, which powers the rest of our bodily functions. We should do everything in our power to take care of it!

What are some of your favourite books?



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