Empowering More Readers
In a world buzzing with distractions, there’s a timeless habit that continues to enrich overall health – reading. Whether you prefer fiction to nonfiction, adventure to romance, self-help to science there are many books to immerse yourself in and kickstart your reading journey.
Where should you even start? We have compiled key benefits, steps to change your behaviors and resources to read more below.
Key Benefits to Reading
Reading goes beyond entertainment. Although you may not directly notice, reading provides a variety of benefits both mentally and physically. These include brain connectivity, reducing stress, encourages a better sleep, makes you more empathetic, etc. See key benefits:
1. Strengthens your Brain.
With every literary rep, reading provides a workout for your brain. It increases brain connectivity according to this study. Specifically, within the somatosensory cortex, which is the part of the brain that responds to physical sensations like pain and movement. Additionally, it allows you to be a better problem-solver, increases vocabulary and helps keep your mind engaged as you grow older.
2. Reduces Stress
Life can be stressful and busy at times, and we are always trying to find ways to slow down and relax. Reading can reduce stress, triggering a response in your body that may decrease your heart rate and relax your muscles. A study done by the University of Sussex in 2009 found that reading can reduce stress up to 68%. Reading can be a healthy escape from the stress of everyday life and by challenging yourself to read more you will see the benefits of behavior change come to light.
3. Makes you more empathetic
Reading can foster empathy through many things, but most importantly by exposing you to new characters, diverse experiences, emotions and new perspectives. Engaging with narratives and stories about other individuals allows you to gain insight into the world from someone else’s point of view. Empathy is at the core of behavior change marketing and by incorporating more books and stories into your life you can gain a stronger understanding of other people's experiences and backgrounds.
4. Prepares you for a good night sleep
Change your nighttime routine by dropping your phone and picking up a book. Did you know that 90% of Americans use a phone before bed? A study done in 2017, by the University of Haifa shows that the use of blue light screens not only interferes with one's overall sleep schedule, but it interferes with the body's production of melatonin. Unwind and decompress by picking up a book before bed and see how this will not only benefit your overall health, but your sleep schedule.
Along with the benefits above, reading also helps reduce blood pressure, alleviates depression, and contributes to a longer life.
Change your Behaviors to Read More
According to “Going Deeper into Behavior Change,” it takes roughly 28+ days to change a habit. Stepping up your reading game requires an intentional shift to your daily routine and mindset. See a few tips to start turning pages more.
- Set daily goals.
- Create a clear space away from distractions.
- Test different formants like hard proofs, e-books, or audio books.
- Join a book club to build a community and accountability.
- Join a reading challenge.
- Share what you read through social or with friends.
- Take notes, read aloud or mouth along.
- Have your next book queued up.
Tools and Resources:
Below are great digital resources to read more and keep yourself accountable for your goals. Whether you are just starting to incorporate reading into your life or have been a book worm for years, there are many resources out there to help you stay on track with your goals and find the one that best fits your goals.
- Libby App by Metro Library is a great resource that will allow new reads to be available at your fingertips, no matter where you are. Finding a local library will open up the doors to an abundance of books.
- Good Reads is an app the allows you to track books, score your reads and enter in different challenges. This app will keep you accountable and challenge you to read more!
- Kindle by Amazon can be accessible through a variety of digital devices and offers endless amounts of opportunities to read and grow your knowledge.
- Habit Tracker is an app created to help you build habits and reach your goals and a wonderful way to share with friends and hold each other accountable.
How will you start incorporating more books into your life? Reading enriches your life, expands perspective, and directly contributes to your mental and physical health. Reading is a simple yet powerful way to invest in your well-being, so why not start now and experience the positive impact it can bring to your life.
Learn more about 30 Days of Change.
Authors: Deleanie Moriello and Elizabeth Shapard