If you want to grow as a person and live more positively, there are many strategies that can lead to lasting change. One of the most important is to develop a reading habit that promotes personal growth.
It can be overwhelming to consider all of the options you come across in the self-help genre. I made a list once while I was killing time in the bookstore while my car was getting serviced. I was in the store for about an hour and a half, and never made it past the 'C' titles!
Some of these topics can also produce a feeling of instant discouragement, when you see the amount of work involved in creating lasting change in your life. It's no secret that growing and making changes takes time and dedication. But, if you choose wisely the process can doesn't have to become a chore, and can even be fun.
It has been shown that a strong reading habit promotes self-growth. If you’re an avid reader, this is probably good news. Those who don’t consider themselves to be book nerds can still find ways to benefit from the process.
Here are 4 ways building your reading habits promotes personal growth:
Reading helps you stay sharp
We’re all aware that our minds tend to become less sharp with advanced age. Cognitive decline is a part of the aging process, but it has been shown that those who are regular readers are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s than folks who don’t read.
This seems to follow a “use it or lose it” philosophy. A focused mind is of utmost importance when it comes to being your best self, so adding reading time to your schedule is advised.
Reading helps you strengthen your brain
Not only will reading help to ward off cognitive decline in later years, it will help strengthen your brain today. Reading can actually forge new pathways and connections in the brain. It’s kind of like exercising for the body. Your mind will become stronger as you use it. Who doesn’t want to have a strong mind?
You open yourself up to negative feedback
Joining a local book club is one way of connecting with others through reading, but it that's not what I'm talking about here. Instead, think about how reading can help you relate to people on a more empathetic level. Here's how it works...
Empathy is a personality trait that can benefit you in a multitude of ways. With a better understanding of others comes a better self.
Reading fiction, particularly, can help you to become more empathetic because it encourages you to relate to the characters, to consider their motivations or feelings and to wonder about what they might do next. It opens you to the experiences of others and to the potential of making changes in yourself.
Reading helps improve your mood
Reading can make you feel better. Known as bibliotherapy, it has been shown that reading can actually be used in the treatment of depression. Lowered stress levels are a result of immersing yourself in a book. This makes sense because it’s true that we can lose ourselves in literature.
While reading, you’re not worrying about the problems in your life. As long as it’s not used as a means of running away from your troubles, your literary habit can be quite good for your overall mood and health.
There are tons of other benefits that come from developing good reading habits. This list is just a taste of how your life can change when you pick up a good book or two.
Are you a reader? What do you like to read?