Every New Year, millions across the country set resolutions with the intention of becoming better, happier and more successful versions of themselves. Because January offers such an opportunity for making positive change, now is the time to enter into pursuits that will make a lasting, positive impact.
Losing weight, saving money or quitting smoking are some of the most common resolutions, but reading more is an ever-popular choice. Finally getting around to your reading list is a win that will provide a host of benefits as we go into the New Year.
Studies have shown that staying mentally stimulated can slow the progress of (or possibly even prevent) Alzheimer’s and Dementia, since keeping your brain active and engaged prevents it from losing power. Just like any other muscle in the body, the brain requires exercise to keep it strong and healthy, so the phrase “use it or lose it” is particularly apt when it comes to your mind.
No matter how much stress you have at work, in your personal relationships, or countless other issues faced in daily life, it all just slips away when you lose yourself in a great story. One of the major benefits of reading is that a well-written novel can transport you to other realms, while an engaging article will distract you and keep you in the present moment, letting tensions drain away and allowing you to relax.
Everything you read nourishes you with new bits of information, and you never know when it might come in handy. The more knowledge you have, the better-equipped you are to tackle any challenge you’ll ever face. Should you ever find yourself in dire circumstances, remember that although you might lose everything else—your job, your possessions, your money, even your health—knowledge can never be taken from you.
When you read a book, you have to remember an assortment of characters, their backgrounds, ambitions, history, and nuances, as well as the various arcs and sub-plots that weave their way through every story. That’s a fair bit to remember, but brains are marvellous things and can remember these things with relative ease. Amazingly enough, every new memory you create forges new synapses and strengthens existing ones, which assists in short-term memory recall as well as stabilizing moods.
Stronger Focus and Concentration
When you read a book, all of your attention is focused on the story—the rest of the world just falls away, and you can immerse yourself in every fine detail you’re absorbing. Try reading for 15-20 minutes before work (i.e. on your morning commute, if you take public transit), and you’ll be surprised at how much more focused you are once you get to the office.
Rutger Bruining – CEO and founder of StoryTerrace discusses the importance of reading:
“Because January is such a pivotal point in the year for making positive change, we need to reconsider being mindful of how we spend our time. As we kick off the new year, many people will be making New Year’s resolutions, and at StoryTerrace, we believe that reading should be at the top of everyone’s list.
Reading is an activity that has nothing but positive benefits and has the potential to completely change your experiences, your world view, and ultimately the stories you tell others. Sharing stories, and listening to the stories of others is a hugely valuable skill.
At StoryTerrace, we encourage everyone to not only read the stories of others but to share the impact that these stories have on their lives. Every story is worth telling provided you are truly engaged, we believe these tales have the power to unite people and shape generations for years to come.”
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