1. It’s relaxing.
For millennials, reading can be a highly effective method of relaxation. There is no doubt that the youth of today are subject to significantly more anxiety, stress and depression than any other generation at the same age. A study done at the University of Sussex, in 2009, showed that reading an immersive novel could reduce daily stress levels by up to two-thirds. This makes it possible for us to be more productive and work with better concentration while reducing elevated anxiety levels. Reading for 30 minutes a day has demonstrated to be a fruitful and faster method of stress relief than listening to soothing music, drinking a cup of steaming coffee or even taking a stroll in the park. Reading is a habit that is highly encouraged by psychologists to help untangle our complicated lifestyles.
2. Improves memory.
The world is on the cusp of a gradual imperceptible shift from an age of information to one of conception. However, there is no reason for anyone to neglect the need for a better memory. Reading a novel enables us to remember names and traits of characters, places, and of course, the plot of the story without even having to make an effort! This can strengthen existing neutral pathways and create new ones in the brain, which in turn improves our memory. This profound expansion and strengthening of our biological neural networks can prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. All the more reason why everyone should read!
3. Words, words, words.
“Words are the instruments by means of which men and women grasp the thoughts of others and with which they do much of their own thinking. They are tools of thought.”
- Dr. Johnson O’Connor.
It is already well known that reading increases our exposure to new words. If words are the tools of thought, then the more tools we have, the more effectively we can build, right? Words allow us to express our creative thoughts in a whole new perspective. Reading equips us with the ability to organise and articulate our thoughts effectively and words are a way to do it. Simply put, words can influence our thoughts and speech in a subtle yet pronounced manner. In a grander sense, words can influence people. It’s no surprise the most influential people in the world are the ones with the most advanced vocabulary. We could learn a lot from them by simply reading.
4. Increased focus and concentration.
Studies show that attention spans of this century’s young adults, lasting only mere seconds, are shorter than those of gold fishes! This means we spend more time and energy on completing a task that would normally require less if we had been attentive. This causes us to feel as if we have no time at all to complete the tasks needed to have more time on our hands!
This lack of attention can be ameliorated by reading. Reading is something that requires our complete focus and concentration for long stretches of time. This helps us get acquainted with this need for attention and in the long run, grants us the extra time we crave for.
Reading is a subjective matter. Not everybody is going to like it. Not everybody is going to hate it. In light of the copious advantages mentioned above, the least we can do is to try reading to the best of our abilities, in order to exploit those benefits to better befit our lifestyle in a way we could never have conceived.