5 ways How reading makes you more creative, more productive and more energetic.
The health and psychological benefits of reading books has been subject of study for a long time. If you go through the long lists of the results of these studies, you might come out thinking that reading is some sort of super activity, or a wonder drug that makes us more creative, healthier and smarter.
Regardless of the experts, research documents and the studies that endorse reading books as part of your daily routine, there are very disappointing statistics about how little people read.
- 25% of adults will not read a single book this year.
- 33% of high school graduates never read another book for their entire life.
- 42% of college graduates never read another book after college.
- 80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year.
The problem is we mostly spend our time on reading blog, tweets, magazine and other short content. Though they are great for staying up to date with latest information and news but it doesn’t help our brain same as the book does. Reading is an activity that forces the reader to focus and conquer over the distractions. It’s this focus that acts as a catalyst for us in creative fields (designers, writers, marketers etc.). Focus and concentration are one of the many perks that come from reading books which helps you to be a creative.
Below we’ll take a look at a few of the many reasons how reading makes you more creative.
By Exercising Your Brain
“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.” ~ Confucius
One of the most famous clichés about reading is that it is “an exercise for the brain”. Like our bodies, our brains need exercise daily to stay fit. Mental fitness is equally as important as physical fitness. However, we don’t prioritize workouts for our brain like we do workouts in gym to stay fit. Instead of that we use our free time on Televisions, internet surfing, social medias or useless apps on mobile phones; then spend time on wondering why we have such a hard time coming up with ideas.
Reading for half an hour a day (books, not blogs, news or magazines) stretches those brain muscles. Book forces you to fantasize, think and use your imagination; because you have to grasp and comprehend the ideas and reasoning in book. This will help you cultivate new ideas and implement it in real life. And like any other exercises, the more you read the more creative you could be.
By Increasing Concentration
“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” ~ Groucho Marx
We live in a fast-paced world where we’re surrounded by gadgets providing us news, data, knowledge and all sorts of information we can’t possibly process and digest. It can be a huge situation, but it has a simple solution. Just turn the TV/computer off and pick up the book. Concentrate.
Television is passive, noisy and time-wasting equipment ever invented. Book needs active engagement and concentration and it completely absorb your brain. It exercises your mind to read words, figure out what they mean and why it was written that way. You are building images, thoughts and opinions in your head by just reading lines from book. You’re using logic and critical thinking to process and understand the concepts and ideas passed to you by the author. It will become easier as more you train your brain to concentrate. Better concentration leads to clear thinking but it’s reading that leads to better concentration.
By Reducing Stress
“Some books leave us free and some books make us free.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
So many researches have concluded that reading is by far the best way to relax than going for a walk or even listening music. Reading eases the tensions in the rest of the body by allowing mind to concentrate and escape into a literary world. A recent study showed that only 6 minutes of reading can slow your heart rate and ease tension in your muscle. That same study says that reading is “more than merely a distraction but an active engaging of the imagination as the words on the printed page stimulate your creativity and cause you to enter what is essentially an altered state of consciousness.”
As far as sleep is concerned, try reading a book before bed instead of watching TV or surfing internet. Reading will relax your brain and you might get actually some sleep and wake up feeling refreshed.
By Boosting Your Confidence
“The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries.” ~ René Descartes
Another benefit of reading a lot of books is you’ll end up with a large vocabulary. Vocabulary exponentially increases the more you read. Having more words at your disposal can make you a better communicator and being able to communicate your ideas will boost up your confidence in them. You will have a great foundation to explore your imagination by having confidence in your own ideas.
By Increasing Your Knowledge Base
“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ~ Dr. Seuss
Reading book will enable lifelong learning and unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Books are windows to the world from where you glimpse into past, present and future of the cultures. You can find the amazing amount of information about how things work in life. The more you read, the more you know. You’ll be a better problem solver, better conversationalist and quicker thinker. In any creative field you work, these skills come in pretty handy.
On top of the numerous psychological and creative benefits of reading books, they’re just plain fun to read. Try it out. Half an hour a day, turn off everything but your brain and see how much better you feel.