When was the last time you picked up a book voluntarily to read for fun?
If you had to pause and sort through the file folders in your brain from years ago, then you probably won't find it hard to believe that 20-34-year-olds only read an average of seven minutes a day.
If that doesn't upset you, it's time for us to have a little talk about why reading should be as crucial to your daily routine as drinking water.
One of our responsibilities as human beings is to become aware of the world we live in. How is it possible for one to do that if they remain in the bubble they've created?
Not to mention, according to Reader's Digest, reading fiction books increases one's emotional intelligence and empathy. That means that by simply going into your local bookstore and picking up a book of your choosing that genuinely appeals to you, you improve the qualities in yourself that make you a decent human being.
The first step in becoming a positive influence in this ever-uncertain world, check.
You also probably experience stress quite often, no matter what stage of life you're in. Stress is just one of the not-so-beautiful and unavoidable things in life. If only there was a way to get rid of it…
Reading does. According to Business Insider, reading reduces stress by about 68%.
Over half of your stress can be gone, just like that, if you pick up a book and start reading.
And while there is no magical formula for increasing one's life expectancy, guess what can significantly aid in making you live longer? You guessed it. READING.
According to Harvard, reading is an activity that will help prevent the loss of brain cells and help you to develop neurological plasticity (the means for your brain to change throughout your life stages).
If the number of statistics about the benefits of reading doesn't sway you, I will share my own personal experience that you may be able to relate to.
What made me pick up a book for the first time in years was the fact that when I started college I made a habit of coming home from class, grabbing the nearest bag of chips, whipping open my Netflix account, and binging.
While it's relaxing and definitely an escape from the stresses of school, I just never feel good about myself afterward.
How can you when all you did for the past however many hours was be a mindless robot that didn't do anything constructive?
I was tired of feeling like I was wasting the precious time I've been given, and I began looking for an activity that was still relaxing to do but didn't make me feel like the textbook definition of lazy.
So I picked up my first book (that wasn't required for school) in years.
I was hooked.
Reading as a pastime doesn't give me the same shameful lazy feeling that I feel after hours of binge-watching. It makes me feel like my brain is stronger since it isn't staring at something mindlessly, and it makes me feel healthier and smarter.
Reading gives you the ability to use your imagination to create a world instead of someone else painting that world for you, which is something we need to encourage more in today's society. Your brain is working, but reading still acts as an escape as long as you are truly interested in the book you are reading.
By taking a chance on a book, you will broaden your horizons to worlds and thoughts you never thought you would experience.
Be the person who ceaselessly aims to increase their understanding of the world around them in order to become a positive impact in others' lives. Constantly seek out new opportunities to learn after you are no longer in school.
Society needs more people who know how to think.
Reading will not only benefit you and your health, but you will become an asset to this ever-changing, crazy world.
So go pick up a book, ANY book, and prepare to expand your mind beyond self-cares and pointless worries.
It's time to be the difference you want to see in the world.