When children are young, they’re encouraged to read for the purpose of learning and adding to their already vibrant imagination. With the help of stories and expressive fiction, their minds are stretched and expanded - allowing for more creative dreams and thought processes to grow. However, for most of us, this practice of reading was lost somewhere between childhood and adulthood. In the midst of busy lives, it’s hard to find the time to slow down and read for fun but the benefits are well worth it.
Looking for a good book?
The truth is there lies a deep richness in books that has the ability to add to our lives well after our childhood. What many don’t know is that the benefits of reading on a regular basis only increase as we get older and adds to not only our mental health, but our physical as well - including our skin.
While the brain is an organ, it behaves very similarly to a muscle in that it’s able to strengthen cognitive functions such as memory, language skills, etc. Like any muscle, it’s incredibly important to keep using and strengthening it. Reading on a regular basis is one of the simplest “workouts” there is for the brain because it provides the mental stimulation it really needs. Over time, this mental stimulation has been proven to fight diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Books, no matter the content or story, have the ability to challenge their readers. For a short time, the reader is submerged into a story or content in which they find themselves in the shoes of the writer. This allows for creative juices to flow because they’re challenged to think differently, if even slightly, than they normally do. Not only that, but studies have proven that reading increases empathy for the same exact reason; being invited to place yourself in the shoes of another. This means that reading not only has the ability to make us more creative people, but it can sharpen our compassion for those around us as well.
Looking for a good book?
Here's what's on our nightstand: Iris Apfel: Accidental Icon, Animal Farm, Siddhartha, Shop Craft as Soul Craft, The Unsettlers & Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress.
Another benefit of reading is it helps focus our attention. One researcher recommended reading for just 20-30 mins before work and you’ll reap the benefits of that short time for the rest of the day. Life is full of constant distractions so training our mind first thing in the morning to focus on one thing -that being words on a page - will transfer over to work life as well.
Reading can also be used as a powerful tool in calming the mind - even more powerful than most relaxation methods. When we pick up a book to read, we are invited into a literary world (whether that’s nonfiction or fiction) that captivates our mind and allows us to fully dive into the details of every sentence. The effect is a natural drop of our heart rates and a release of any muscle tension which in return reduces stress. One study done by the University of Sussex found that daily reading can drop levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, by as much as 68%. High levels of cortisol is directly linked to skin issues and breakouts, meaning that establishing a daily reading routine will actually promote healthy, clear skin as well.
Recommended Daily Ritual:
Spend a 10 to 30 minutes reading in the morning to sharpen your attention and before bed to calm the mind and prepare for a good night's sleep. Avoid reading from screens whenever possible. We recommend good old fashion books, magazines and newspapers.