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I really do not know why I don't read more. I really should. I guess I just fit in with most people in the world that rarely do the beneficial things they ought to be to doing to live a much more mentally, physically, and spiritually healthy life.
You know, things like adding more fruits and veggies into the diet, getting at least 8 hours of sleep, and allowing for at least 30 minutes of exercise everyday. These are all unanimously proven to lead to a better lifestyle, right? So why don't most people do them more?
A few days ago, I finally managed to pull my dust ridden Kindle from out of its enclave and began delving into Kevin Hart's latest book I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons. I'd seen the superstar comedian and actor discuss his New York Times Best Seller during various interviews in the weeks before so I happily made the E-book purchase, uploaded it to my Kindle, and was excited to finally take a crack at it. Heck, it had actually been the first book I started to read in years.
By the way, I should tell you that I didn't exactly grab the book out of a sensational urge to read; rather, it was more out of a necessity. As a blogger, I had stayed up late this one night glued to my computer screen for hours—checking up on social media, writing articles, and fixing up my website—which meant that my eyes were stuck in computer gaze mode by the time I laid down in bed.
What is computer gaze? It's when you've focused on a computer screen so long that the eyes become stressed, and this can not only lead to your psyche being all out of whack, but it may also occasionally bring about insomnia. The correct technical term is called Computer Vision Syndrome, or CVS. To put it plainly, my mind was just far too active to fall asleep, and with that, I figured that grabbing my Kindle and reading a good book would provide all the mental cleansing I'd need to catch some Z's.
And did it work? Absolutely! By the time I was ten pages in I felt completely reinvigorated. I had suddenly become remarkably humbled, exceedingly relaxed, and intensely focused; sort of like the euphoric feeling one gets after sex.
Before long all the stress, mental fatigue, and negative energy I had balled up throughout the day disappeared, only to be replaced by overwhelming sensations of safety, thoughtfulness, creativity, and unyielding optimism. My mind was the clearest it had been in ages.
What's more, Kevin Hart's book was that good. It was a fun read—a story I could relate to that was interesting, entertaining, and inspirational, rather than some random technical book riddled with humdrum static information and facts. In the end, I felt so refreshed that I wound up staying awake for the whole next hour, only to fall asleep once my eyes were too tired to flip to the next page.
You ever heard of that phrase, "Stop and smell the roses?" Well, that's exactly what reading does for the spirit—what it did for my spirit. In this day and age with things like social media, advancing technology, and apps driving our culture more and more towards the need for instant gratification, reading is a very effective mental stimulation that can help bring about patience, appreciation, and peace of mind.
Furthermore, studies have shown that daily reading can lead to stress reduction, knowledge expansion, improved concentration and memory retention, stronger analytical skills, and an overall better quality of life. So why don't I just do it more?
Wait a sec, let's re-phrase the question. What steps can...will I take to ensure that I read more? That's better! Well, here are 5 easy ways I've come up with not only for myself, but for you as well:
I know what you're thinking. Kindle? No thanks, you'd rather stick to good ol' fashion books. I too felt the same way once, until I actually bought one a few years back. With a Kindle you can purchase and download thousands of e-books to your device instantly and have the option to switch between them at any time. Plus, and perhaps my favorite reason to enjoy a Kindle, many versions of the e-readers are equipped with E-ink technology, which reads like newsprint and does not include all of the brightness, glare, and harmful blue light rays of a normal LED screen. Isn't that great!?
Don't just invest in a good book, invest in a great book. And no, that doesn't mean choosing whatever is on the New York Times Best Seller list. It means finding stories you're genuinely interested in or content you can relate to. I found Kevin Hart's book, I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons, which was more like an autobiography, very engaging because he is one of my favorite entertainers. Learning about his upbringing, life struggles, maneuvers through Hollywood, and rise to fame not only kept me amused but also worked as a source I could draw inspiration from. The more interested you are in the material, the more you'll enjoy the read. The more you enjoy the read, the more time you'll spend reading!
Don't you get so many creative ideas while reading? I know I do. After all, it improves focus, increases concentration, and puts the mind at ease, so naturally it provides an unhinged space for a string of imaginative thoughts to let loose. It works like meditation in a sense, and so it's handy to keep a good track of all the cool ideas you come up with. Those notes may just motivate you to go back and read more!
Take a book with you during those long flights, rides in a car, or trips on the subway. Reading "on the go" is a great way to pass time while staying informed and entertained. Plus, you'll have something to focus on instead of all the weird smells, loud sounds, and annoying people that you undoubtedly face everyday during rush hour.
And lastly, back to square one: read before bed. Put away the phone, shutdown the computer, turn off the TV, crack open a book, lose yourself in a good story, clear your mind, and have a good night's rest! Hey, it worked for me!
So, do I believe that all of the cool benefits that come with reading can lead to a better quality of life? Sure! Am I optimistic about taking the time to read more? Of course! Do I think these are simple, valid steps to increase the amount of time I spend reading? Hell to the yeah! The only question now is, are you with me!?
Hey there! What do you think of my list? Have any of your own advice or methods to share that can help promote reading? Well, feel free to share them down below. Safe & happy travels!
A place to share my opinions about a range of topics including technology, food, family, entertainment, sports, you name it.
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