Bettering yourself through Reading

StockSnap_QMS6WXSMXQ.jpg

We all know that from a young age we’re taught in one way or another in the early years of education that we should be reading to improve our basic reading and writing skills along with our capacity to take in information. The benefits of reading increase furthermore as we grow older too.

Reading allows you to relax and become invested in a story that is different from your own, maybe one you could never experience in your lifetime or one that you’re just curious about. It also allows you to see different parts of life from many different perspectives, allowing you to make sound judgements of past and present events. This skill is then transferable to everyday life, by using an array of skills just through reading you are training your mind to think in a higher gear for whatever else life throws at you.

It’s not just the skills gained through the act of reading that are gained however. When you read informative books, such books as those filed under the genre of ‘self help’ you will learn a wealth of knowledge, skills and essentially tools for life. You may be thinking however; “I don’t need help, my life is fine”.
I wasn’t in need of help when I began reading these types of books either, I just thought the worst result of me reading this book is that I don’t learn anything. This has not been the case. I have read a number of ‘self help’ books and I have learnt a great deal from dealing with life’s problems when they arise with CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) techniques, to learning how to best judge new and present people in life for what their true intentions are whether that be good or bad.

The wealth of knowledge through books is endless, especially nowadays where we live in a time where we can order a book and get it next day or even download a book instantly online to a smart device. By gaining this knowledge we acquire skills and therefore we improve ourselves significantly, we can look at this a little deeper however.
I read an interesting fact which was “You are an average of the top 5 people you socialise with”. Going by this logic, you are an accumulation of your top 5 friends’ personality traits and you convey that to the outside world, this is I’m assuming due to the information and the feelings you receive through communicating with these people. Communicating with people is literally just the transferal of information to one another, therefore by reading regularly from genres and topics of a wide variety we receive information and feelings the same way we would from someone talking to us (quite literally if we’re talking about an audiobook or podcast). So if you’re not too keen on the idea of being an average of your top 5 people; educate yourself and expand your skills in other ways.

The ease of reading in the modern age can’t be exaggerated enough either. You literally don’t even have to read anymore! If you’re on the move you can play an audiobook in the car or on the train eliminating the need for you to even look at a page or screen so really, there’s no excuse!

 

If you’re interested in some of the subjects I mentioned in this post these are two of the books I was referring to:

 

The Power of… Boredom

StockSnap_87HMLXD3GJ.jpg

The thought of being ‘bored’ is something that a lot of people will feel strongly against, the idea that you have nothing to do and nothing to think about is often associated with being a negative feeling. Some people also feel very negative about boredom due to problems they’re facing in their lives, meaning boredom allows their brain to wander over to those negative problems and emotions that are present in their lives.

Boredom can however be used to your advantage, no matter who you are and what is going on in your life. In an age where being bored is near impossible due to all of the distractions and devices we now have in our lives it could actually be difficult to imagine being bored for some people. However, to ensure you can you will need to set aside all forms of electronics such as phones and laptops, take off a smart watch if you wear one and don’t allow them to distract you. Then you have that time to be ‘bored’.

Why would I want to be bored?

That is probably the question that’s arising to anyone reading this, I get it. The reason you want to be what people call ‘bored’ is because that time where you have no distractions can be used as a huge advantage to your life.
Linking back to my previous post, if you have goals in life (which of course you should have!) this allows some recalibration time where you direct all of your thoughts towards what progress you are making towards those goals. Thinking about how much you have progressed, what your next step forward will be and setting up your plan of action to best attack the time you have into forming the future you want. Allow yourself to be completely ‘bored’, sit still, either eyes open looking out on the scenery around you or closed taking in all your thoughts. Your mind will wander but you can always just accept it’s happened and dial your thoughts back to what it is you want to be thinking your way through.

This ‘boredom’ doesn’t just have to be used to focus on your goals either. If you are facing some adversity in your life and you’re being faced with problems, this is perfect reflection time again for you to process what is happening rather than distracting yourself from those problems. Thinking about what has actually happened, asking yourself what is the best way to deal with this problem? Can this problem actually be dealt with? If not, you can think about the most positive way to move forward from this issue and accept what has happened.

I believe that this is valuable time to have. Mental health problems are rising or at least they seem to be far more common than they used to be and part of this I believe is due to the fact the majority of people face adversity and problems in their lives but they don’t have the time to reflect and process the emotions that come along with it. Instead they are distracted from them through the modern rush of work and social networking where everything is quick and instant, therefore providing instant distractions and also instant problems in some cases. By taking this time to reflect and recalibrate you allow your mind to return to a calm state and to actually process what’s going on in that moment, allowing you to progress and grow as an individual.

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
–  Søren Kierkegaard