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4 ways reading can make you smarter

By Sarah Curnow Sarah Curnow

When was the last time you read a book or a newspaper from front to back? Does your daily reading revolve around tweets, Facebook updates, or the sugar content in your afternoon treat? If you’re one of the countless people who doesn’t make a habit of reading regularly, you’re missing out on many benefits.

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.

I’ve been reading my whole life initially because my parents enforced it upon me and now because I actually enjoy it. My sister Michelle is the most voracious reader I know, so it should come as no surprise that she is a genius and an endless source of knowledge.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” ― Dr. Seuss

Reading can seriously boost your brainpower. In Anne E. Cunningham’s paper “What Reading Does for the Mind, she found that reading, in general, makes you smarter, and it keeps you sharp as you age.

Here are four ways reading can turn you into an Einstein (sorry but it works!)

1. Become an expert.

No matter what you want to do or become, you can’t do it without more knowledge. Reading is an excellent way to get where you want to go. Spend time reading up on a particular topic, and in a short space of time, you’ll find you have a wealth of knowledge to impart on others proving you’re indeed a subject matter expert.

2. Lower your stress.

When you read anything, your mind shifts gears. In life, we all face stressful days but instead of ending it with a fatty meal, visit your local bookshop or jump online to Amazon. A book will quickly distract you. Fiction is fantastic for this. Reading an awesome fiction book is perfect right before bedtime. Though sometimes if it’s excellent, it might be hard to put the book down. Don’t stress; you’ll still find yourself relaxed.

3. Increased vocabulary.

It’s no secret that reading increases your vocabulary. Reading forces us to look at words that we might not have seen, heard or used before and suddenly understand their meaning. It can turn an average conversation into sophisticated interaction. (a handy skill to have with your boss or other people of note)

Increased vocabulary is especially crucial for writers. To be a successful writer you need to read. Every day. You’ll be surprised at the words you start incorporating into your writing.

An enhanced vocabulary isn’t just for writers, though. Knowing what other people are saying and using the right words to communicate your feelings is a useful way to be a better human.

Great listeners are more successful in life.

4. Elevated analytical thinking.

Good news folks, Cunningham’s studies also found that analytical thinking becomes heightened by reading. Readers improve their general knowledge and more importantly can spot patterns much faster. If you can spot patterns faster, your analytical skills receive an advance.

So, if you want to boost your career, climb the ranks and reach the echelon of management and play with the big, bosses, it might just be the time to buy yourself a book. Don’t worry too much about whether you purchase a business story or a trashy novel – just start reading. Start with something easy and work your way up and in no time you’ll find you’re a lot smarter than the average Joe!

Happy reading.

Sarah Curnow

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