How many times have you said to yourself "I don't have time to read books," or "Nobody reads anymore, all the information I need is on TED talks," or "Reading is so last generation."
Guess what? The smartest among us are life long learners who, you guessed it, read a ton of books.
The more you know, the more you limit the effects of bad stress. This dis-stress shows up when you are fearful of falling behind your competitors. Or unable to add anything new to your team. Or feeling dumb when that super achiever at the networking event spouts off his reading list of best sellers and everyone is taking notes.
Take Mark Cuban, for example. He's an avid reader. He's also a billionaire. He says there's a connection between reading and success. Good idea to listen to his advice.
Recently on Arianna Huffington's The Thrive Global Podcast, he talked about the benefits of reading for ideas. It's all here, he pointed out, right at your finger tips, right in the public domain. Yet, sadly, most people don't take advantage of reading books.
Think of it this way. You have a gold mine in your own backyard.
Sure soundbites of information are good to get you going. Yes, twitter and Facebook have their place. Yet, they are like cotton candy, tasty in the moment and gone in the next. Doing a deep dive, reading books, that's where the benefits are bigger and last the longest.
Read and let the nasty worries that cause dis-stress melt away. If you are not into meditation and mindfulness practice, reading is the answer. And it's all types of reading that matters, not just the technical info in your field.
Here are 4 good reasons to read:
1. Redirects stress: It's a time out from daily problems. You can lose yourself in a great novel or find some important tidbits of information in a business book that will give you better insight into what you are tackling at work.
2. Expands expression: New ways of expressing yourself with effortlessly become part of your daily conversations. You'll surprise yourself with better ways of making statements and the ability to stop using the same tired words to get your points across.
3.Improves focus: Multitasking is shelved as you focus on the words that make up the sentences that make up the paragraphs right in front of you. It's like surfing a wave. You stay focused and keep going until you get to the point of what you are reading.
4. Improves memory: You exercise your brain. As you read you remember. The brain creates new neural pathways as you store information. You store memories and they will connect in new situations. This gives you amazing opportunities to shape ideas you never dreamed possible. Just by remembering.
So when stress gets to be too big do this. First drink a glass of water. It will make a difference, I promise you. It's nature's true energy drink. Then pick up that book, you know the one in the corner you keep meaning to read, and give it a go for 20 minutes. Your body and mind will thank you.