“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.” – Confucius
Let me ask you a question. Are you one of the 25% of Americans who have not read a single book in the whole of last year? If you are, then read this because you will be amazed at how beneficial reading is for your health, especially if you read before bed. If you already do, just pat yourself on the back because you really know how to look after yourself. Here are six amazing things that will happen when you dedicate some time to reading before bed.
“So much is yet to come. Soon will be blankets and pillows, and books by the bed to make the stuff of dreams. And then tomorrows.” – Jim McCann, Return of the Dapper Men
1. You will sleep better
Reading helps put your consciousness on another plane, which will induce sleep. Look at how children adore stories before bedtime, as that helps them to get a great night’s sleep. Moving into a fictional world eases the tension and helps them relax better. That is one of the best ways to get a really restful sleep. What a pity it is that so many of us lose this habit as adults.
2. You will reduce your stress levels
Researchers at the University of Surrey (UK) did a study to see if stress levels were reduced by reading, especially before bed. They found that stress levels were reduced by as much as 68 percent. So, if you are stressed out, why not pick up a book before you go to bed? It will really help you to switch off and de-stress.
3. You will become more creative
You might think that high-powered executives will read books on marketing before they drift off. Actually, many successful entrepreneurs read anything and everything before bedtime. Why? Research shows that they are going to be much more creative and will have more passion for their projects. It is like looking at the world with a different pair of glasses every time. You begin to see problems, people, and situations with more creativity and ingenuity. We need a brain workout a lot more than that workout in the gym which we are so hung up about.Advertising
4. You will be able to concentrate better
All that messaging and playing around with social media while trying to keep up with everything that is happening in the world is ruining our concentration. We never really concentrate on anything. But reading before bedtime will force us to process the information without all the visual aids of the computer or smartphone. We are training our brains to concentrate. It can help us focus on our to-do list for tomorrow. If you don’t use it, you will lose it.
“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” – Groucho Marx
5. You will be a more empathetic person
What makes you empathetic? It is simply the ability to see the world from the perspective of another person and to be more sympathetic to where they are coming from. Reading fiction is a marvelous way to discover and understand how others feel and act. The work of Raymond Mar, a psychologist at York University in Canada supports the premise that reading can make us more empathetic:Advertising
“Narratives offer a unique opportunity to engage this capacity, as we identify with characters’ longings and frustrations, guess at their hidden motives and track their encounters with friends and enemies, neighbors and lovers.” – Raymond Mar
6. You will create an oasis of peace and serenity
What is the best way to wind down before bedtime? Certainly not with the TV on with a violent police drama, or the news with depressing headlines. You need to create a quiet space where you can calm your nerves and help your mind get ready for sleep. The blue light emitted from TV and computer screens will do the opposite. This is why there is nothing like reading a book to quieten everything and everyone down. By the way, the experts say that if you choose an e-book instead of a paper book, your reading speed can be reduced by as much as 30 percent.
“But a book is a book is a book. A reassuring, feel-the-weight, take-your-own-time kind of thing.” – Garland, 1982
Featured photo credit: Jean-Etienne Minh- Duy Poirrier via flickr.com
Last Updated on May 28, 2020
How to Overcome Boredom
Have you ever been bored? Restless? Fidgety? In need of some inspiration?
I have a theory on boredom. I believe that the rate of boredom has increased alongside the pace of technology.
If you think about it, technology has provided us with mobile phones, laptops, Ipads, device after device – all to ultimately fix one problem: boredom.
What is Boredom?
We have become a global nation that feeds on entertainment. We associate ‘living’ with ‘doing’. People now do not know how to sit still, and we feel guilty when we are not doing anything. Today, inactivity has become the ultimate sin.
You might not realize it, but boredom stimulates a form of anxiety and stress. It evokes an emotional state that creates frustration and feeds procrastination.
It’s a desire to be ‘doing something’ or to be ‘entertained’ – it’s a desire for sensory stimulation. What it boils down to is a lack of focus.
If you think about those times when you’re bored, it’s usually because you did not know what to do. So, indecision also plays a big part.
When we are focused on what’s important to us and what we want to achieve, it’s pretty hard to be bored. So, one answer to boredom is to become focused on what you want.
Sometimes It’s Good to Be Bored
If boredom is a desire for sensory stimulation – then what’s the opposite of that? To be content with no stimulation – in other words – to enjoy stillness.
Sometimes, it’s not boredom itself that causes the frustration but the resistance to doing nothing.
Think about it. What would happen if you were to ‘let go’ of the desire to be entertained? You wouldn’t be bored anymore, and you will feel more relaxed!
In my experience, it’s often the most obvious, simplistic solutions that are the most powerful in life. So, when you’re bored, the easiest way to combat this is to enjoy it.
It may sound weird but think of ‘boredom’ as a form of ‘relaxation’. It’s a break from the constant stimulation that 21st-century living provides – constant TVs, mobile phones, radios, internet, emails, phone calls, etc.
Who knows, maybe ‘boredom’ is actually good for us?
Next time you’re ‘feeling bored’ instead of feeding the frustration by frantically looking for something to do, maybe you can sit back, relax, and savor the feeling of having nothing to do.
In this article, I’ll share with you my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom.
3-Step Strategy to Overcome Boredom
1. Get Focused
Instead of chasing sensory stimulation at random, focus on what’s really important to you. Focusing on something important helps prevent boredom because it forces you to utilize your time productively.
You should ask yourself: what would make good use of your time? What could you be doing that would contribute to your major goals in life?
Here are a few ideas:
- Spend some time in quiet contemplation considering what’s important to you.
- Start that creative project you’ve been talking about for the last few weeks.
- Brainstorm: think of some ideas for new innovative products or businesses.
2. Kill Procrastination
Boredom is useful in some ways because it gives you the energy and time to do things. It is only a problem if you let it. But if you use it to motivate yourself to be productive, then you can more easily overcome boredom.
So, the next time you’re bored, why not put this good energy to use by ticking off those things that you have been meaning to get done but have been too busy to finish? This also presents a great time for you to clear your to-do list.
Here are some ideas:
- Do some exercise.
- Read a book.
- Learn something new.
- Call a friend.
- Get creative (draw, paint, sculpt, create music, write).
- Do a spring cleaning.
- Wash the car.
- Renovate the house.
- Re-arrange the furniture.
- Write your shopping list.
- Water the plants.
- Walk the dog.
- Sort out your mail & email.
- De-clutter (clear out that wardrobe).
3. Enjoy Boredom
If none of the above solutions work, then you can try a different approach. Don’t give in to boredom and instead choose to enjoy it. This doesn’t mean allowing yourself to waste your time being bored. Instead, think of it as your time to relax and re-energize, which will help you be more productive the next time you work.
Contrary to popular belief, we don’t need to be constantly doing things to be productive. In fact, research has shown that people are more productive when they take periods of rest to recharge. Taking breaks once in a while helps boost your performance and can help make you feel more motivated.
So, take some time to relax. You never know, you might even like it.
Learning how to overcome boredom may be difficult at the beginning, but it can be easier if you make use of some techniques. You can start with my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom and work your way from there. So, ready your mind and make use of these tips, and you will be overcoming boredom in no time.
More Tips on Overcoming Boredom
- 15 Productive Things to Do When Bored (So Time Is Not Wasted)
- What to Do When Bored at Work (And Why You Feel Bored Actually)
- I’m Feeling Bored: 10 Ways to Conquer Boredom (and Feeling Too Busy)
Featured photo credit: Johnny Cohen via unsplash.com