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If You Didn’t Love Reading Before You See This, You’ll Love It After

If You Didn’t Love Reading Before You See This, You’ll Love It After

Most people seem to feel like they need to be reading more, but they might not really know why. There are plenty of good reasons to read, so start by reading this list and get inspired to add some books to your reading list.

Reading for Smarts

1. Reading gives you a bigger vocabulary. That seems pretty obvious, but it’s grounded in scientific fact. People who read have larger vocabularies than people who don’t, and tend to have better verbal skills as well.

2. You’ll write better. Absorbing all those words and how they’re put together makes it easier for you to put words together in a pleasing way, too. Which may be why reading more is common advice for people who want to be writers.

3. It’s a great way to learn. Whether you want to learn to cook a soufflé, understand a Civil War battle or take apart the engine of a ’65 Mustang, you can learn from a book.

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4. Reading improves your analytical thinking skills. Deciphering the meaning of literary allusions, plot twists or even non-fiction makes you a better thinker.

5. It’s good for your brain. Reading requires concentration, focus on narrative and use of the imagination, all of which give the brain a workout and can help keep it young. Reading regularly can improve your memory, help forge new synapses and may help prevent Alzheimer’s.

6. Reading can help you achieve your goals, not just through learning, but by inspiring you. If you read stories about business success or people who have lived their dreams, you’ll be more inspired to reach for you own goals.

Reading for Understanding

7. It teaches you to be human. Great works of literature and poetry open you to experiences and feelings you haven’t had, and research shows that may make you more empathetic toward other people.

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8. It shows you other worlds. Whether those are literal or figurative doesn’t really matter; books take you places you could never go in your own life, which broadens your horizons in its own way.

9. It helps you see other people’s perspectives. A good book is the closest we can get to being in another person’s skin, and it can help us understand the real people in our lives a little better.

10. Reading can give you a new perspective. Here I’m not just talking about getting to peer into different worlds, but the fact that reading about life situations similar to your own may give you a different perspective on things. Whether you need help navigating a breakup or dealing with your parents, there’s a book for that.

Life Benefits of Reading

11. Reading is sexy. A study at Northwestern found that women rated intelligence as one of the most important features in a person they might have a relationship with, regardless of whether they were thinking short-term fling or life partner.

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12. It’s a mood booster. People who read regularly report lower stress levels than those who do not. It’s a great way to take a break from your worries and immerse yourself in another world, if only temporarily.

13. It makes you a more engaged person. Research from the National Endowment for the Arts found that people who read regularly are also more likely to vote and be engaged in their communities than people who don’t.

14. It feels good. It’s fun to escape into different worlds, to take a break from your own life and wind down after a hard day.

15. It can make you more creative. Reading a lot of stories can make it easier for you to come up with your own (see number 2), but it also seems to boost creativity in other non-verbal areas of life, too.

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16. Reading an engrossing book on the treadmill may keep you at your workout longer. Just make sure to perch the book on the holder rather than trying to hold it while you exercise.

17. It builds self-esteem. If you feel smart and like you should be valued for your knowledge, it will make you more confident.

18. It gives you something to talk about. And if you’re trying to hook someone who thinks smart is sexy, talking about the last book you read will score you more points than talking about the latest episode of Big Brother.

19. Moral superiority. It’s probably not in any way true, but being a reader makes you feel like a better person compared to non-readers.

20. Reading is really cheap entertainment. If you go to the library, reading costs you nothing. Even if you buy books or e-books, it’s still cheaper to entertain yourself for a month than a cable subscription would be.

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Sarah White

Freelance Writer, Editor, Professional Crafter

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Last Updated on September 10, 2019

7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

1. Gratitude

Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

Gratitude-Quotes

    2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

    This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

    For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

    What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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    Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

    3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

    This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

    Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

    An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

    Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

    write down goals

      4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

      According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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      There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

      5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

      Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

      Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

      6. Rise Earlier

      The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

      For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

      So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

      Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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      7. Listen to Uplifting Music

      Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

      Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

      It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

      Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

      More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

      Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

      Reference

      [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
      [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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