How’s your reading list coming along for the year? Many people set a goal to read a certain number of books per year or at least try to read a little every day. I personally think reading is a grand adventure—but if you don’t, that’s ok too. Thanks for being here, reading this.
Reading has a powerful effect on your mind—vocabulary expansion, prevention of cognitive decline, enhanced comprehension and attention skills, and sleep assistance. But reading also has an invaluable influence on your soul. Don’t believe me? Keep on reading!
Your Brain on Reading
“It turns out when we’re immersed in a great book, it’s not just the parts of the brain that deal with language processing that are hard at work. In fact, when we’re deeply engaged with a story, our brains mirror the actions and feelings of the character” (“This Is What a Great Book Does to Your Brain”). Remarkable, huh? Reading is the best exercise to develop empathy. Not only can we imagine ourselves in the characters’ shoes, but we neurologically live their experiences. This helps us apply the same principle of empathy in our daily interactions. We will more naturally acknowledge how others are feeling and be drawn to help them. Picking up a good book is a powerful way to connect our brains and our hearts.
Studies have shown that reading also helps alleviate symptoms of depression. Negative thoughts, especially thoughts of loneliness and inadequacy, often accompany depression. Connecting with characters within a good book can help you feel less alone, less isolated, and less depressed. Reading invites positive energy to fill your mind and body. Your soul thrives off of this positive energy; certainly, reading connects your brain to your spirit as well.
A little R&R does the soul good. Taking just 5 minutes to read daily lowers your blood pressure, calms your mind, and opens your spirit. An open spirit is the first step to intentional guidance from your conscience. Reading and regular rejuvenation allow your mind and body to be in tune with your intuition. You probably knew that reading could take you on an adventure—to a fantasy world or to explore cultures around the globe. But did you know that reading can open up your world to greater spiritual power? Just take the time to be still and listen to your inner voice.
Reading also provides an escape. An escape from the chaos in the world around us. An escape from hard personal trials. An escape to strengthen your spirit in the stillness. I’m not encouraging you to completely ignore the challenging emotions and moments in your life. However, I do believe our souls treasure the time we dedicate to quiet and calm.
A Chapter a Day Helps Deity Stay
Part of my morning routine is studying sacred text. Sometimes it’s only a couple of minutes and other days, an hour. Connection to a higher power comes from consistently reading and studying sacred scripture or other spiritual text that opens your spirit. I’ve found that the regularity of study is more important than the length of time. This spiritual habit brings rejuvenation to my soul and gives me the boost of positive energy I need to take on a new day.
Your soul longs for connection to God. It’s much easier to feel this upward pull in a moment of stillness. Reading, especially spiritual and inspirational books, fills your soul with light and provides divine connection. Reading provides a peak into my spiritual core and allows me to evaluate my relationship with God. The more I read, the more I gain confidence in my authentic self and who I can become. Create moments of stillness and experience the power behind an upward connection.
I believe when you crack open a good book, especially sacred text, it’s an invitation for a higher power to work in your life. Reading is a conduit of light and a passageway for inspiration. If you are seeking greater peace or direction in your life, pick up a spiritual book. And then set aside time—every day—to study.
So, what if you’re not an avid reader but still want to experience the spiritual benefits of reading? Start small, my friend. Find an inspirational Instagram account to follow (hint, hint: @skylight_spirit) or set the goal to read a page a day. A single page. You’ll never know the power of reading until you try it. I believe in you. You’ve got this!