Even though qualities like empathy has been overshadowed in favor of skills like confidence and the ability to make important decisions, in more recent years, people have started opening up to more emotional intelligent skills. By reading for at least an hour every single day you will cultivate a healthy daily reading habit that can help you boost brain function, reduce stress and even improve empathy.
Social psychologist David Kidd even made a study back in 2013 on how reading can improve empathy, or more exactly, the ability to understand that other people have thoughts and desires that might be different from our own. The study implied that some participants would read literary fiction, others would read popular genre fiction, while others read a nonfiction book or some nothing at all.
As to be expected, the people who read literary fiction scored the highest scores on every test, unlike those who read genre fiction, nonfiction, or nothing at all. Dr Kidd said:
“Most people, if they know how people are feeling, will use that information in prosocial ways. There’s research showing that people tend to be more productive in groups where they feel free to express disagreement – especially when it comes to creative tasks. I think that’s an example where an increased sensitivity and interest in other people’s experiences could be helpful in the workplace.”
In case you think there is simply no time in our busy schedules for reading, think again. According to a 2017 British survey adults spend around two to three hours on their phone each day, so you can easily replace one hour with reading. You might say that while you are on your phone you are also doing other things, that is why replacing screen time with reading during your commute to work, for example, is an excellent idea.
Plus, you do not necessarily have to do this from a book, you can also read from your phone, a tablet, or an e-book device. Moreover, in case you are driving you can certainly replace music or radio with an audiobook. The world’s most busy and successful people in the world are already doing it, so you can as well, from Barack Obama to Elon Musk, many powerful people love to read.