Reading is one of the noblest activities you can ever engage in. But, despite the world of knowledge and imagination that lies in every library, too many people never pick up a book again after they finish school. What a tragedy! Not only are these poor souls are forgoing an opportunity for knowledge and entertainment, but they are missing out on all the health benefits of reading! And no, reading your newsfeed on your cell phone is not the same thing. We’ve researched the health benefits of reading to convince you to get to the next item on your reading list.
Relaxes the mind
Find yourself frazzled and exhausted? Time to pick up a book for some stress relief, a University of Sussex study found. From the findings, 68% of people were less stressed after reading, which is greater compared to other relaxation approaches. To enhance your stress-relieving ritual, settle down with a cup of tea or invest in some essential oils.
Boosts brain function
Reading is like continuously treating yourself to new knowledge and wisdom. Regular reading even increases your intelligence by widening your vocabulary, improving your critical think skills, and improving your understanding of the world around you. Many studies have shown that reading increases cognitive ability as well. That means you aren’t only learning new things, but your brain works at a more advanced level.
Contributes to happiness
In a study from INC, 20% of readers reported feeling more satisfied in life after 30 minutes a week of book worming. In addition, depression rates were down by 20% for them as well. Looks like reading is good for your mental health, my friends. If you want to literally read for happiness, check out some of these books for your 2016 summer read!
Helps with shut-eye
Mayo Clinic suggests reading before bed for more z’s since it’s relaxing, quiet, and easy on the eyes. Reading will get your body and mind in the night-time mood. Instead of watching tv or phone scrolling, try reading with a dim light or candle to promote a better night’s sleep.
May keep Alzheimer’s at bay
As we age it’s so important for our brain to do mentally stimulating activities, like reading. Rush University Medical Center suggests that one should read or engage in brain activities, like puzzles, to reduce the onset of Alzheimer’s and other memory problems. This way, exercising the mind will keep your mind sharp and strong for the days ahead. Another large study found that those who participated in intellectually stimulating activities decreased their AD risk by 47% than those who did not.
Sometimes we come across a book that changes our world for the better. Maybe it inspires creativity or courage, either way, we get a boost of inspiration. Books can motivate you to better oneself, or even prompt you to make an important decision you’ve been putting off. Find what’s right for you, be inspired by the possibilities, and reap the benefits for your mental health.
Promotes tolerance and understanding
Reading is a door into the author’s mind and way of life. Whether you are reading a novel, biography, history, or collection of essays, you get the rare opportunity to see the world from someone else’s perspective. This helps you understand the world and the people you share it with, and gives you perspective on the events in your own life.
In the past, people would spend a whole evening sitting by the fire reading. They would concentrate on their book, maybe talking to someone else in the house, but no one else. Today, we unwind by watching TV, browsing the internet, texting, and eating. This multitasking ends up stressing us out more than relaxing us. Reading teaches you to stay focused on the same task for long stretches of time. This can spill over into other areas of your life when you need to maintain concentration.