My Top Ten Reasons to start reading a book right now!
Even if it seems that surrounded by screens, people rarely ever crack a book, reading is still a favorite pastime for many. Research studies suggest that reading might be more beneficial to our physical and mental health than we give it credit for, believing that books are there to provide only relaxation and entertainment. Here are 10 good reasons why reading books is good for you.
1. You might become more empathetic
According to a recent research study, reading works of fiction can increase human empathy. Two experiments showed that people who felt as if they’ve lost themselves in the fictional world experienced boosts in empathy.
Self-reported empathetic skills changed significantly over the course of one week in the case of readers of fictional stories who were transported into fictional worlds. Getting caught up in a story or swept away by marvelous fictional realities simply helps you to grow into a better person.
2. Books keep your brain sharp
Reading is what keeps you smart. One study showed how a lifetime of reading can act against dementia in old age. Those who engage in mentally stimulating activities like reading experience slower memory decline compared to those who don’t.
Exercising your brain by taking part in intellectual activities will help you to be smarter and stay that way for a long time. Incorporating reading and writing into the everyday activities of children, adults and older people can only help to maintain their brain in top shape.
3. You can improve your memory
It has been proven many times that reading is the best boost for memory. When reading we force our brains to make more neural pathways and produce imagery for words written on the page. When you read, you generally have more time to think about all kinds of topics. Reading in fact offers a great opportunity for pushing the pause button, allowing you a moment for reflection, comprehension and insight. This doesn’t happen when you’re watching a movie or listening to a tape – and that’s how reading keeps your memory sharp.
4. Reading lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s disease
Another research study showed that adults who choose to engage in hobbies involving intellectual effort (puzzles, reading and the like) are less likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. Even if this is just an association, not a direct proof of such activity to really minimize the risk of the disease, it’s worth considering as proof to inactivity being in fact a risk factor.
Neuroscientists believe the brain to be just like every other organ in our bodies – its aging proceeds in accordance with its use. Intellectual activity like reading strengthens the brain against diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
5. Reading provides relaxation
We all know that books are great for alleviating stress, but now we’ve got scientific proof to vouch for it. A study conducted at the University of Sussex demonstrated how reading is in fact the most effective way to overcome stress – way better than activities such as listening to music or taking a walk. Study participants who were stressed would calm down after six minutes when picking up a book. Impressive, isn’t it? The key condition for a book to have such therapeutic effect is that you need to lose yourself in it completely and allow to explore the author’s imagination.
6. You’ll sleep better after reading a book
An effective De-stressing routine before going to bed is reading. It calms the mind and prepares the body for sleep. That is, unless it’s a page-turner that will keep you up all night. But make sure you’re reading from an
actual book, not a screen – bright lights emitted by electronic devices suggest to the brain that it’s time to wake up.
7. Reading boosts creativity
This is something every avid reader experienced while reading a book – ideas are flowing when you find a work which really appeals to you. Reading about something you’re interested to learn is pure pleasure, but also an invitation for sparking a change. Books are full of imagined worlds and abstract concepts, effectively helping you to expand your understanding of what is possible in life.
8. You’ll be inspired
Learning about the perspectives and opinions of others is enriching and will provide you with tons of inspiration to change something in yourself and in your life. You’ll gain access to other ways of thinking, opening you up to new paradigms flowing with inspiration. One book can set the stone for a new career or a life-changing hobby.
9. You’ll discover and create yourself
Reading is an excellent exercise to improve our imagination, wit and even sense of intimacy. It can help us to manage pain or deal with difficult emotions. Fiction grants an opportunity to have experiences we never had before and allows us to learn life skills and lessons from it. Reading, you can create yourself and develop your personality, gaining from a much wider selection of experiences than in real life.
10. Reading will make you happy
Finally, reading is something that can significantly improve your mood and simple make you a happier person. Laughing at comical stories and empathizing with characters undergoing trouble only to find a happy ending is satisfying. This is probably why so many people keep reading stories over and over again.
It’s clear that reading is far more beneficial to our minds and bodies than many believe. Even if it’s just 15 minutes a day, reading a great book can help you to grow and become someone you always wanted to be.
Torri Myler is a passionate writer and reader believing that both writing and reading helps you relax, heal, grow and thrive. She is a team member at http://www.bankopening.co.uk/ – a UK bank branches locator featuring contact data as well as bank opening and closing times.
// < ![CDATA[
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."