What does reading everyday do for you? Read more to know the benefits of reading.
How many of you read a book every day? There are plenty of good books to read today, but most of us are satisfied with reading tweets or FB updates. Check out the benefits of reading books to know what you might be missing out on.
When it comes to the brain, reading is the best superfood it needs to remain healthy and active forever. A research conducted in Yale University School of Public Health on people over 50 years observed that book readers who read for a minimum of 3.5 hours a week are at 20% reduced risk of dying compared to non reading ones.
Books can even improve your quality of life apart from increasing longevity. So, let’s dig into the scientific facts about the benefits of reading.
Top 10 Benefits of Reading
Reading Enhances Mental Stimulus
Reading improves the functioning of the brain on various levels.
- Research shows that when you are engrossed in a novel, brain connectivity and brain functioning improves.
- Reading enhances activity in the central sulcus of the brain, which controls the motor skills.
- Among the top mental health benefits of reading is the fact that it can slow down onset of dementia, Alzheimer etc, as it is like a mental exercise. Reading keeps the brain alert and strong.
Emotional Intelligence – Benefits of Reading
Research suggests that reading activates brain areas that are responsible for emotional intelligence. The benefits of reading are far more than just improving academic intelligence.
- Reading leads to improved ‘theory of mind’, which relates to the way we ascribe a mental state to another person or how we predict or explain other people’s actions.
- This leads to better understanding levels and develop different perspectives.
- We are able to recognize the emotions and the intentions of others better. Reading different types of stories exposes you to different human experiences. You place yourself in the character’s shoes and go through experiences that are entirely different from those in your own life.
- You can understand complex relationships better. Relationships have many complex feelings and emotions. Books contain many complex characters, so it can bring greater clarity in understanding mental states of others. Your perceptions and understanding of others improve and you are also able to read their thoughts accurately, due to heightened perceptions.
- Thus, one of the major advantages of reading books is that it can make you a nicer human being, a more likeable person.
Reading Reduces Stress
Even a few minutes of reading can reduce stress levels by two thirds.
- When you focus on a story, you get distracted and taken away from your real world problems. This eases the tension in the heart muscles.
- You can escape into the author’s imagination and away from your worries of the everyday world. Reading about something is similar to experiencing it or encountering it in real life.
One of the benefits of reading is that it is even more effective than taking a walk, having a cup of tea/coffee or listening to music.
Better Conversationalist – Great Benefits of Reading
If you improve your reading skills and start reading on a wide range of subjects, it could surely help you in becoming a better conversationalist.
- One of the reasons why reading is important is that you get different views on a subject and are able to explain your views better as you have fresh insights.
- Your vocabulary improves with reading activities, so you tend to speak more effectively and succinctly.
- You are also able to understand others better, which also makes the conversation more interactive.
- The benefits of reading everyday are that you become more enlightened, better informed and become a more interesting person to interact on a social level.
Reading Assists in Gaining Knowledge
Another of the top benefits of reading is that you gain knowledge whether you read fiction or nonfiction, so long as they are well researched or well written books by established authors.
- With everyday reading, you are able to experience so many places and events. You gain more knowledge about various subjects as well as people and their behavior.
- For instance, if you want to learn about personal financing, you have to choose a related book to widen your knowledge.
Tip: Try to better yourself and gain more knowledge by venturing beyond your limited interests or field of choice!
Reading Helps in Averting Depression
Reading actually possess therapeutic powers. When you are sad, anxious or depressed, reading a book, a novel, a poem could lead to a change of mood transforming you into a happier person.
- Bibliotherapy is for real! Doctors are prescribing reading books as a solution for depression or emotional disturbance.
- Depression cannot be cured by laughing, exercising or praying. It needs some brain chemistry to make you think positively and this is achieved by reading books.
Reading Improves Vocabulary
Words are great tools not only for a writer but for regular existence in the modern world. The better your vocabulary, the better you will be able to accomplish tasks accurately and efficiently.
- A better vocabulary improves your communication skills and sets you apart from others, making you unique and special.
- You get contextual words and learn proper usage.
- You will be able to understand coworkers, customers and supervisors at work better, and stand a better chance of promotions and a rise.
Reading Boosts Relaxation
Reading in today’s world helps you to unplug from a constant barrage of online information or visual information. A study at the University of Sussex observed that reading can reduce stress levels by up to 68%. Television, tablets and computers are all associated with disruption of sleep cycles and making it more difficult for you to relax and fall asleep, while reading helps you relax and sleep better.
- It’s a great alternative to television and ranks high among the benefits of reading.
- You never get bored while reading a book that you can relate to.
Pick a book or a magazine that interests you, something related to your hobbies, cooking, gardening. Sit in a quiet, undisturbed place and see the magic working.
Reading Books Increases Empathy
Reading fiction improves your ability to empathise and put yourself in another person’s shoes, flexing your imagination.
- You get lost in a good story and start empathising with a fictional character. For instance, if you’re reading about a person walking along a path, we feel that we are walking on the same path ourselves.
- One of the great benefits of reading is that it improves Theory of Mind, which results in a better understanding of other people’s desires, beliefs and intentions.
- Stories can help shape your life and also define the kind of person you are. They get into your brain and shape your character.
- Embodied cognition or grounded cognition allows you to put yourself in the shoes of another and be more compassionate.
Reading Refines Analytical Skills
Reading sharpens your thinking process and helps you in grasping ideas more quickly and efficiently.
- For instance, reading criminal books can help you in analytical, deducing and thinking skills, thereby making it one of the top benefits of reading.
- When you read, you do a critical evaluation of the material or content. This helps you apply rationale and logic on similar experiences in life, as you are able to corelate better. You compare what you have read with a similar life situation.
Wrap Up – Top Benefits of Reading
Fewer people are reading books today when compared to previous decades, as we are now able to get crystallized information from the Internet.
Now that you know the importance of reading books, why not try to be a little more intentional about the time you spend on reading? Start reading deliberately. Answer this question honestly: How many hours of reading did you do this week?
There’s a thin line between a good book and a bad one, and it could also be a subjective issue, so it all depends on you to select a book that interests you and can enhance your knowledge.
If you have young children, be sure to read to them and make it a fun part of your routine so that they can derive the benefits of reading from an early age. Starting at a young age would be the best, but it is never too late in the day, since you’re now aware of what reading can do for you.
Get a library card and go pick up books that interest you. Life is not always about googling an answer, reading a book could prove to be a more lasting and satisfying solution!