For many people, it can be difficult to find time to read. However, reading offers many health benefits, from reducing stress to helping us sleep better. So it’s always a good idea to pick up a book, no matter how busy life gets. Below are six of reading’s health benefits.#Reading offers many #health benefits, from reducing #stress to helping us sleep better. So it’s always a good idea to pick up a #book, no matter how busy life gets. Click To Tweet
1. Reduce stress
Life can be stressful, so it’s important to make sure to take a break and unwind every so often.
Reading is a wonderful way to destress. According to results from a study in 2009 from the University of Sussex, reading has the power to reduce stress up to almost 70%. It is more effective than other relaxation methods, like going for a walk or listening to music. Unlike these activities, reading requires the brain to focus on something else entirely. If you’re reading, you will not be thinking about all the things that need to get done, but instead focusing on a story and an escape from the demands of daily life.
2. Improve memory and concentration
The University of Waterloo in Ontario did a study examining memory and concentration methods. They examined everything from having someone read to you, reading to your yourself, reading out loud, and listening to a book audio. They found that there was a direct correlation with active involvement and the information retained. The most successful method was when the participants in the study read out loud real time. This is likely because the participants cannot passively listen to someone else speaking, and also have to concentrate on the page in front of them in order to dictate every word. Knowing this is helpful when it comes to memorizing important information. For this reason, reason also improves concentration.
3. Improve problem-solving skills
This can be a difficult trait to quantify, but studies have shown that reading does affect the structure of the brain. It’s important to understand that white matter in the brain is what carries information between the regions of grey matter within the brain. Essentially, the more white matter a brain has, the more neuron connections there are. Reading is linked to the creation of more white matter. It helps link disparate parts of the brain to create greater comprehension and association. This will allow people to better recognize patterns and develop their problem-solving skills.
4. Reduce the chances of dementia
We have all heard about the importance of maintaining hobbies as we age in order to combat the effects of old age. Activities and hobbies that challenge the mind and body are crucial to staying healthy and sharp. Unfortunately, many people often focus on maintaining an active lifestyle and forget to challenge their brains. Puzzles are one option, but the best hobby is reading. It requires your brain to concentrate, but can also help you learn something new for an additional challenge. As previously mentioned, reading also facilitates new connections between regions of the brain which helps prevent dementia.
5. Improve your sleep
Stress is a notorious culprit of insomnia, so reducing stress can help with a better night’s sleep. Reading relaxes the mind and is more effective at this than the other national pastime television. While television allows people to “zone out,” the effects it has on the brain are very different than reading. The lights and movement of the television are not as soothing to the brain as something like reading is. So even if you feel de-stressed by watching television, your brain might not be as relaxed as you think.
6. Develop empathy
Reading can improve empathy, something which is vital to healthy and rewarding relationships. Books place the reader in another person’s mindset. They see through the eyes of the protagonist and are privy to their inner world, even if the thought process differs greatly from their own. Being able to understand different ways of thinking is the first step towards a greater capacity for empathy. Every relationship would benefit from this life skill.
It doesn’t have to be hard
Reading is improves your personal and mental well-being in a variety of ways. All of these positive benefits attained through reading can begin with something as simple as a visit to your local or online discount bookstore. It doesn’t even have to be a costly endeavour. So get started today!
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