How Reading Helps Improve Your State of Mind?

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies… The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R.R. Martin

By the words of GRRM, I will start by saying that I’m a proud bookworm! Books are everywhere. Libraries are full of hundreds and thousands of books from different years and authors. They are filled with the most important things of all time. People who don’t read will never understand what a reader goes through whenever they have to separate themselves from their most adored books. It is true that reading helps improve your mind and body and you don’t even know when it is happening.

In 2016, the Yale School of Public Health dug out the 12 years of HRS (Health and Retirement Study) data about reading habits and health of more than 3,600 men and women over the age of 50 and a hopeful pattern emerged. People who read books, whether fiction or non-fiction, poetry or prose for as little as 30 minutes lived an average of two years longer than people who didn’t read anything at all. It is also proven that people who read books rather than magazines or newspapers outlive their peers by 23%.

So here are some reasons why you will outlive your peers who haven’t read a single book their whole life!

  • Reading helps you de-stress – According to a study led by the University of Sussex, reading can reduce stress level by 68%. Stress levels and heart rates were monitored while trying out a variety of relaxing methods, reading was the strongest method in helping the brain and the body relax, among listening to music or going for a walk. So now you know, if you’re stressed pick up your favorite book and read!
  • Reading makes you empathetic towards others – If while growing up, you read a lot of books, then you do have some talents when it comes to empathizing with others and you understand difficult emotions. According to a study from the University of Buffalo, most people relate to the characters in stories we read, especially if it comes from fiction. Empathy, in today’s world, is viewed as one of the most important skills for every parent to teach their children.
  • Reading can be used as a form of therapy – According to Cristel Russell, reading is used mostly as a form of therapy. It might happen sometimes that you feel so close to a character or fictional situation that relates to your actual state of mind, and this situation or character helps you out of your problems.
  • Reading increases your intelligence – Whether you prefer fictional or non-fictional books, reading books help your brain grow in more ways than one. Novels introduce you to new words thus advancing your vocabulary. So never stop reading!
  • Reading improves your memory – If you tend to forget most of your things more than twice, then you need to read more often! Reading enhances and exercises the memory muscles in your brain, thus making us more alert. You pay more attention and remember all the small details as you follow a long string of words for hours at a time. If you know someone who needs to improve their memory, gift them a book!
  • Reading makes your brain stronger – One of the best ways to keep your brain strong and healthy is to keep your mind active and working. As per a study, people who were actively and mentally engaged has 32% lower rate of mental decline as compared to people who weren’t actively engaging their brain. Non-readers had a decline of 48%. So pick up a book and keep your brain in shape!
  • Reading can reduce the chance of Alzheimer’s disease – Reading at least one hour every day helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease. From a neurobiological standpoint, reading is more demanding on the brain than processing speech and images. Mental stimulation from reading will improve your memory and learning capacity. It also keeps your mind sharp by slowing cognitive decline as you age. It is proven that reading strengthens your brain against disease like Alzheimer’s or dementia.
  • Reading strengthens focus and concentration – When reading, your full attention is on the words on the page and you need to focus on that to get to know what happens next. Unknowingly, you are strengthening your mind to focus and concentrate on things that matter the most as compared to things that do not. A consistent reading habit will strengthen your attention over to other aspects of your life.
  • Reading improves your imagination – If you’re an avid reader of fictional books, then you must have used your imagination several times. Escaping the reality to travel into a fictional world is a way to exercise your brain into imagining new things, characters, and perspectives.
  • Reading helps you sleep better – It is said to have a good night sleep, better pick a book and read! Well, reading to your bedtime will reduce stress and train your brain to associate reading with sleep. So to have a night of better sleep, avoid screen and pick up books!

Still not inspired about reading? Then check out the next post!