The benefits of reading
The benefits of reading
For many, curling up with a good book when it’s dark and dismal outside; or reaching for a pacy page-turner while lazing in the sun is one of life’s biggest pleasures. And the literary-leaning among us won’t be surprised to discover that as well as being a pleasurable pastime, devouring a good old fashioned paperback also offers readers a wealth of benefits that are said to increase both your health and your happiness.
Reading boosts your brain power
There’s little doubt that reading is a great way of increasing intelligence and boosting brain power. Not dissimilar to the health benefits you get from regular physical exercise, reading regularly offers a good workout for your brain. As well as increasing your knowledge by discovering a wealth of different ideas, worlds and places, reading also helps expand your vocabulary, and strong reading skills at a young age has been linked to higher intelligence in later life.
Reading cultivates empathy
Regular readers will know what it’s like to feel a deep sense of empathy and compassion for the fictional characters within the pages of their favourite book, and this can subsequently lead to an increase in empathy off the pages as well. A benefit more associated with fiction than non-fiction, a good book can not only help you relate to others more, it too can increase your ability to understand what others are thinking by reading about other people’s emotions.
Reading before bed aids a good night’s sleep
Instead of scrolling through Facebook or watching the latest Netflix series, establishing a night-time routine in which you read before bed will almost certainly aid your shut-eye. While screen-time before slumber emits a blue light which not only keeps you awake but can also be detrimental to your sleep, reading a book will help you relax and ensure you drift off into the land of nod in peace.
Reading can help alleviate anxiety
Feeling anxious? Reach for a book. Studies have shown that making time for reading is proven to reduce stress, stabilize your heart rate and help you relax. So, next time the pressures of day-to-day life get to you, pick up a page-turner and allow yourself to be transported to another world entirely.
Reading can improve memory
Need another reason to pick up a paperback? Not only has reading been proven to help improve memory, it too has been shown to form neural circuits that could help prevent age-related memory-loss and Alzheimer’s Disease later in life. As we age, there’s a natural decline in both brain function and memory, but frequent reading is believed to help slow the process, which consequently will help keeps our minds sharper for longer.
Reading can increase creativity
Fans of fiction will know that using your imagination is a key part of reading, and thus it comes as little surprise that this favourite pastime can help stimulate creativity. Whatever stage of life you’re at, you’ll be able to find a book whose characters who have experienced something similar — and their way in which they solve their problems will help you think differently or approach a problem in a way that might not have occurred to you before.