May 25, 2018
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It’s true that most people find reading as a boring activity. People can’t see the fun in sitting for hours, reading novels as long as Harry Potter. However, just because it’s not popular doesn’t mean that it’s a useless activity.

Most people who aren’t readers aren’t aware that the people who read regularly gain a lot from reading.  Readers don’t get only entertainment from books, but they also reap the health benefits of reading. 

If you’re a non-reader, who would like to try it out, read on to know more about the health benefits of reading. These benefits will encourage you to make reading a daily habit, and a permanent part of your life.

Reading Decreases Mental Decline

Keeping your mind active through reading can keep your mind sharp even as your age increases. Your brain is like a machine that you need to oil regularly. If you don’t, your brain will turn rusty from disuse. 

You’ll find yourself forgetting small things like where did you place your car keys, or what time your meeting was supposed to be. You might even forget important events like birthdays and anniversaries.

It’s inevitable that your memory will fade as you grow old, but you can slow it down by reading. Reading also helps you avoid dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Reading Helps You Sleep Better at Night

Practice reading before going to sleep. Once it becomes part of your nighttime ritual, your body will recognize that it’s time to rest once you’re done with the reading. 

You don’t have to read the entire book in one night. Instead of helping you sleep, it will keep you up at night. Using an eBook reader, laptop, or phone is also not advisable for reading because the blue light emitted by the gadgets can damage your retina from constant exposure. 

A real paperback or hardbound book is always the safest choice for reading. It might not be lightweight or convenient, but it won’t harm you with blue light.

Reading Increases Longevity

Yale scoured through old research files and found out that people who read every day for at least thirty minutes live longer by two years, compared to their peers with the same age. The reading of books also decreases the risk of mortality for twelve years of follow up. 

Reading is Therapeutic For People With Illness

The technical term for using books as tools to help people with mental health problems is bibliotherapy. People of all ages can avail of this therapy. These are the types of bibliotherapy that are available for people who might want to try it out.
  • Prescriptive Bibliography: Books, usually with self-help topics for a variety of mental health-related issues, are read by a person even without the help of a therapist. 
  • Books on Prescription: This type requires the guidance of a professional. The experts will prescribe the books that the person will read. These books discuss specific mental health problems. 
  • Creative Bibliotherapy: Professionals recommend a variety of books and other literary materials for the person. This usually involves a book or other forms of literature which tells a story that the patient can relate to. If the patient has recently lost her mother, a therapist can recommend books with a protagonist who has also lost his mother. The story can help the person cope with the loss of a loved one.

Reading Improves Vocabulary

Research conducted by Spain’s University of Santiago de Compostela showed that people with a rich vocabulary are immune to mind deterioration due to aging. 

The more you read, the more words you'll encounter along the way. Try looking up the definition of the difficult words so that you'll be able to recognize it and use it.

Reading Helps You Destress

If you’re burnt out from a lot of paperwork at work, or you’re tired after a whole day of exams, reading can help you relax. Immerse yourself in the story and let your mind rest. 

You might be used to multitasking at school or work. This can cause stress for you. Reading is a singular activity that can help your mind focus on one thing. Your only concern is the flow of the story. You can ignore the rest of the world as you read without distraction. 

Reading Improves Your Memory

You have to retain the details of the book that you’re reading if you want to understand the whole story. You can’t keep flipping back to the start of the book every time you forget something. Reading is also a type of mental exercise for the brain. The more you read, the more you’ll retain. Good memory also goes a long way in your daily activities.

Reading Helps You Build Empathy

Most books involve humans with real problems. Readers can develop an understanding of these characters mainly if the reader is going through the same situation.

It’s easier for a reader to empathize with a character who has lost her parents if she is an orphan. People who are struggling with studies can relate to characters who lag behind their classmates in academics.

There are a lot of books which have real-life situations. The next time that you read, you might find yourself crying along or laughing because of the events in the book.

Reading Improves Your Thinking Skills

Your thinking skills are enhanced when you read, particularly novels. You can’t skim the entire book. Otherwise, you’ll miss the point, or you won’t understand the story.

You can also go for detective novels because you have to think about who's the real antagonist, and how will the main character solve the mystery. This can help your analysis skills.

Reading Helps You Write Better

Regular reading can improve your vocabulary, but that’s not all. It will also help you be more articulate when it comes to writing. You’d need to study or take a seminar if you want to be a writer, but you can start by making reading a regular habit. 

You don’t need to be an aspiring writer to have a reason to read every day. Reading can help you with school papers and applications. The more you read, the more you’ll learn. College applications require essays, and knowing a lot can help you create a well-written article that can be your ticket to your dream university.

Some people will always view reading as dull, but it has a few health benefits that people might not be aware of. It can extend your life while helping you keep a sharp mind as you grow old. 

It can also help you with your studies or work since regular reading improves your vocabulary and writing skills. When you get home, reading can also help you sleep better at night. Reading is also beneficial for people who have mental illness. It might seem like a simple activity, but it can provide help for those who need it.