What do we get from reading books? Are there any benefits or are we just doing it for enjoyment?
The answer is ‘Yes’. Scientific studies show that reading improves our mental health by lowering our stress level and eases the tension in our muscles. Many of us are avid readers and so we know how reading affects our mental and physical health.
Reading is a therapy which calms our mind, improves our learning ability, allows us to gain knowledge and discover and explore new things. It allows you to escape the real world and become fully immersed in another world. Reading consistently puts our mind in a pleasurable state and helps you to get in a deep relaxation mode. It improves our memory, ability to focus and communication skills. Reading those old fashioned hard books before bed allows you to sleep better and faster. Screens like e-books and tablets actually interfere with your sleep and keep you awake for longer. Reading is a mental exercise that is worth adding into your everyday routine just like meditation. Reading jolts your mind in action and processes the information both visually and verbally.
Now, the question is ‘how to get yourself in the habit of reading’?
Here are some tips that helped me in making reading my habit, hope these work for you too:
- Always carry a book when traveling.
- Read the newspaper every day whenever you get the time.
- Always keep a book by the side of your bed.
- Pick the book on the topic that excites you.
Reasons why you should read everyday
- Improves focus and concentration: If you are looking for ways which improves your focus and concentration, then try reading. It will help. Just as exercising makes our body stronger, reading strengthens our focus and concentration. It helps us to focus on a specific thing for a longer period of time. As we all know ‘We get better at what we practice’. The more we practice reading with concentration and focus without any distraction, the more we get better at that.
- Slows down cognitive decline with age: Reading is considered as one of the main ways to stay mentally sharp with age. Making reading a habit boosts cognitive functioning and improves memory as you age. The more you read, the more it becomes easier to recall certain things. Reading works as an exercise for your brain. The 2013 study shows that people who didn’t read often had a memory decline by 48 percent faster than people who read consistently.
- Improves your vocabulary: Reading is the best exercise to improve your vocabulary. It helps you figure out and understand the meaning of the words that are new to you and helps you remember them as reading provides repetition of words. We discover new words as we read more and more.
- Reduces stress: While reading, our mind is fully engaged in a book. Any activity that makes our mind fully focused on a single task is proven to reduce stress and helps in deep relaxation just like meditation. It helps lower heart rate and calms and relaxes our mind and body.
- Boosts your brainpower: Reading not only makes you smarter but also strengthens your brainpower. Just as exercising boosts your overall health, reading consistently improves your brain functions. When we read, one part of our brain analyzes the words’ meaning while the other part recognizes the words. Both the brain functions make a person efficient in reading and remembering things.
Reading is an excellent way to end your day as it relaxes our busy mind. Try switching off the television and other electronics and enjoy a peaceful reading of a good book.
Books and doors are the same thing. You open them, and you go through into another world.”
– Jeanette Winterson