There’s nothing better than curling up with a good book and escaping into another world. Reading became much more fun when it wasn’t pushed on us as a school assignment. Now we are free to read when and what we want. And lucky for us, there are a host of benefits to reading. It isn’t just for entertainment. Here are a few ways reading benefits your mind and body!
Improves Cognitive Function
We’ve been conditioned to think of reading as a sign of intelligence. Reading might not always correlate with intelligence, but it certainly does affect our brain. Studies have linked reading to good brain health in aging adults. A 14-year-long study found that individuals aged 64 and above who had higher reading frequencies showed a reduced risk of cognitive decline.
When you read, neurological connections are formed within your brain. This improves brain connectivity while also strengthening your brain. Even after you are done and put the book down, your brain continues to respond, further increasing brain connectivity.
Reading can help lower stress levels after just 30 minutes. A study found that reading lowered blood pressure, heart rate, and feelings of psychological distress just as much as yoga and humor. When reading, it’s important to select something you enjoy. You don’t want to spend your time reading something that triggers anxiety or sadness. This mindful hobby allows you to escape your world for a short time and rev up your imagination.
Inhibits Connection While Alleviating Depression
Many older adults struggle with feelings of isolation. Reading has the ability to provide a sense of connection via the characters in the book. Genres, especially literary fiction, introduce you to new characters and inner stories. You get to know and grow with each character. This in itself awakens emotions and helps you to feel connected, which helps lessen feelings of loneliness and depression. Research suggests that by investing time and feelings in fictional characters, you can better understand human experiences. Reading enables you to develop a heightened ability to empathize with those around you.
Open a Book and Just Let Go
Reading doesn’t just improve your vocabulary; it helps to improve your mental health, offering a variety of benefits. Just a short reading session here and there can significantly impact your well-being. There’s a book on any topic you can imagine. Simply pick a book that interests you, escape the outside world, and enter a realm of peace and relaxation. Your body and mind will thank you!