For most people, the act of reading is a reward in itself. However, studies show that reading books also has benefits that range from a longer life to career success. If you’re looking for reasons to pick up a book, read on for seven science-backed reasons why reading is good for your health, relationships and happiness.
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1. READING REDUCES STRESS
Stress is a common hazard of our modern lives.
There are many reasons for the profound stress relieving effect of reading. First, reading allows the mind to focus and concentrate on the words, which pulls the reader away from anxious thoughts. Reading also has the effect of suspending reality. When we read, we escape into another world or another person and enter into an altered state of consciousness, which alleviates tension in the muscles and heart.
The relaxing effect produced by books is not determined by the type or genre of book you are reading, as long as you can lose yourself in the narrative.
2. READING HELPS WITH SLEEP
Reading before bed helps with sleep, especially if your transform your reading into a night-time ritual.
There are a few reasons why reading before bed is good for your sleeping habits. The main reason is the decrease in stress, anxiety and muscular tension associated with reading. Helping you relax and unwind before sleep can make a difference in being able to push aside anxious thoughts and allow your consciousness to drift off.
3. READING DECREASES LONELINESS AND SOCIAL ISOLATION
For most, the act of reading is a solitary act but this doesn’t have to be the case. Reading can be turned into a social event by finding a like-minded group of friends or members of your community and joining a book group.
The benefits of book groups is transforming an isolated practice into a social ritual and being able to discover a group of individuals that share the same passions. Reading and discussing books have the effect of getting a deeper understanding of the story through listening and debating different points of view.
There are different options for book groups, from online and social media book clubs to face-to-face book groups.