Many of us love to read, and those of us who do know just how beneficial sitting down and relaxing with a book can be.
The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more you learn, the more places you’ll go. – Dr Seuss
I love psychology and reading so I thought, why not put together a post on how reading benefits the mind and people in general. So here for the book lovers, seven reasons why reading is good for you. Now if you need to convince someone that reading is great, and not boring (like me, my boyfriend doesn’t read…) Here’s your chance.
- It’s relaxing
Maybe the most obvious one but sitting down with a book at the end of a long day is so relaxing for many of us. It gives us a chance to let go of the stress and just focus on someone else’s problems, struggles and story. A 2009 study at the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress by up to 68%. It is a much faster way to reduce stress than say, meditating or exercising. As stress can be very dangerous to the body and mind I think this is the most important benefit reading has, especially for me personally as my current job often has me very stressed out.
- It improves your memory
Reading is to the brain what a work out is to the body. When we read we train the brain to recognize, remember and imagine. Especially if you are reading a long book where you are challenged to remember what happens in the beginning. By training our brain we increase our memory capacity.
- Slows down the onset of Alzheimer’s
Many studies have been done on the effect reading has on mental illnesses, especially Alzheimer’s and the general mental well-being of elderly people. Scientists have found that people who read challenging books are two and a half times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s and keep their mind young.
- Develops a child’s brain
Reading is very important for children, they learn 50% more words reading a book than watching television. Reading gives a child better judgement and apply logic in general scenarios.
- Reading motivates you to do stuff
For example, say you read a book about an adventure, someone travelling the world and having a positive experience you are more likely to do so yourself. Reading the benefits and positive side effects of a certain action through a character and the emotional impact it has will make the reader want to experience it themselves.
- Reading makes you more sympathetic
Following the story of a person and being able to explore their relationships and emotions allow you an insight into how other people might react in different situations. It broadens your mind on how other people might react to different things in life and makes it more understandable for you. This will make it easier for you to identify with people who are similar to characters you’ve read about and interact with them.
- It’s a great conversation topic
This may not seem like such a big deal but sometimes it is difficult to start a conversation with people you’ve only just met. Friendships and socialising are so important. If you both like a book or series that is definitely something you can discuss. I know that whenever I run into another Harry Potter fan I am genuinely excited to speak to them.
There are so many more benefits that come from reading, I can’t list them all. But these are some of my favourite ones.
So what are you waiting for? Pick up a book and get healthy 😉
Love Mallory x