How Reading Improves Our Health

Alexandra Absi · Jan 13 2017

Someone once said, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body,” and they weren’t lying. It’s undeniable to avid readers that escaping to another world and taking on new imaginative adventures is one of the greatest getaways, and without even taking a look at the research, it’s evident that there are many benefits to reading. So for those who don’t necessarily like to read or see the point in it – you’re missing out. A lot. Reading isn’t just a hobby or a task – it’s a mental stimulator. The benefits are extraordinary, and once you realize them, you will be looking for your next favorite author.

Reading Can Improve Your Memory

When you’re reading, there’s more to a story or article than just the singular lines within them. They all tie together, and every line, paragraph and page you move forward, you’re taking those memories with you along the way to put together the story. As you exercise your memory, you are strengthening it and creating new brain pathways (synapses), which can also assist in waging the war against memory loss.

It’s Proven to Reduce Stress

As a bookworm myself, whenever I feel overwhelmed by anything in life, picking up a book and indulging in a different world really allows me to forget all the worry and stress I was having a mere 5 minutes before. This isn’t just my perspective – it’s a fact. The Telegraph reports that it’s a good to read before sleep, and to get into a nightly ritual. Reading relaxes and helps to wind down, where tablets and bright screens actually do the opposite; the blue light signals the brain to be awake.

It Increases Empathy

Reading fiction and getting lost in a story can really play with your emotions. A study by PLOS One found that when you take a journey with multiple different characters and follow their lives highs and lows, it allows you the chance to see different viewpoints through one experience and understand thoughts and feelings from multiple perspectives. This directly relates to situations we are often in, in reality, and makes us more empathetic humans.

Reading is a Learning Opportunity.

It’s a proven fact that reading increases intelligence. No matter what you’re reading, there’s always something to take away. Even if it’s fiction, you learn about relationships, interactions, or other experiences. Historical fiction novels let you learn about history all while being enthralled in a fictional life. Self-help books are proven to wean depression. You can get ahead in your career and your hobby by reading more about what you love. It doesn’t even have to be a book – it can be a newspaper, a blog, a magazine. There’s something for everyone!

Whether you believe in escaping to a mythical world, love story, a biography or informative how-to, there are thousands of different outlets to get your reading on (yeah, I just said that). To start you off, here are some of my favourite picks: