When’s the last time you took the time to read a book, or a long article in your favorite magazine? Do your reading habits rather revolve around Facebook, Twiter, or the ingredient list for your instant soup? If you are one of the many people who are not used to reading every day, you are missing out on a lot of benefits. Wondering what the point of reading is? Quickly discover the 10 benefits associated with daily reading.
1. Stimulates the brain
Several studies indicate that mental stimulation can slow the progression (and possibly even stop it completely) of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Why should we read? The reason is simple: keeping your brain active prevents it from losing its abilities. Like all other muscles in the body, the brain needs the training to stay strong and healthy. The “use it or lose it” rule applies perfectly to our brain. Suddenly, games that stimulate our intellect, such as puzzles or chess, are also beneficial to the health of our brain.
2. Decrease stress
Whether it’s stress related to work or worries related to your daily life, it doesn’t matter, reading reduces our state of anxiety. A novel can quite simply transport us to another dimension. Another advantage of reading: an interesting article can distract us. Reading has the ability to alleviate our anxiety and relax completely.
3. Improves knowledge
When we read, we fill our brains with new information – and you never know when it will come in handy. The more knowledge we have, the better equipped we are to face new challenges. Here is some food for thought. If you are going to lose everything in your life – your job, your property, even your health – remember that your knowledge and knowledge can never be taken away from you.
4. Increase vocabulary
This is a benefit closely linked to knowledge: the more you read, the more you discover new words, and the more likely you are to use them in your everyday language. Speaking eloquently and precisely is a valuable professional asset. Being able to communicate with your superiors with confidence is a great way to improve your self-esteem. Hence the importance of reading! Enriching your vocabulary can even advance your career. Indeed, people who are educated, eloquent, and know many different subjects are more likely to be promoted (and this, more often) than people who have a smaller vocabulary and have little knowledge of literature, scientific advances, and world news. Reading also has a beneficial effect on learning a foreign language. Reading a book in another language allows you to see words used in context. This improves both writing and speaking.
5. Improves memory
To fully understand a book, we must remember a multitude of information: the characters, their past, their intentions, their experiences, then the nuances, and all the secondary actions that are intertwined with the main action. It’s a lot of information to remember, but the brain is a miraculous organ that will remember it with surprising ease. The most amazing thing is that each time we form a new memory, we create new synapses (areas of contact between neurons) and we solidify the existing synapses. This means that reading, by forming new memories, will increase our ability to retain short-term memories and has a regulating effect on our mood. Pretty good, right?
6. Develops analytical skills
Have you ever read a good detective novel and guessed who the killer was before the book was even finished? If so, you have demonstrated good critical and analytical skills: you have synthesized all the details provided to do real detective work. This ability to analyze details is also beneficial for criticizing the action of a book: one can judge whether it is well written, whether the characters are well developed, whether the plot runs smoothly, etc. If one day you have to exchange your opinion on a book with another person, this analytical capacity will allow you to express your opinion clearly. Why? Because you will have analyzed and criticized the relevant details internally during your reading.
7. Improves attention and concentration
In our societies that revolve around the Internet and “multitasking”, our ability to concentrate is under attack from all sides. In 5 minutes, the average person will divide his time between working on 1 task, checking his emails, exchanging messages with several people simultaneously (Facebook, Skype, etc.), reading his Twitter account, checking his smartphone, and hold a conversation with colleagues! This hyperactive behavior generates stress and slows down productivity. When you read a book, it’s just the opposite. All our attention is directed to the plot of the book. And that’s one of the benefits of reading. It’s as if the rest of the world is dissolving and you can dive completely into the details of the story. In the morning, try 15-20 minutes of reading before going to work (on the bus or in the subway, for example). You will be surprised by the positive effect it will have on your level of concentration once you get to work.
8. Improve writing
Another argument in favor of reading: writing better goes hand in hand with enriching one’s vocabulary. Reading published and well-written works will have a noticeable effect on your own writing style. Watching the cadence, fluidity, and style of other authors will inevitably influence your own way of writing. Just as musicians influence the music of their colleagues, and painters draw inspiration from the technique of masters, so writers create stories based on the work of other authors.
9. Calm the mind
Basically, reading is synonymous with relaxation. But beyond this recognized quality, the theme of a book can also bring us peace of mind and considerable inner peace. Indeed, reading spiritual texts can lower blood pressure and induce a feeling of calm. Plus, self-help books have been shown to help people with certain mood disorders and mild forms of mental illness.
10. Free entertainment
Most people like to own the book they are reading, so that they can write comments inside or mark interesting pages. But, books can be expensive. To enjoy really inexpensive entertainment, you can visit your neighborhood media library and discover the countless volumes available there, free of charge. The media libraries offer books on all imaginable subjects. And, since they regularly “rotate” their stock and there are often new arrivals, they are truly an inexhaustible source of entertainment. If, by unfortunate coincidence, you live in a place without a library or you cannot move around, be aware that most media libraries offer an e-service to download the books in PDF format to your e-reader, iPad, or computer. Also, there are several free download sites for books. So what are you waiting for to explore them? There is a literary genre suitable for everyone who can read and write. No matter your preference: classical literature, poetry, fashion magazines, biographies, spiritual texts or personal development books, etc. There will always be a work that will completely capture your attention and your imagination. Don’t you think it’s time to shut down your computer, put your phone on silent, and take a moment to re-energize your soul?