I have been a life long lover of books. I’m a chain reading bookworm who knows every square inch of my public library. When I was a teenager my parents always knew where to find me – in the library’s basement on the green sofa curled up with a book. I never, ever got into trouble as a kid, because I didn’t have the time to get in trouble with my voracious reading schedule. I guess you could say books were my recreational drug. It was my love of reading various types of literature that compelled me to pursue a degree in English. All I wanted to do with my life was read and study.
There are so many articles everywhere about our physical health. We all know that yoga is good for the body and soul. We all know to eat our veggies and fruit, because it makes us feel better. We all know that exercise is the key to a long life of good health. We all know the vitamins we need. But what about reading? What are the health benefits to reading? Read on and find out.
Stress Relief - Reading is therapeutic. It stops us from ruminating about our own worries. Many different studies have shown it to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and social isolation.
Rejuvenating – Being alone with a book recharges us emotionally.
Entertaining – Reading will make you laugh, cry, blush. It will challenge your core beliefs.
Right Brain Stimulation - Reading opens us to new possibilities. It makes us ask, “what would I do in this situation?’ It stimulates us mentally and increases concentration and focus.
Relaxation – We all need this. The beauty and rhythm of language can calm and relax.
Widens Vocabulary - Reading causes us to be alert and curious to new words.
Intellectual Curiosity - As our vocabulary increases so does the desire to read more challenging material.
Expands Reality- Reading takes us out of our geography and time line. It expands reason and opens us to more diversity, customs, ethnicity, and lifestyle.
Builds Self Esteem - Reading makes us more knowledgeable about a certain topic hence increases our confidence. People will look to us for answers.
Memory Improvement - Reading requires remembering details, facts, figures, plot lines, characters, themes, and structures. It stretches our brain.
Improves Creativity - Reading will give us exposure to new ideas and information. It inspires and encourages innovation.
Sometimes a single book can change our entire lives. We are made better people because of reading. It can take us on an unexpected course. It shapes our personalities and beliefs. You don’t need to read War and Peace or The Canterbury Tales to experience the health benefits of reading. If you are not much of a reader, start with a short book. Or read poetry if you have trouble focusing on anything too long. Read something today that you have never thought about reading. Challenge yourself, you will be healthier because of it.
What books have you read that had a profound effect on you? What topics have you been wanting to read, but haven’t gotten around to it? What is your favorite genre?