Woman Reading a Book Outdoors

Pick up That Book! 8 Scientific Benefits of Reading

Almost a quarter of Americans haven’t read a book in the last year. 

In modern times, it may feel as though you simply don’t have time to curl up on the sofa with a good book. Let alone, search for a book you want to read!

But, there are many scientific benefits of reading that can help improve your life. By carving out just a few hours per week to read, you’ll notice many benefits.

1. Reading Will Help You Live Longer

It’s true! Yale researchers found that reading just a chapter per day can increase your life span by up to three and a half years. 

As well as enjoying reading a good book, you’ll also be increasing your life span meaning you have even longer to read. 

If you’re interested in living for longer, why not pick up books about health and vitality? For example, try out The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner or How Not to Die by Gene Stone and Michael Greger.

2. Enhance Your Creative Capabilities

If you’ve always dreamed of writing a novel, then it’s time to pick up other people’s books in order to inspire yourself and learn your craft. 

Whenever you open up a book, you go in with an open mind. In everyday life, we are often on our guard which doesn’t help us be creative.

Focus on reading fiction if you want to increase your creative capabilities. Why not check out the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction winners? The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead won this year’s prize or check out The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.

3. Learn More About the World

As we can’t travel right now, the best way to learn more about the planet, its countries and inhabitants is to start reading about them. 

Pick up a history book of the world or delve into a project such as reading a book from every single country in the world. 

If you are interested in a foreign country, such as Italy or Japan, why not also begin learning the local language too?

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Not only will this boost your intelligence, but you’ll also have something interesting to chat with your friends about too.

By learning about new countries and cultures, we become more open-minded and empathetic.

4. Reduce Your Stress Levels

Are you feeling stressed or anxious? If you’ve tried meditation, been for a long walk, and listened to some calming music, perhaps it’s time to pick up a book. 

Look for a genre that interests you. It could be a trashy summer read or a thriller to keep you guessing. Why not take a soak in the tub while you get lost in your book?

Reading has been proven to ease any tension that you hold in your muscles and even lower the heart rate. In fact, it works better at relaxing the body that breathing techniques or listening to music. 

5. Fall Asleep Faster

As reading relaxes the body, it also helps you drift off into a deep sleep. Why not create an evening routine in which you wind down slowly?

Put away screens two hours before bed, make yourself a cup of tea, cuddle up under a warm, heavy blanket, and read a relaxing book for half an hour. 

You may not be able to read much before you feel eyes drooping and your body starts to relax. 

6. Become a Happier Person

Just as we feel better after working out our bodies, we also feel great when we workout our brains too! Reading is a brilliant yet relaxing brain workout. 

If you regularly read books that you enjoy and books that help you learn something new, you will find your quality of life increase in interesting ways.

As a result of carving out this much-needed you time, you’ll begin to feel happier. Who knows what lessons are just around the corner. 

If you have kids, why not read to them every evening? By sharing a story together, you will delve into a new world and create memories that last a lifetime.

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7. Learn to Be Empathetic 

Do you struggle to understand the people around you? Sometimes it feels as though you’re the only rational person in the room. 

In order to expand your empathy and begin to understand your peers, try picking up a book. It doesn’t matter whether you choose fiction or non-fiction. Reading helps you enter the mind of someone else and learn to understand their ways of thinking.

Undergoing a period of self-reflection is a brilliant way to figure out why you find the people around you so frustrating. Furthermore, reading about the human mind may help you learn why others are behaving in a confusing manner. 

By being empathetic, we form closer bonds with our loved ones. We also learn how to resolve conflict faster, become more resilient, and trusting.

Check out books such as The Empathy Effect by Helen Riess and The Art of Empathy by Karla McLaren. 

8. Improve Your Concentration Levels

Reading has been proven to boost concentration levels. As a result of good concentration, we gain benefits such as the ability to control our thoughts, focus, and improve our memory and self-confidence. 

During quarantine, why not focus on reading books that help boost your concentration? Set a timer for an hour and don’t do anything but focus on your book. 

If you’re struggling to find a book, check out this list of the best quarantine books to delve into. 

There Are Many More Scientific Benefits of Reading

As this list proves, there are many scientific benefits of reading. By picking up a book for just half an hour per day, you will see huge improvements in concentration and empathy. 

Why not schedule a time during your week to read a book? Make this an enjoyable experience by creating a routine of making a cup of tea and curling up on the sofa. 

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