In this age of the internet many of us will browse, text, chat but we will rarely read. Considering the numerous benefits of reading, this is quite a shame.
Research shows that those who read are more intelligent, they are better leaders, and they even live longer compared to those who do not read.
In this article, we let you know why you should take up the habit of cracking a book more often.
Hidden Benefits of Reading That Most People Don’t Know About
Whenever you make a purchase through links on this page we make a small commission from our affiliate partners. Learn more
When you think of the benefits of reading you probably think of your old school days when you memorized big history books or classical literature texts to gain knowledge. However, every day reading provides us with solutions that can help us solve our modern day problems. Here are a few little-known benefits of reading.
· Improves Your Strained Relationships
Reading is one of the little-known ways that can offer you solutions to fix a strained relationship. For many of us, finding the right solution for strained relationships is hard. However, reading especially of fiction books have been shown to offer ideas that can help us understand others emotions.
Books, according to an article written in the New York Times are a brain stimulator and can change how we act in real life. Fiction books due to their imaginative metaphors and detailed descriptions give us an opportunity to enter into others thoughts and emotions. This helps us to be empathetic and to understand other people’s emotions which are important factors in building relationships.
· Reading Builds Tolerance
Reading opens our minds and helps us connect with characters that we might not approve of in real life. It enhances inclusivity. Think of a time where you read a novel and you were the biggest cheerleader of the book’s hero. This was regardless of the hero’s race, sexual orientation, age, or other demographic information given.
The details of a paper found in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology shows that young people who read Harry Potter improved their views on stigmatized groups of people such as refugees, gays, and immigrants. The paper that was made up of three studies concluded that the reading of the books helped fight prejudice among the readers.
· Reading Builds Our Vocabulary
Being well-spoken is a skill each one of us would like to have.
Well, reading can help you get there.
Reading exposes you to numerous words. You also get a lot of knowledge on different topics. This helps you express yourself better and boosts your self-confidence.
Additionally, reading improves the learning of new languages. For those seeking to learn a foreign language, reading is one of the easiest ways to improve your writing and speaking of a new language.
A 2013 study conducted by Emory University showed that the brains of frequent readers compared to the brains of those who did not read had increased activity in the temporal cortex area which is the part of the brain that helps us understand language.
Incredible Health Benefits of Reading
If you are wondering if reading is good for your health.
The answer is an emphatic YES.
Any avid reader will tell you that you are missing out on great health benefits if you are not in the habit of reading regularly.
If you are looking for motivation to take up and read that self-help book you have been putting off for months, here are a few health benefits of reading that will motivate you.
· Reading Relaxes You
Most of us turn to our gadgets or the television after a long day at work. However, a book is the best remedy for a stressful day. Researchers from the University of Sussex found out that reading reduces stress by 68% which is more relaxing than listening to music or drinking a cup of tea.
Reading a good story or a motivational book will relax your mind. Reading helps you concentrate on the article or story you are reading. At that moment, all your troubles are forgotten.
According to a report written by the New Yorker, reading brings inner calm and relaxation that is similar to what is achieved when one takes relaxation medication. Regular readers according to the report have lower stress and depression levels compared to non-readers.
· You Will Sleep Better
Reading can help solve your insomnia problems.
Reading does not only distract you from stressful situations, but it also engages your imagination. This allows you to be in a state of consciousness fully absorbed in your book or article. When your mind is engaged like this, there is no room for tension or stress. In such a state, your body and mind pave the way for sleep.
Unlike the artificial light of your laptop or your phone that gives your brain the message that it is time to wake up, reading a book for an hour or more calms your brain preparing it for sleep.
Reading has been proposed as one of the most effective activities that can help you create a sleep ritual. This is because it is an activity that helps you disengage from the activities of your day. It helps you sleep peacefully and wake refreshed for another day.
· It Slows Down Memory Loss
Reading is to the brain what exercise is to the body.
When you are reading, you have to remember all the characters, plots of the story, and backgrounds given in a book. The result is that your brain creates new brain pathways which enhance your memory recall ability.
Further, research done by Robert Wilson of Rush University Medical Centre in Chicago shows that the memory of adults who were not readers declined by 32 per cent compared to the memory of those who were avid readers.
Studies also show that people who love to read are less likely to suffer from Alzheimer disease. In fact, the National Institute of Ageing advises adults to read more books to reduce their prevalence of suffering from the disease.
· Reading Adds You More Years
A book has been shown to be the best food for your brain, and there is data to prove it.
In 2016, Yale School of Public Health researchers found out that reading a book for as little as 30 minutes daily for some years can increase your average life by two years or longer.
When reading is practiced over a lifetime, it encourages the healthy growth and functioning of the brain. For the elderly, reading decreases mental health decline by 32% allowing you to live a more healthy life.
· Read to Mitigate Mild Mental Health Problems
Mental health problems such as anxiety and depressions are very common especially among the elderly. A report from MentalHealth.Gov shows that one in five adults in the US suffers from a mental health issue.
Reading is now being prescribed to people suffering from such mental health issues. While this might not be the only effective treatment, it has been shown to alleviate the symptoms of such health concerns.
Bibliotherapy is a concept that is gaining popularity among psychologists. It is the use of books to treat mental or psychological problems. It has been used to successfully provide solutions for those suffering from depression, relationships, self-esteem problems, substance abuse among other problems.
For Those Who Want To Lead, Read Leaders Invest In Themselves by Reading
Do you know a great leader who is not an avid reader?
I bet not.
Reading has been quoted by many leaders as a factor that has helped them succeed. Steve Jobs, Phil Knight, Winston Churchill, Elon Musk, Bill Gates are all avid writers and readers to name but a few.
A survey done by Booktrust in the UK showed that people from a richer background are more likely to be avid readers than those from a poorer background. More than six of ten (62%) of the surveyed adults from rich backgrounds admitted that they read weekly or daily. However, only four in ten (42%) of the surveyed adults from poor backgrounds confessed that they read a book daily or weekly.
The advantages of reading for those who want to lead are vast. Let’s sample a few.
· Reading Makes You More Intelligent
From increasing your vocabulary to exposing you to more knowledge, reading increases your intelligence as a leader.
Leaders who read have knowledge of different subjects which makes them appear more intelligent than non-readers.
· Reading Enhances Innovation
Think of a time when you read a mystery novel, and you solved the mystery before you could even finish the book. You were able to analyze the plot of the story and figure out how the story would end.
In the same manner, leaders are faced with mysteries daily. Reading helps them to think critically and come up with solutions to difficult situations.
Further reading helps leaders gain a lot of insights in different fields which improves their critical thinking and innovation. This also allows them to have knowledge of solutions that can solve existing problems.
· Reading Improves Leaders Empathy
Reading exposes a leader to different characters with different traits and personalities. Through reading one gains knowledge on how to deal with such characters even in real life.
Reading also heightens emotional intelligence which is an important skill for leaders. It helps them cultivate social skills such as communication skills, listening skills, teamwork, conflict resolutions skills among others. All these improve the leader’s ability to lead.
· Leaders Who Read Are Healthy
As mentioned earlier, reading reduces stress and helps one sleep better. A leader who is calm and relaxed will be able to lead others and better concentrate on his work.
Reading keeps a leader from depression, anxiety and activates his brains for effective leadership.
The Benefits of Reading for Pleasure and Satisfaction in Life
While some of us will read to keep up with the current affairs, others will read for fun.Whether you are an avid reader of romance novels, comic books, or poetry there are benefits that come with reading for pleasure. Some of them are:
· You Drive Pleasure from Reading
Reading your favourites genre makes you happy.
Even in the advent of the digital age, people still read for pleasure. A survey done in the UK among 15000 adult readers concluded that 76% of the surveyed readers read because it makes them feel good and it improves their lives.
· Reading Helps You Appreciate Others
We derive social pleasure from reading.
We are able to relate to the characters and the plot of the story. We also get to learn about other world perspectives and appreciate them.
We learn the way of life of others who might not be near us and find pleasure from their cultures and experiences.
· Reading Gives Us Inner Pleasure
Books can provide us with solutions for challenging situations in our lives. We are able to figure out what we need to get done to achieve our goals through books.
Reading gives us a chance to experience an inner pleasure. You might start reading a book while depressed, but by the time you put it down, you will find yourself in high spirit with a solution to your problem.
There is no better time to start reading than now!
Step away from your phone and enjoy a good read today and be among those who reap the numerous benefits of reading in the near future.