Reading is one of those activities that comes with many benefits, including a range of mental health benefits. There’s nothing quite like sitting back on your bed, on the sofa, in a coffee shop – or wherever you are – with a book in your hand and your favourite drink. It’s so tranquil spending time relaxing with a good book, there is quite literally nothing like it.
There’s no doubt about it, reading is a great escape from stress and worry, but what it is that makes reading such a fantastic way to escape your problems, and what other benefits does this hobby come with? For everything that you should know, read on.
Keeps your mind active
Research has shown that people who read tend to have more active minds than people that don’t read, and people who have these brains are more than two times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s Disease in later life or struggle with mental health problems. Studies have shown that by staying mentally alert, you can significantly improve your mental health and wellness in both the long and short-term.
Transports you away from stress
Studies have shown that snuggling up with a good book can transport you away from your worries and concerns, helping to relax your mind and relieve feelings of stress. A study undertaken by the University of Sussex found that reading for just six minutes can reduce your feelings of stress by up to 68%. Of course, a substantial article, such as the one by Daniel Handler, for instance, can also have the same effect.
You become more empathetic
By spending time reading about a large number of different people from various walks of life and circumstances than you can help you to better understand that everyone is different and realize that you are able to relate to different people in different situations to your own. By reading your mental state changes and you naturally become more empathetic, able to show more empathy to people in different situations to your own.
Strengthens your focus
Did you know that reading encourages your mind to train itself to focus better? This is because when you read, you have to retain the information that you have read, in order to continue the rest of the book. Reading requires your full focus – something that is lacking in today’s society with many people constantly multi-tasking. Simply by reading for 15 minutes per day, you can significantly improve your mental focus and ability to concentrate.
Reading helps you sleep
Then there’s the fact that reading helps you to sleep. Studies have shown that people who read regularly tend to be far better sleepers than people who don’t read. Stress can often make it difficult to fall asleep, which could indicate why reading can help to boost sleep levels as it can reduce stress levels significantly in a fairly short space of time.
Reading is an amazing hobby to have, it offers you an incredible escape from your day to day life, allowing you to reduce your feelings of stress and worry and escape into another world.