7 Reasons Why Reading is Good for Your Mind, Body, and Spirit

For a bookworm, there are few things in life better than curling up with a good novel, and we’re lucky enough to be able to access books by a whole manner of means: new from book stores, second hand from markets and goodwill outlets, libraries, and even digitally on e-readers and tablet computers.

Yet, for those of you who are still to fall under the spell of literature, perhaps you’d be more motivated if you knew exactly how beneficial reading is as a pastime? From helping stress levels, to providing education and a community of likeminded readers, let’s explore the ways reading is good for your mind, body and spirit…
Reading increases your vocabulary

Some books can be quite challenging in their content and syntax, so you may find it worthwhile to have a dictionary close by when you sit down for a reading session. Particular styles, authors or periods of writing may prove harder than others. If you’re up for a real challenge, try anything written by James Joyce!

Don’t let this challenge put you off though. A wider and more advanced vocabulary has benefits beyond the world of literature; a better grasp on language will help you communicate more effectively, explain your point of view, and enhance your social and conversational skills. The more books you read, the more words you’ll be exposed to, so what are you waiting for?

Open a book, close down your screens

These days, our eyes spend so much time focused on backlit screens on devices such as laptops, cell phones, tablets and TVs. Give your eyes a break, and focus on something a little more natural, like a book.

Remember though, before you get too lost in the pages of your next novel, that you’ll help your eyes even more by taking frequent breaks to focus on objects in the distance: using both your long and short sight.

Improve your sleep by reading in bed

How do you usually wind down before bedtime? Watching the 10 pm news and then checking your phone? Do you collapse into the sheets just after cleaning up the dishes, then wonder why you take so long to sink into slumber? Our bodies and minds both need ample time to relax before sleep, so reading a book before bedtime can be highly therapeutic.

Mind you, many book lovers would blame a compelling tale for their lack of sleep — once you truly get hooked into a book, it’s difficult to put it down!

Reading provides escapism

Travel writing is an extremely popular style of literature, as it has the power to transport the reader to a new land through its evocative descriptions and sense of place. Yet, a reader can just as much feel the sensation of ‘being there’ with a well-written Science Fiction novel based in an imaginary dimension! The best authors will truly make you believe in the characters and locations they are building; you’ll quickly and easily be whisked away into a different world from your own. 

Why is that good? Well, checking out of your everyday life for a short while leaves you feeling more balanced emotionally and mentally. 

Learn new things with fiction and non-fiction

Indeed, it’s not only reference books and non-fiction books that provide education, you can also learn a great deal about culture, history, religion and many more through novels and poems.

Yet, if non-fiction is more your vibe, you’ll find there are endless editions and publications to dive in to. Take a visit to your local bookstore and ask for a tour of their non-fiction section — perhaps take a chance on a subject you’ve never read about before. If you’re well-read on the arts, why not pick up an astronomy guide? If you’re a history buff, why not try spirituality? Within the world of spirituality there is much to explore, this website displays a thorough list of topics in written and audio form.

Reduce your stress with reading

Countless studies have shown the correlation between reading time and lower stress levels. So, whilst it may seem you’ve not got time in your busy life to sit down with a book, if you made time for it you may find yourself feeling more capable to take on the challenges you face.

One study found that as little as six minutes a day spent reading — and who doesn’t have that time, really? — reduces stress levels by more than two thirds (68%). Comparatively, listening to music, taking a walk and having a cup of coffee proved less effective for bringing down heart rate and relieving muscle tension.

Books create bonds

You needn’t look far to find a community of avid readers in your local area or online.

Readers have been meeting in Book Clubs for over five centuries now as the enjoyment of reading is often amplified by the opportunity to share your thoughts and bond over the stories. Indeed, books also make great gifts or heirlooms — passing on a novel that has had significant impact on your heart is a wonderful way to educate, nurture and show love for your family and friends.

Furthermore, by tapping into the existing bookworm community you may make new friends and expand your social circle. Why not attend a ticketed book launch, a reading circle or a literature discussion group? Whether you do this in person or online, you’ll find conversation flowing smoothly as you discuss your book experiences.

Start reading today….

As with any new habit, creating the time to sit down and read may take some effort. Nevertheless, the pay offs are sweeping, as we’ve seen. What’s more, reading can be a wonderful social activity for the family: you needn’t take yourself off to your room to read alone. Instead of sitting down to watch a movie or a TV show after dinner, you could all sit together on the couch and read. With reading improving knowledge, emotional stability and social skills, there’s no reason not to.

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