We work super hard. At the end of the day, for whatever reason, our brain fuel is spent. Our energy tanks are empty. And the only thing we can do is watch TV.
Reading takes brain cells. Or, at least, it feels that way. It’s not as easy as watching TV.
However, here are seven reasons why it’s more rewarding.
1. Reading Increases Your Intelligence
Reading novels increases your vocabulary and introduces you to situations and information that can challenge the way you think about a situation or might give you a different perspective. The author you’re reading doesn’t have to be an expert on anything in order for your intelligence to rise through her work. All she has to do is give you a fresh perspective. Your brain will do the rest.
2. Reading Reduces Stress
Even if the story you’re reading is taking you on an emotional roller coaster, the rituals you have around your reading time are things that settle you, put you in a better mind space, and releases you from the stress and anxiety you’ve been in. Print is better for this, but any type of book that you can curl up around, or find a quiet space to read help you de-stress.
3. Reading Can Help You Get Better Sleep
Reading before bedtime relaxes you and pulls you out of survival mode, it pulls you out of your anxiety. You’re swept away into someone else’s world, someone else’s problems, and while you’re reading, you can pause at your time to figure out “better ways of handling” the situation. This exercise can help the mind find a more peaceful REM cycle.
4. Reading Helps You Live Longer
No joke. There was a study done that showed that reading books 3.5 hours a week increased your life expectancy by 23%. The study claimed that by reading books, they were able to undergo deep reading cycles where they were able to draw connections to other parts of the book. So, they were able to see the nuggets the author dropped and put them together. They were able to find real-world applications and some of those helped them alleviate bad or worse situations.
5. Reading Makes You a Better Person
People who read books have more empathy, social perception, and emotional intelligence. After all, when we read, we get to experience other people failing at certain things, in certain situations. Those situations might be similar to something we face in real life, just, you know, without a vampire. Reading gives you experiences to learn from whereas watching TV simply gives you a window to look through.
6. Reading Staves Off Mental Decline
This kind of goes hand-in-hand with the first point, but goes a bit further. Alzheimer’s, and other mental decline disorders can be slowed or decreased by up to 32% by simply reading. Why? Because we authors put a lot of mental exercises into each book as you try to figure out the puzzle we weave. You’re welcome.
7. Reading Helps With Depression
This is a big one for me. I struggle with depression as well as anxiety and stress. Staying happy – or at least functional – is a lot of work. Reading is the medicine of the soul, heart, and mind. Because reading gives you experiences, you feel as though you’re interacting with characters, giving you the connections you might be missing in real life. (Don’t worry. You’re not alone. There’s a reason why some of my favorite people are pretend and will always be that way. It’s okay.) Reading also gives you the kinds of experiences you won’t get in real life. You can take vacations to far-off planets. You can be an assassin. You can do a million things that real life is keeping you from being able to do. And that helps.
So, what are you waiting for?
Make a plan to read this week. Pick a book. It doesn’t have to be mine, but that would be cool, too.
And then see how you feel afterward. If you feel better, even only a little, then build on that a bit at a time.
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell me what book you’re reading, especially if it’s not mine. LOL! I might be adding that to my TBR as well!
Happy reading and be healthy!