Benefits Of Reading: When we read, we relax, discover unknown worlds, acquire new knowledge, but we also put up barriers to neurodegenerative diseases and fight depression. Let’sLet’s take a look at some of the benefits of reading for our mental health.
1. 7 Benefits of Reading
a. Improves Cognitive Reserve
Many studies show that the habit of reading strengthens neural connections and improves cognitive reserve (resistance of the mind to injury and deterioration).
Although being a regular reader will not make us immune to degenerative diseases, what we will achieve is that the deterioration is slower.
b. Promotes Rest
Getting into the habit of collecting up a book and reading for a while in bed after a while becomes a signal that our mind interprets as indicating that the time has come to relax and sleep.
A study carried out by a research team from Harvard Medical School (United States) reveals that people who use electronic books take longer to sleep, which results in a poorer quality of sleep.
c. Reduce Stress
The exercise of reading usually brings with it the creation of moments of relaxation in which our mind calms down. By relaxing, we reduce the levels of cortisol, a hormone that is released with stress.
A study carried out by the British University of Sussex concluded that reading could reduce stress levels by up to 68%.
d. Fight Depression
Novels and poetry can hold valuable therapeutic power within them. If the appropriate readings are chosen, they can serve as personal growth, especially those favouring identification with a character or a specific situation.
The London head office of the School of Life offers bibliotherapy in individual and group sessions to help people cope with daily life’s emotional challenges.
e. Improve Personal Relationships
An American study published in the journal Science reveals that reading fiction improves social skills.
This type of literature allows us to appreciate the world from other points of view and identify with the characters, which positively affects social skills development.
People who read fiction are more empathetic compared to those who read nonfiction or read nothing.
f. Boosts Memory
A recent study from the University of Waterloo (Canada) tested four methods for learning written information: silent reading, listening to someone else read, listening to a recording of yourself reading, and reading aloud in real-time.
Test results showed that reading aloud to yourself resulted in the best memory.
g. Lengthens Life
A team of analysts from the Yale University School of Medicine (USA) affirms that those who read live longer. The work has been an issue in the journal Social Science & Medicine.
Without distinguishing between physical books and e-books, the researchers found that book readers live an average of two years longer than those who don’t have this good habit.
2. A Habit Worth Adopting
A habit that is well worth acquiring not only for being a magnificent entertainment but also for being an inexhaustible source of benefits for our mental health.
In the gallery of this article, we have collected some of the most outstanding properties to continue to enjoy reading, but from now on, being more aware of how much this habit does for your health.
3. Is It Better to Read on Screen or Paper?
The answer is not clear. Some time ago, when reading on digital media burst into society as a new phenomenon, most readers described it as something uncomfortable reserved for short and easy-to-understand information.
Preferring texts printed on paper, especially when the information required paying attention or the ultimate goal was an in-depth analysis of the subject at hand.
However, as the new “digital native” generations have emerged, the trend has been changing, with digital reading gaining ground.
And it is that, in general, our brain, although it adapts, it is more difficult to adjust to a new situation (go from paper to screen) than to learn a new process from scratch (digital reading)
Proof of this are works such as the one carried out in 2012 by the “British Journal of Educational Technology” in which they found no significant differences between university students who read a 600-word text in digital or printed format.