Reading is (or it should be) an important part of our lives. Whether we do it because we love the feeling that we become more knowledgeable, or simply because we know there are certain benefits to it, most readers have one thing in mind: how to read more and better. But why is reading good for you?
Here at Basmo, we are completely dedicated to making sure you are not only the best reader you can be but that you are also well-informed. Making sure that you understand why reading is a healthy and rewarding activity can improve your motivation and dedication to this activity. So, here’s why you should never skip your reading sessions.
Is reading good for you?
Without beating around the bush too much, yes. Reading is an amazingly healthy and rewarding activity and there is really no question about it: reading is good for you. Whether you read fiction, technical books, or even comics or magazines, there are many advantages for you to enjoy if you are into reading.
As a matter of fact, research has shown that reading can actually increase life expectancy, despite the fact that it is considered a sedentary activity. And that is just one study that proves that reading is a beneficial activity, out of many. So how can something that makes you live longer be anything other than amazing for you?
Why is reading good for you?
There are many reasons why reading can do you a lot of good. While some have to do with your physical health, others tend to help with mental health or general knowledge. Here are the most important advantages you can enjoy if you are a dedicated reader.
1. You will live a longer life
As stated above, reading has been found to increase life expectancy. Those who are into the habit of reading every day enjoy quite a lot of physical and mental health benefits that in turn extend their lives. Not only that but age-related cognitive decline can be significantly delayed or even prevented by simply having healthy reading habits.
2. You will be less stressed
Unfortunately, stress is a big part of our lives. The good news is that reading has been found to be an extremely effective stress-relief tool. Research has shown that as little as 6 minutes of reading can reduce stress by 68%. While the numbers are definitely impressive, what is actually even more staggering is how accessible this tool is. Reading is a simple activity that requires very little effort and preparation and yet, it is a lot more effective than many others like watching TV or playing video games when it comes to helping you overcome the stress of your daily life.
3. You will be wiser
Regardless of your preferences when it comes to reading, whether you like reading fiction, romance novels, or simply newspapers and magazines, there’s quite a lot for you to learn from any text you can get your hands on. Even by reading casually, with no specific intent to learn, we acquire information, learn new words, understand new concepts, and gain a better understanding of the world. Reading exposes us to life stories, real or fictional events, particularly interesting situations, and all that is somehow the equivalent of gaining life experience to a certain extent.
4. You will be more empathetic
Reading improves our levels of empathy. That’s because it represents a fast track to experiencing many situations that are quite rare or unlikely in our day-to-day lives. Reading about the adventures of your heroes, seeing how they react to certain scenarios, how they discuss with other characters in the book, and how they think is guaranteed to help you keep a more open mind in your daily life. You will unconsciously let yourself be inspired by the things you read, and the fact that you are constantly gaining a form of life experience through your reading is going to make you a lot more comfortable in certain real-life situations.
5. You will have a better vocabulary
Probably one of the most important things you will gain by being a reader is a better vocabulary. Nobody knows the meaning of every word out there and that should tell you something about the number of words you could learn. By reading, you will often encounter new words and you will either deduce what they mean or you are going to be forced to look in a dictionary to find their meaning. Having a rich vocabulary is not only a great way for you to improve your reading performance (the more words you learn, the less likely it is for you to encounter new ones that you don’t understand) and your memory, but it will also help you write and speak better.
6. You will communicate more efficiently
The way we communicate plays a very important role in the quality of our lives. Not being able to express ourselves properly can lead to a lot of frustration. Reading is a great tool to use if you want to improve your communication skills. How does reading help you? Well, as I mentioned above, it improves your vocabulary and as you would expect, communicating is a lot easier when you always have the right words at hand.
Moreover, most books also contain a great deal of dialogue. You may not think it’s important, but reading conversations can help you become a more efficient communicator. It’s almost like practicing without practicing.
7. You will have a better imagination
Unlike other forms of entertainment and pastime activities, reading doesn’t provide you with the whole picture. Reading leaves a lot of blanks to be filled and your brain does a wonderful job at that. While you read, you are forced to imagine what the characters look like, how they move, and how the surroundings look where the action takes place. This mental exercise is very useful. It keeps your brain healthy and agile, and also helps you develop a richer and more vivid imagination. Needless to say, this doesn’t only help you while reading but also makes you more likely to come up with creative solutions.
8. You will be happier
Reading can boost our mood considerably. As I already mentioned, reading is a great tool to use when you are stressed. By decreasing our stress levels, it can help us become not only more relaxed but also happier. This activity helps us disconnect from our day-to-day lives and it can put us in a state of trance (to a certain extent). It can be similar to a deep meditation session, at the end of which we are left with a more positive outlook on life.
How to make reading even better?
Basmo can help you read more by encouraging you to set reading goals and helping you achieve your maximum potential.
Basmo is your ultimate resource for reading lists. Being organized is important and here at Basmo, we understand that better than you think. That is why our app comes packed with the best reading list feature currently available on the market. You can create as many reading lists as you want, personalize them however you see fit and edit them as needed.
With Basmo, you can increase your comprehension and retention levels by simply taking notes while reading. Whenever a reading session is ongoing, the note-taking feature becomes automatically available and you can simply start typing your thoughts or observations. These remain saved within the book you’re reading and you can easily access, edit, and format them however you need.
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Basmo can easily help you set and reach your reading early goals. It’s super easy to use and 100% free to download, so what have you got to lose?
What does reading do to you?
On top of the general benefits I presented above, there are some pretty specific effects reading has on our bodies. You may find it somewhat hard to believe, but reading doesn’t only affect your mental health and abilities but also does certain things for your general well-being.
1. It lowers blood pressure and heart rate
Research conducted back in 2009 compares the efficiency of different stress-relief tools like yoga, meditation, humor, and reading. The study revealed not only that reading is more effective than the aforementioned strategies, but also that it has a tremendous effect on lowering blood pressure and heart rate. In a world where blood pressure and heart conditions are responsible for so many deaths, a natural and accessible tool like reading comes as a godsend.
2. Reading works out your brain
Reading keeps your brain young and agile. It increases brain connectivity and has a positive effect on your brain’s health overall. Even though they don’t have too much in common from an anatomical point of view, the brain is quite similar to our muscles. The more you train them, the better they become. Just like a session of intense physical training every now and then has a very positive effect on how efficient and strong your muscles are, having good reading habits is going to help your brain stay agile and healthy.
3. Reading helps you sleep better
As long as you keep in mind that reading should be done in ergonomically healthy positions, reading before going to sleep can have a positive effect on your sleep quality and the actual rest you are getting. First of all, that’s because the alternative for most people would be scrolling on their phones or watching TV, which both expose us to the dreaded blue light of our modern screens. As you probably know, exposing ourselves to blue light before sleep can seriously affect our efficiency in getting rest.
Also, because reading is relaxing and works wonders for our stress levels, our sleep is going to be a lot sweeter and more rewarding.
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Track the books you read, monitor the time you spend reading and keep notes on your reading habits and how it makes you feel. You can set yourself targets for the time you spend reading and you can get notified whenever you’re behind on your reading time.
Is reading good for your mental health?
Yes. Reading is not only good for your physical health but also does quite a lot for your mental health as well. The mental health benefits of reading are clearly not to be ignored, as they can help with quite a varied series of issues, including anxiety and depression.
A recent study has shown that bibliotherapy helps people reduce the symptoms of anxiety during the Covid 19 pandemic. Of course, the effects reading has on reducing anxiety are not limited to the pandemic and are just as valid in normal conditions.
Being a distracting enough activity, reading can also help people suffering from depression. It can help keep your mind off of the things that are stressing you out or making you feel depressed and it can provide you with a nice and healthy escape from the reality that doesn’t treat you so well.
Is reading fiction good for you?
Despite what some might be thinking, reading fiction is far from being a waste of time. After all, reading textbooks is not exactly relaxing and fun, regardless of how interesting the topic might be for you. Reading non-fiction does have certain benefits, but it doesn’t stimulate your imagination the way fiction does and doesn’t help you unwind after a tough day.
You may not learn as many practical things from fiction as you do from non-fiction, but not every positive effect can be quantified. The feeling of relaxation you get while reading fiction, the way it stimulates you, and how it helps you escape your daily routine are incredible benefits.
Is reading comics good for you?
Absolutely, it is. Reading comics is almost as beneficial as reading regular fiction. You get the same amazing experience, with an added bit of fun. Plus, for struggling readers, comics can be a very good alternative and an important tool in overcoming the difficulties they face in becoming more efficient and proactive readers.
Comics are fun, they can improve the reader’s vocabulary, expose the reader to a lot of dialogue which can increase their level of empathy and conversational skills, and also come with the added benefit of having interesting drawings that beautifully tie everything together.
So, why is reading good for you? As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to call reading a very beneficial way to spend our time. Use Basmo to maximize the experience and you will see that it makes a huge difference.
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