5 Ways Reading Books Can Boost Wellness

How reading books promotes happiness.

Man engrossed in reading a book at his workstation.

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Picture yourself curled up in a cozy spot, an intriguing new novel nestled in your hands. Turning page after page, you find yourself immersed in the sights and sounds of a far away world. Losing yourself in a good book can transport you to another time and place.

Not only can reading help you acquire new knowledge and information, but medical research confirms that it can help you manage stress, improve your cognitive health and make you a healthier, happier, and more insightful person. 

Stress-relieving benefits

According to Everyday Health, reading on a regular basis is a wonderful way to relax and manage the ongoing stresses of daily life. “Reading can help to reduce stress levels, providing a much-needed respite from the challenges of daily life.

When you’re lost in a good book, your body begins to relax, and your breathing slows down. This can lead to a decrease in heart rate and blood pressure, which can promote overall feelings of well-being.”  Dr. Alice Williams explained.

Woman in a hammock reading a book.

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Boost emotional learning

Reading to young children or babies boosts the development of key emotional learning skills like empathy. These skills continue to be enhanced as readers grow into adulthood.

Reading literary fiction may be particularly beneficial in helping improve emotional intelligence and critical thinking. “By reading about the lives and experiences of others, we can gain a greater insight into their thoughts and feelings. This can lead to a more tolerant and compassionate attitude towards others, as well as a better understanding of our own emotions,” Dr. Williams told Everyday Health.

Reading to young a child.

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Spark creative expression

Delving into the intrigue and drama of great literature can help people greatly expand their creativity. The Book Buff claims that readers learn from their exposure to the experiences of others and adapt these insights to create a new and unique way of understanding.

Reading works of fiction activates parts of the brain that enable creativity since readers have to make use of their imaginations in order to fully comprehend the story. 

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Enhance career development

According to the Harvard Business Review, reading literary fiction can help people develop the personal character traits that will make them desirable employees.

They also stated that business greats like Warren Buffet, Elon Musk and Bill Gates are avid readers and expound on the benefits of reading for all. Most of the books on their recommended reading lists are works of nonfiction

A chapter a day

Reading improves cognitive health and may help prevent memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia by stimulating oxygen and blood flow to the brain, Everyday Health explained. A study conducted by the University of Michigan's Institute of Social Research found that people who read books may actually live longer lives. On average the readers' life spans were almost two years longer when compared to those who do not read. 

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There are many ways you can incorporate reading into your life and reap the varied cognitive and emotional benefits that it can yield.

Whether it is online, on an e-reader or an actual old fashioned volume, go find yourself a great book today and settle in for a nice long read, your brain and your stress level will thank you!