We can’t think of a better way to spend a warm spring or summer day than taking a book and mug of coffee to our front porch and enjoying a book amongst our plants and a light spring breeze. (Or if you’re more of a hammock person, we get that too.) Now that we’re thinking about it, it doesn’t actually matter what season it is, we’re book people through and through. But we also recognize that there are those out there that simply aren’t book people. And while we don’t really understand it, we do respect it. But as it turns out, there are some major benefits to reading every day so whether this is a goal of yours or you’re just here to pat yourself on the back because it takes the jaws of life to get you away from your book, enjoy these reasons scientists and researchers say we need to curl up with a book every day.
(image via: istock)
Reading reduces stress. Researchers looked at heart rates and muscle tensions of groups of people doing various activities that are said to reduce stress. And wouldn’t you know, those that were reading were already experiencing significantly lower stress levels after a mere six minutes. How does this work exactly? The art of distraction.
Reading increases your vocabulary. The University of London conducted an interesting study on the language skills of people aged 16 – 42. The average score of the younger participants was 55%, while the older participants scored an average of 63% on the same test, so the results were that we continue to learn and improve our language skills as we age and the study also found that those who read everyday score higher across the board.
(image via: istock)
Reading increases our empathy. In 2013 Harvard conducted a number of experiments and found that those who read fiction tend to be really good at predicting how characters will act and identifying emotions, which, researchers felt speaks to the ability of those participants to understand others’ mental states.
Reading makes us more creative. When we read fiction, whether we realize it or not, we tend to keep our minds open because we’re open to uncertainty and, in fact, welcome and embrace it. Now, most of us can’t say the same thing about our everyday life, but studies show that those who read fiction tend to have more flexible and creative versus those who don’t, or those that prefer to read non-fiction.