Can Reading Help You Improve Your Health and Wellness?

Managing day to day stress and balancing work and life has become increasingly difficult in the modern age. But sometimes improving your overall health and wellbeing can be as simple as investing some of your time in finding a quiet space and reading a book. Whether you’re interested in dramatic fiction or informative non-fiction, taking time for reading daily can have some surprising benefits. Here’s why you should consider picking up a good book today.

Escape can be good for you

While addictive behaviors such as drug use and alcohol abuse are a bad way to escape from the stresses of the day, escaping into a good book is a healthy and productive way to spend some downtime. Getting out of your head for a little bit every day can have wonderful improvements to your health and wellbeing.

You just might learn something

As Dr. Seuss once wrote, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Diving into a good book opens up a whole world of knowledge starting from a very young age. Exposure to vocabulary through reading (particularly reading children’s books) not only leads to a higher score on reading tests but also higher scores on general tests of intelligence for children. Plus, stronger early reading skills may mean higher intelligence later in life. That education continues on into your adult life. Reading helps educate you on new topics, trends, and industry developments. From a personal wellness standpoint, it can help you learn new skills on how to present yourself better, manage stress better, and even grow within your role.

Reading can make you more empathetic

Getting lost in a good read can make it easier for you to relate to and understand others because so often a story puts you in the mind of another. Fiction specifically has the power to help its readers understand what others are thinking by reading other people’s emotions. The impact is much more significant on those who read literary fiction as opposed to those who read nonfiction. But both can put your own experience into a broader context. When you expand your awareness, you improve your emotional intelligence and therefore your own emotional wellbeing.

Reading can help you sleep

What better way to improve your health and wellbeing than by getting a better night’s sleep? Reading can do that too. Creating a bedtime ritual, like reading before bed, signals to your body that it’s time to wind down and go to sleep. Reading a real book helps you relax more than zoning out in front of a screen before bed. Screens like e-readers and tablets can keep you awake longer and even hurt your sleep. So put down your phone and remember to reach for a real page-turner before switching off the light.

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