The possibilities from reading truly are endless. It allows us to see worlds we could never see, introduces us to people we would otherwise never meet, and fills us with emotions we might not feel outside of reading.
What you may not know is that there are health benefits that can be gained from reading. Here are five scientific reasons that you should be reading more.
- Reduce Stress
Our lives are dominated by stress. There have been studies that show that just six minutes of reading have helped to reduce stress by up to 68%. That’s more than going for a walk, listening to music, or having a cup of coffee or tea. Being fully immersed in what is being read can be a great way to reduce stress.
- The Potential to Add Years to Your Life
By reading on a regular basis, you may actually lengthen your lifespan. People who read for 30 minutes a day actually lived almost two years longer, according to a Yale study. Further, those who read were up to 23% less likely to die. Read more, potentially live longer.
- Improve Language Skills
There is a clear relationship between factual knowledge, vocabulary, cognitive skills, and more through reading. Avid readers tend to have about 50% more fact-based knowledge and the same percentage larger vocabulary.
- Increased Empathy
Those who read literary fiction tend to perform better when predicting how characters may perform as well as identifying the emotions in facial expressions. There is also a greater understanding of the mental states of others, producing increased empathy.
- Increased Flexibility and Creativity
When we read, we tend to keep our minds open to the uncertain. For those who don’t, there is the feeling that we have to make a certain decision and we then close our minds to certain aspects of information that may be able to help us. Readers tend to come to conclusions quicker and avoid the ambiguity that can plague decision-making.