Reading has more benefits than most of us realise!


This article explores some of the compelling reasons why reading is not only enjoyable but also very beneficial for our mental health and general wellbeing.

Recent studies have shown that engaging in reading or staying mentally stimulated can slow the progression of Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Regular reading improves brain connectivity. It stimulates different areas of the brain, enhancing neural pathways and promoting cognitive function. Just like solving crossword puzzles, using our cognitive functions through reading, helps keep our minds fit and healthy.

Reading improves memory. Creating new memories involves brain pathways and synapses. Reading strengthens these neural connections, assisting in short-term memory recall and mood stabilization. When we read novels, we must remember character names, attributes, family trees, and sometimes events spanning centuries. This mental exercise is excellent brain training, especially as we age. Reading regularly can help prevent cognitive decline. It keeps your brain active and engaged.

The English language contains over 171,000 words currently in everyday use. Reading exposes us to more words, which naturally become part of our everyday vocabulary.

When you read, you encounter new words and phrases. This exposure expands your vocabulary and improves your comprehension skills. A rich vocabulary not only impresses during job interviews but also enhances our ability to communicate with style and accuracy.

Reading widely provides insights into life, love, loss, and everything in between. It opens our minds, broadens our thinking, and allows us to see the world through different lenses. It also helps us to accumulate knowledge. Reading fiction allows us to step into the shoes of characters and experience their emotions which can enhance our ability to empathise and understand others’ perspectives.

In our fast-paced world, maintaining focus is challenging. Reading retrains our brains to concentrate on a single task. When we immerse ourselves in a book, stress levels decrease as we find stillness and calm. Studies suggest that reading can lead to reduced blood pressure and heart rate. It has a calming effect on the body.

Escaping into a captivating story or informative book can reduce stress levels. It provides an escape from daily worries and transports you to different worlds. Engaging in a good book before bedtime can help you relax and improve sleep readiness. It’s a healthier alternative to screen time.

It doesn’t matter whether you choose to read fiction, non-fiction, self-help, or poetry, just find what resonates with you and enjoy the benefits of reading this winter!

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