Reading reduces stress. When you read, you can tune out the world and immerse yourself into a whole new universe, capturing your full attention, distracting you from the stresses that might be happening in your life. According to a University of Sussex study, a mere six minutes a day has shown to reduce stress by a vast 68%. Because while your mind is concentrated on reading during that moment of bliss and distraction, reading releases the tension in your muscles and heart/circulatory system. People who experience emotional stress and those who regularly experience frustration and anger – are more prone to developing heart disease. All that chronic emotional stress deposits too much adrenaline into the bloodstream which wreaks havoc on our system and leaves us vulnerable to systematic inflammation, disease, and shorter lifespans. But losing yourself in a book can arguably be a way to reverse and prevent those effects. Anyone who has experienced those moments of total immersion inside a story understands that it is the ultimate relaxation, especially in times of uncertainty when escapism is all we crave, and precisely what we need to feel refreshed. Reading is a healthy diversion of actively engaging your imagination out of your physical body and into that of a book, and results in lower muscle tension. Reading can also help prevent brain aging, memory problems, and Alzheimer’s disease. The research found that elderly people who regularly read are 2.5 times less likely to get this debilitating disease. Challenging the brain to learn new information through reading can help the brain’s informational processing stay in better shape. It might even reshape brain circuitry by assisting the brain’s mental functions to continue to be more adaptable as we age.
Reading not only has the power to change your life, your perspective, and your mood; but also has the potential to change your brain structures. Not everyone is a natural reader, but that shouldn’t dishearten anyone. Poor readers can be trained to become better readers, and throughout this training, their brains actually change. Scientists discovered that the volume of white matter in the language area of the brain actually increases and that brain structure can be improved with reading training and programs. This makes it more critical than ever to adopt a healthy love of reading.
According to researchers at the University of Sussex, just six minutes of reading can reduce stress levels by more than two thirds. Reading is ultimately the best way to unwind and take a break– it works better and faster than other things we do to disconnect our brains — like listening to music or walking the dog. Losing yourself in a book is genuinely the ultimate relaxation, and it can be incredibly healing to our souls. Plus get this: reading not only improves brain health but also improves our mood. It makes sense that we feel happier, lighter, refreshed, and less irritable after finishing a good novel.
We know losing ourselves in a novel is beneficial, but what about losing ourselves on our Tumblr feed? Skimming words on a site or gathering bits of knowledge quickly, as what happens when surfing the internet, will not produce the same results as in-depth reading, especially when reading literature or a comprehensive article like this one. But, it’s better than not reading at all. Scientists determined that reading — even something as short as this article — involves a substantial 17 regions of the brain. I bet you didn’t realize you are interval training right now.
Although it will never replace healthy exercise, reading still has a vital role in your health. It will reduce stress in your life, lower your blood pressure, and likely strengthen your heart — even if you’re a couch potato. And the sensory immersion that unfolds in in-depth reading is an excellent robust activity for the brain. So, if you’re searching for an extra boost to your health, maybe instead of taking deep breaths you should throw on your tennis shoes and head to your nearest bookstore. Relaxation is a massive component of staying healthy, and science says losing yourself in a compelling novel — whether you live in the center of a busy city or down a quiet country lane — can do wonders for your glow.