Why You Should Make Reading Every Day Your New Year’s Resolution…..
Is reading every day one of your New Year’s resolutions? If not, you might want to make this reading resolution for the coming year! Reading comes with all sorts of incredible benefits for your mind, body, and social life — from familiar benefits (it’s fun!) to reasons that might be new to you. We’ve compiled a list of five reasons you should spend each day reading, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Read on for why you should make opening a book every day one of your New Year’s resolutions.
1. Books boost your brain power.
It’s true: Reading really does make you smarter! Research over the years points to reading leading to increased brain power in several ways. A 2014 study showed a relationship between greater reading skills and more advanced cognitive ability. In another study, college students who read literary or nonfiction showed a greater ability to write more sophisticated sentences. And if you’re concerned about memory loss as you age, one of the best things you can do is pick up a book: Research shows that reading keeps your mind and memory sharp as you grow older. So treat your brain to a book every day!
2. Reading is incredibly relaxing.
Especially after the hectic holiday season, there’s nothing better than unwinding with a good book. In fact, research shows reading is one of the most relaxing activities you can do. One study showed that stress levels were reduced by 68% after participants read for just six minutes — making it more relaxing than listening to music, drinking a cup of tea or coffee, or taking a walk. Researcher Dr. Lewis explained in The Telegraph, “It really doesn’t matter what book you read, by losing yourself in a thoroughly engrossing book you can escape from the worries and stresses of the everyday world” and “enter what is essentially an altered state of consciousness.” Sounds pretty great to us!
Too exhausted to keep your eyes open? You can relax as you drift off to sleep by listening to an audiobook, especially if racing thoughts are keeping you awake.
3. Reading novels can help you connect with others.
Want to improve your social life? Books can do that! Research shows that reading literary fiction can increase your empathy, so you’re more understanding of the people in your life, making connection easier. A 2013 experiment also showed that reading romance is correlated with greater interpersonal sensitivity, or ability to determine someone’s emotional state from their facial expression, which can help you respond appropriately to others’ moods.
If you’re looking to meet new people, or strengthen the bonds of your current friendships, joining a book club — or starting one! — is great idea.
4. Stories can make us more understanding of different people and cultures.
Incredibly, reading stories about people, places, and events outside your own culture may reduce prejudice. Research shows that even reading books set in a fantasy world like the Harry Potter series, which features a marginalized group, can increase cultural sensitivity in general. Yet another reason to love the boy wizard!
5. Opening up a book is a fun way to experience many worlds — all from the comfort of your armchair!
We don’t need research to tell us that good books transport us to an entirely new world. But what you may not know is that studies have indicated that reading about something happening can light up the same areas of the brain as if you were actually witnessing the activity in real life — yes, this includes flying on a broom like in Harry Potter!
Can’t afford to travel to Italy this year? Wonder what it’s like to fall in love with a celebrity chef — or discover you’re a powerful sorcerer? You can experience all this and much, much more — through books.