Every person has different hobbies that allow them to relax and de-stress from the daily problems associated with their life and routines. Whether it is playing guitar after a stressful day of work or going for a run in the morning to start your day, everyone has their own habits. An important habit that has been proven to greatly benefit your life is reading daily, preferably before bed.
It is nearly impossible to deny that reading of any sort extends your depth and breadth of knowledge. For example, you are introduced to nearly twice as many new vocabulary words when reading as compared to watching television for the same amount of time. This can translate to better standardized test scores in areas that are even unrelated to reading. Reading has been correlated with higher scores on general intelligence, not just vocabulary tests. In addition, certain genres offer a wide range of knowledge to which the average person would not be exposed in their day-to-day life. For example, biographical materials on historical individuals will boost the reader’s overall knowledge, and technical materials as well those on topics such as psychology or physics also provide additional knowledge that would otherwise have been unattained.
In addition to improving knowledge and intelligence, reading can also promote general brain health and change the way in which your brain operates. This is comparable to going for a jog and improving your cardiovascular system. The brain can be thought of as a muscle that needs to be trained just like any other, and reading is one way to do it. By improving overall brain health and brain quality, you are enabling yourself to think quicker and be more active in your thought processes. This can enable you to learn new skills and information more rapidly and internalize them better. This characteristic is especially important in the aging population.
Like a drama, books allow you to escape into problems you otherwise would not have dealt with. This allows you to experience life from the perspective of the character in your book. The process of empathizing with the characters in the books you read can have many benefits. For example, it has been shown that those who read are more likely to experience empathy for individuals in their real life. Communication, as well, is improved overall when reading because of the personal tools that are built by stepping into the characters shoes. In addition, you can learn how to cope with problems you normally would not have to deal with, and apply the learned situations to your own life.
Neurologists have found that the brain functions of people who read are similar to those of people who relax through other means, such as casual drinking. The idea is that by losing yourself in an alternate world, the issues that you experience become less significant, allowing your brain to stop focusing on them. In addition, reading a book prior to going to sleep provides a more restful night. Because your brain and eyes are not strained by looking at a lit up screen, you’re better able to relax. In addition, true to classic psychological principles on learned behaviors, if you make a habit of reading before sleeping, your body will naturally expect you to sleep after reading at night.
Individuals who read are smarter, more intelligent, and can cope with emotional distress better. Their minds are quicker too, and they have an outlet to relax if none other is available. Everyone should aim to make reading a daily habit in order to reap all the benefits it has to offer.