I would like you to consider this article an equal to one about exercise, quitting smoking, organizing your sleeping habits or eliminating negativity in your life. In other words, I would like you to add reading to your daily to-do lists as an integral part of your life and health enhancing activities. Reading does not only provide an open door to new worlds, but it is also beneficial to our health and sanity. Here are a few of the many benefits of reading:

Jean-Honoré Fragonard, A Young Girl Reading, Oil on Canvas, 81.1×64.8cm, 1770, The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, United States.

Mental Stimulation:

Just like any other muscle in the body, the brain requires exercise to keep it strong and healthy, and reading can be a great stimulant. By engaging your brain, you can slow down the progress of Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

Knowledge:

Everything you read fills your head with new information, and you will feel smarter after each book you finish. I learn so many things from random books, from the Russian economic system in the 1800s, to the decline of the Ottoman empire and even the pattern of message deciphering in the brain!

Vocabulary expansion and better writing skills:

This goes with the above point, the more you read, the more words you gain exposure to, and they’ll inevitably make their way into your everyday vocabulary and writing.

Stronger Analytical Thinking Skills:

This is a great trait of readers. You begin to predict events, analyse plots and characters, evaluate story lines and discuss books with others. Your overall skills of spotting patterns and linking events together improve.

Improved Focus and Concentration:

This is an issue in our internet age; our attention is directed towards a million random things. But once you begin reading a book, your attention is focused on the story and you can immerse yourself in every fine detail you’re absorbing.

Free Entertainment:

There’s a reading genre for every literate person on the planet, and whether your tastes lie in classical literature, poetry, fashion magazines, biographies, religious texts, young adult books, self-help guides, or romantic novels, there’s something out there to capture your curiosity and imagination.

Stress Reduction and Tranquility:

This is by far my favourite one.  I cannot stress enough on how slipping away in a great story or book can distract you from daily life worries. Whether professional or personal, a good book can take you away to another world where you disconnect from your own. Every time I’m stressed at work, all I think of is going home and grabbing a book to read. Reading lowers blood pressure and brings about an immense sense of calmness.

Read more from booksbyhala

All images courtesy indicated in captions.