Would you consider yourself to be a bookworm? Or maybe you can barely remember the last time you read a book?
If it’s the latter, you might be missing out on what science says are hugely positive health benefits. With many of us having a lot of extra time to explore new hobbies and positive habits during the current health crisis, it may be an excellent time to pick out a good book! You may be surprised at how quickly reading becomes an enjoyable part of your daily relaxation routine.
Here are just four of the top science-backed reasons why reading is a positive way to pass the time.
Your brain, like any other muscle, requires exercise to keep it from deteriorating with age and inactivity. So how can you “train” your mind? By keeping your mind engaged with activities like reading, puzzles, and studying a new language, you can significantly lower your risk of numerous neurodegenerative diseases.
Other activities that keep your brain active include playing brain-stimulating games like chess, using your non-dominant hand, taking new routes, and many types of meditation. You could even try your hand at video games, or any other activity that is new and exciting to challenge the mind!
There’s no denying the fact that we now live in a time of short attention spans and instant gratification. With the rapid sharing of information and our increasing dependence on technology, it’s no wonder we now struggle more than ever before with memory and focus.
On top of that, we are busy trying to juggle hectic work demands and jam-packed schedules that allow little time for sitting down with a book and simply focusing on one thing at a time.
However, when you sit down to read a book, all of your focus is turned towards the book and away from the long to-do waiting for you on the kitchen fridge. This mindfulness and singular focus is actually greatly beneficial for your brain and can help improve your overall memory and focus.
As you read, you have to actively remember character names, plots, scenes, nuances, and subplots as you go through a new book. That’s quite a lot of things to remember. So as you read, you’re strengthening both your memory and focus, and introducing new information for your brain to process all at the same time. Not to mention that reading has been shown to have wondrous effects on sparking creativity and imagination, an art often lost as we grow older.
In our chaotic world, it often feels like there’s nowhere to go that stress doesn’t follow. As our society grows increasingly modernized, we’re expected to constantly multi-task and achieve an unrealistic amount of accomplishments each day. But the stress that usually accompanies this busy lifestyle can wreak havoc on your immune system and overall health. This is where relaxation and a self-care routine are key.
Sitting back and disappearing into your favorite novel or short story has been shown to be one of the most positive forms of relaxation. You can go anywhere, be anybody, and do anything when you’re reading a book. Even non-fiction readers can unwind with cool facts, biographies, and the like.
So rather than using other negative methods of coping and escapism when life gets challenging, like alcohol or junk food, why not try picking up a good book instead?
If you’re like most people, you spend most days staring at three or more different screens, almost all day. But did you know that the blue light from our cell phones, computers, and TV’s can dramatically disrupt our sleep patterns?
That’s why one of the best healthy bedtime routine changes you can make is to turn off all electronics a few hours before bedtime. By switching to a good book before bed instead of binge watching your favorite show, you’re training your brain to begin winding down. This has been shown to improve sleep patterns and restlessness throughout the night.
So tonight, put the screens away and try making reading your new bedtime ritual! You might just be pleasantly surprised by how much more focused, relaxed, and rested you are after making reading a part of your nighttime routine.
WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN READING WHILE STAYING SAFELY AT HOME? TAKE A PICTURE OF YOUR BOOK AND TAG US @PRIMALHARVEST ON INSTAGRAM TO SHARE YOUR BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS!
IT'S ABOUT YOU. IT'S ABOUT YOUR HEALTH. IT'S ABOUT RECONNECTING.