If you love to read, you’re in good company. Reading books has been linked to all sorts of health benefits, including happiness and longevity. Recent research shows that reading can reduce your risk of death by 20% over the course of 12 years and extend your life expectancy by an average of 4 years! Furthermore, this study shows that readers live longer than non-readers regardless of their education level or socio-economic status. In fact, reading books was found to be beneficial for people from all walks of life.
Reading can be calming
To feel calm and relaxed, try reading your favorite book. Grab an old favorite or find something new to lose yourself in and immerse yourself in a world not your own. Before you know it, you’ll be able to sit back, relax and breathe easy. If you want to learn more about how reading can help you relax, check out our post on how reading can help reduce stress.
Literature expands your perspective
Imagine yourself in different places, like Paris or New York. Many people believe that travel and real-life experiences are important to expand your perspective on life, but guess what? You can do all that while sitting on your couch reading. Just step into someone else’s shoes, literally. Whether you read true crime stories or historical fiction, books allow you to see our world from new perspectives. Less prejudice toward those who are different from us and better communication skills. So pick up a book today and feel some empathy for others!
It’s good for your mental health
A recent study published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics suggests that reading fiction can improve your mental health. According to Live Science, researchers found that people who read books had an easier time identifying other people’s emotions. Which could be tied to empathy skills. Empathy is considered to be one of many core components of happiness. Additionally, reading works as a form of escapism from reality. Which can help manage anxiety and depression.
Research has proven many benefits
According to research studies published in JAMA Internal Medicine and BMJ, reading provides numerous health benefits. Research found that people who read regularly live up to 2 years longer than those who don’t. In fact, researchers also discovered that when book readers were compared to TV viewers. Readers had an additional 20% reduction in mortality over 12 years of follow up for every 1 additional book per week. That’s an extra three hours of life each week! Researchers found these statistics after controlling for factors like age, gender, race, education level and more.