You’ve probably got friends raving about the benefits of reading –

It’s so relaxing!

It’s so much fun!

It takes me away from all my problems!

Most people think of reading as a hobby, as an escape from everyday life, just like movies are.

But the thing is, reading isn’t just a hobby to relax, it’s a skill that has some crazy benefits – especially if you do it every single day.

So here are 7 scientific reasons for you to pick up that dusty book off your shelf and start reading:

1. Reading reduces stress

You have a better chance at reducing your stress by reading a book than by listening to music or drinking tea!

In a study done by the University of Sussex, participants showed lower heart rates, relaxed muscles, and 68% lower stress levels – after just 6 minutes of reading!

The reason behind this is that reading fully engages your brain.  And when your brain is occupied it doesn’t have time to think or stress about anything else.

That’s also why reading is also the ultimate hack to improving your focus –

2. It improves focus

If you’re distracted by your phone every 2 seconds, you’ve got to start reading!

It’s only natural – you can’t survive without your phone. Whether it’s at work or at home – you’re always going to get distracted by a notification or a call or an email. So it’s no surprise that the human attention span has gone down from 12 seconds in 2000 to just 8 seconds today!

This is where reading comes in. You see, reading forces your brain to focus on one thing for a long period of time, especially if you’re reading something super interesting. And research shows that this helps your brain get the habit of ignoring distractions.

So even if you’re working on a boring report for work, you’ll find it easier to focus if you read regularly. That’s what makes this one of the most important benefits of reading in today’s world.

3. It improves your memory

If you read a lot you’re going to have a really good memory!

When you read a book, you’re using almost your entire brain, especially the part that retains memory. Because it takes at least a few days to finish a book your brain needs to remember what it read before – to keep track of the story.

But before you pick up your e-readers, hear this – reading physical books is actually better for your brain. Research shows that when you read a book it’s easier for your brain to remember what you’ve read since it can “see” its physical location in the book.

For example, you’re reading a hardcover copy of a book called “Tips to Improve your Memory” – your brain will not only remember Tip 7, but it will also remember that it was towards the end of the book, on the top left corner of the page!

That’s why the more you read the better your brain gets at recalling stuff!

4. Helps you live longer

This is probably one of the greatest benefits of reading – reading can increase your life span by almost 2 years!

Even though most activities that involve no physical movement increase your risk of death… somehow reading does the exact opposite!  Research shows that people who read for 30 minutes every day live way longer than those who don’t.

That’s crazy, right?

The thing is that when you read, your brain is active. Because you need to understand the words, you need to connect different ideas – and this is what gives you those extra years.

Because the healthier your brain is – the longer you’ll live!

5. Prevents Alzheimer’s

You’re 2.5 times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s if you read regularly!

Research shows that people who keep their brains active – by reading books, playing chess, or by solving puzzles – have fewer memory problems than those who don’t.

This is because the more you use your brain – the stronger it gets. So you better start reading now so that you can enjoy the benefits of reading for years and years to come.

6. Makes you better at Math

Kids who read have much better scores in Math than those who don’t!

When you read, you’re constantly exposing your brain to new ideas. So it becomes a lot more open to learning and analyzing new stuff.

That’s why research shows that children who read, tend to do quite well in school, particularly in Math. Because their brain is so used to processing new information, it doesn’t get shocked when it has to solve complicated problems!

7. Makes you a better writer

Like Stephen King says, “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others; read a lot and write a lot”

It’s a well-known fact that reading improves vocabulary which is pretty much the basic requirement to be a writer – but not the only one. Reading also helps you analyze different styles of writing and see which one works best. It teaches you how to explain a complicated idea in easy terms, without boring or confusing the reader!

That’s why writers read so much.

So if you want to be the next Agatha Christie or J.K. Rowling – start reading their books and learn everything that makes them awesome!

What are you waiting for?

If you’re reading this article, you’re already on your way to getting smarter – but remember, reading blog posts – even if they’re 900 words long – isn’t the same as reading a book.

So pick up a physical book the next time you go to the library and leave a comment to tell us how much of it you remembered, or if you read regularly, share some other benefits of reading that we might’ve missed out on!

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