From the time we enter school (maybe even earlier), we are taught how to read and are encouraged to read on our own time. As we grow older, it becomes increasingly difficult to find time to read for pleasure. Between long hours at work, a packed-schedule of classes, fitness, and, of course, hanging out with friends, time to read becomes scarce.

But making time to read may be just what you need! There are multiple healthy, multi-faceted benefits to making time to pick up a book or a magazine.

3 Healthy Benefits Of Reading

1. Reading reduces stress.

Books allow you to be transported from your current frame of mind to somewhere completely different. You can push your troubles and worries from your mind and take comfort in characters in a world separate from your own.

A survey of 4,323 participants shows that 82% of people read to wind down, 63% of people feel relaxed when reading, and 50% of people use reading as an escape from everyday life. Reading anything, especially fiction, has the ability to distract you and calm your mind down after a hectic day.

If you struggle to wind yourself down, give yourself a technology bedtime. Essentially, this is the time you put your phone away every night and no longer focus on social media or your phone. Make reading part of your bedtime routine. I bet you’ll find that you’ll rest easier and have been quality sleep than if you scrolled through Instagram or watched TV.

2. Reading improves your mood.

Another wholesome benefit of reading is the effect that absorbing those words has on your mood.

In the previously mentioned study, 83% of participants reported using reading as way to improve their mood, particularly, books that made them laugh.

Laughter is a very powerful form of medicine. It helps us relax and gain a new perspective on a situation we may be facing. Even if your favorite books aren’t funny ones, surely you can find something within a book to make you smile!

The next time you are having a rough day, pick up a lighthearted and comical novel to ease your woes. I recommend going for a non-fiction audiobook narrated by the author. Many celebrity autobiographies or memoirs would be great for this purpose. And you can listen while you workout or during your commute! You’ll be back to your chipper self in no time!

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3. Reading helps improve sleep and concentration.

While you might easily guess that picking up a book can help improve your vocabulary and memory, reading also helps mend your sleep pattern as well as your concentration ability.

Snuggling up and reading a few chapters a night before bed will signal to your mind and body that sleep is imminent. Getting into this healthy routine will help you fall asleep faster and get a revitalizing night’s sleep. Reading helps improve your concentration and focus because it commands your full attention—a skill that has multiple practical implications, including a longer attention span.

With all of the positives reading brings to your life, there is no reason not to take a half hour out of your day. Especially if it is to reduce stress, improve your mood, regulate your sleep pattern and increase your concentration ability. So, I urge you GenTwenty readers — go find a quiet corner. Curl up with a good book, and shut out the world to reap the rewards of reading.

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