Reading is a fantastic skill to learn.
Anyone can do it, all it takes is time and some patience.
I want to outline below 20 benefits of reading regularly. If you start reading every day for just 20 minutes, you can feel the power of all of these benefits start to take effect.
Want to see a huge improvement in your English skills, mental skill and general happiness?
Then read on.
It’s a Workout for your Brain
Just by reading for 20 minutes a day is like a workout for your brain.
We have to go to the gym to do exercise or go jogging in the park.
Well, our brains need exercise too. And reading is the best way to do it.
Sit down in a quiet place with a book you love to read and give your brain a fitness session. It will thank you for it!
It improves your Critical Thinking
Reading is a great way to improve your critical thinking.
The process of reading makes us solve problems and think of solutions — no matter what we read.
This will naturally take place in your mind. You don’t have to do anything at all. Your brain will want to figure out answers and the end of plots in novels.
In particular, if you read literature, your critical thinking skills will improve drastically. This is because you are reading for understanding and not trying to rush through it or skim-read.
We all use the power of critical thinking in our daily lives. So why not improve it by reading?
It improves your Focus and Concentration
The physical act of sitting down and reading will encourage you to focus and concentrate on what you are reading.
In today’s day and age of immediate text messages and one-minute videos on social media, our ability to focus has gone into decline. But reading can help you to improve your ability to concentrate.
If you a beginner reader, you might find it something of a challenge to focus for more than 20 minutes per reading session. But with practice and a little patience, you will find that your ability to pay attention to one task will increase dramatically over time.
The benefits of this are boundless.
It will help you with studying and learning other skills.
It will help you when you are working or doing any kind of business.
In fact, it can help you in all areas of your life.
It boosts Mental Stimulation
We should eat healthy food every day.
This provides our body with the right fuel and keeps us in a strong, healthy state.
So the best way to do this is by eating fresh vegetables and fruit. Avoid fast food if we can and drink lots of water every day. We do this and our body can operate at a high volume.
The same applies to our brain.
We need to give it the right food — in this case, reading.
Avoid things like too much TV and the internet — this is fast food for the mind. And instead, have a reading session every day.
This is the right stimulation for your brain.
This has been scientifically proven. Tests have been done on many students and found that reading is the perfect exercise to increase mental stimulation.
And with the right mental stimulation, your brain can operate faster and more efficiently.
Everyone wants that!
You can gain Knowledge
And of course one of the most obvious benefits is that you will gain knowledge.
If you only read 20 minutes a day on any given subject, then you could read about 21 books in a year.
Think about that — 21 books in one year.
What do you want to learn?
You could gain huge amounts of knowledge on any subject. If you read 21 books on one subject that would you far above most other people.
And we have access to all of this information in books and articles. Your local library is filled full of knowledge on any subject you want to learn.
What are you waiting for?
It improves your Memory
Reading actually helps you to remember things more clearly.
As you read, your brain has to register with new information and store it accordingly for future reference that might come up later in the reading.
The actual physical act of reading alone is a great exercise for your memory.
Everyone wants a better memory.
This is good for studying and for gaining useful knowledge.
You gain more English Vocabulary
Another very clear benefit of reading is that you will increase your English vocabulary.
And as you read, you are reading the words in context. This is a great way to learn new words.
This will be a lifelong endeavour. Even for native English speakers, we can all acquire more English vocabulary with a regular reading habit.
The great thing about this is that it doesn’t really matter what you read. You can broaden your range of English vocabulary by reading anything — fiction or non-fiction.
You improve your English Writing Skills
Every famous writer says that if you want to improve your writing skills, you need to read every day.
Reading is input. Writing is output. You cannot separate the two.
You can also gain this benefit.
Read every day and your mind will naturally learn new words, new phrases and new sentence structure. You may try to copy this kind of vocabulary in your own writing — and that is fine. Everyone does it.
The more you read, the better your writing skills.
The two English skills benefit each other.
You improve your English Reading Skills
If you want to get better at doing push-ups, what should you do?
And the same applies to reading. If you want to get better at reading, then spend more time reading. The more you read, the better you will become.
May I say again, 20 minutes a day is all it takes to see a huge development in your reading skills.
Reading is something you should always work on and make it a part of your life.
So try to improve your reading skills — by reading.
You get better English Speaking Skills
And just as reading can help improve your English vocabulary and writing skills, reading can also boost your English speaking skills.
You can put all that new vocabulary to great use whenever you open your mouth to speak English.
And whenever you read, you can read out loud to yourself. This is great practise for English speaking.
It prevents Premature Ageing
Reading keeps you young!
As I said earlier, reading is the perfect stimulation for your mind. And this is a great way to fend off ageing. It will make sure your mind is active and flexible — just like a young person’s mind.
Studies have been done on this and the tests all revealed the same thing — reading keeps your brain young.
It only takes one reading session a day of 20 minutes to make sure you stay mentally young and active.
It reduces Stress
Reading is a great way to reduce stress.
It reduces your heart rate and helps to relax your muscles.
Scientific tests found that reading can reduce stress by up to 68%.
The act of sitting down and reading is highly meditative. This alone will reduce your stress levels and make you feel calm.
Reading is more effective at reducing stress than listening to music, going for a walk or drinking a hot cup of tea.
So if you feel stressed out — reach out for a book and read.
It promotes Healthy Sleep
Extensive research has been done on this and found that reading before bedtime can ensure a good night’s sleep.
And as I said before, reading reduces your stress levels so this will encourage a healthy sleeping pattern.
Stories work best for this as they take you outside of your real life and transport you to another world.
20 minutes of reading is all it takes…
It reduces Depression
And because reading reduces stress and helps you sleep better, it is excellent at alleviating depression.
Also, an increase in mental activity — working your critical thinking skills — can also play a strong part in reducing feelings of depression.
Many people with depression have found by diving into a book and into a story that transports them to another world, can remove them from the troubles of their own life for a while.
It reduces Anxiety
Reading is also very effective at reducing anxiety.
As I mentioned earlier, reading can reduce stress levels and help you sleep. This a great way to combat anxiety.
People who read regularly have noticed a defined drop in any feelings of anxiety they may have had before.
It increases Empathy
Reading can help boost your feelings of empathy towards others.
Reading stories and literature can definitely help do this as you are focusing on the lives of other people. Even though the characters may not be real, in our mind they often are. This helps increase empathy.
And if there is more empathy in the world, the world becomes a better place.
Everyone should read for this reason alone!
It increases your General Well-Being
Reading makes you feel good.
And not just about you — but about others and the world too.
An increase in empathy, a reduction in any feelings of depression and anxiety, along with less stress and better sleep can all add up to make you feel much better about yourself.
Reading can give you a better sense of being connected in the world, so we feel less alone and a more integral part of the world.
Reading makes you feel great!
You gain more Self-Confidence
And as you see an increase in your general well-being, your self-confidence will soar.
People who regularly read feel much more secure about who they are as a person. They have better self-awareness than many people who don’t read and feel more relaxed about their possible flaws and faults.
Reading can make you a much more confident person.
You gain more Self-Esteem
Research has been carried out on this and found that people who read can report up to a 10% increase in their self-esteem.
Healthy self-esteem is essential in a person’s life and reading can help improve how a person feels about themselves.
A regular reading habit will help you achieve this.
Reading makes you Happy!
And reading just makes you feel happy.
With all the things that I mentioned before, all of these attributes working together is bound to make you feel happier and in a better state of mind.
Pick up a book and read for 20 minutes every day and see how you can become much happier and healthier.
Surely after looking at all of these benefits, anyone can see why reading should be an essential part of our daily life.
As I keep saying: 20 minutes is all it takes.
Try to build up to 20 minutes of reading every day and you can feel all the rewards I mentioned before.
You might even increase your reading time to one hour a day.
Think how great you will feel then.
I hope this was useful for you — please let me know your comments below!