Think back, what’s the last thing of substance you’ve read. (No I don’t mean an extra long Reddit post or a magazine on the toilet). Reading has some really important benefits and not enough people actually read something substantial every day (…or week… or month). So why read every day? What can it do for you?

I love reading, I’m always in the middle of a book and have a whole list to get through on deck, so when daily reading was suggested as the next challenge for the podcast I’m a part of, I was really excited. I Love getting other people into reading, and I was ready to kill this week.

Our podcast (listen here), is called Better Off Better, and it started with me and my two best friends entering into a verbal agreement that affected my life from then on. We do weekly challenges to test out things that people everywhere seem to think make them better people. Now, we know we aren’t great people, so why not try and fix that though very competitive challenges where we purposely pit ourselves against each other? Doesn’t that sound healthy?

So, lets get into the nitty gritty, and talk about the biggest benefits I see from reading more frequently, and why you should try it too!

1: Stimulate your mind and prevent a decrease in cognitive function!

According to the Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation, their studies show that mental stimulation can slow the progression of and in some instances, prevent Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia because an active brain is slowed from losing power.

This doesn’t just involve reading but puzzles, games, and anything that stimulates the mind to think and understand. Reading is a super easy and incredible way to keep your mind active and working, and it’s well worth it in the long run.

Another study showed that people who keep their minds active by reading are 2.5 times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those who spend their down time on less stimulating activities. Use it or lose it everyone!

2: Reduce your stress levels

Curling up with a good book is a great way to calm your nerves. Whether you want to be thrown into another world through your reading or just want to distract your mind from the stressors of daily life, reading is a great way to do it.

Tensions drain away and you can truly relax while reading. A 2009 study by the University of Sussex found that reading for just six minutes can reduce stress levels by up to 68%. Especially in the difficult and confusing times we are going through right now, a good book can really help ease your stress and maybe help you get a bit more sleep at night (I know I need it). Reading has also shown to decrease blood pressure and instill a sense of calm, as well as helping those struggling with mood disorders and some forms of mild mental illness.

So grab a fluffy blanket and a glass of wine, crack open your book, and get ready for some de-stressing!

3: Strengthen your analytical thinking skills

Oftentimes, I’ll be reading a book and find myself guessing how it ends. This is your mind putting critical and analytical thinking to work! Even if you can’t pinpoint the bad guy in your next “whodunit” book, you’re still exercising your critical thinking skills and becoming better as you read!

That same ability to analyze details will really help you out when it comes to critiquing the plot; determining whether it was a well-written piece, the story line ran smoothly, the characters were properly developed, and more!

So the next time your friends want to talk about an awesome book you just read, you’ll be able to show them up by stating your opinions clearly, and don’t we all want to impress people with our knowledge? (Yes. Yes we do).

4: Strengthen your vocabulary and writing skills

The same way that painters use techniques established by those who came before them, and musicians take inspiration from the great works of the past, your writing and vocabulary skills will improve with reading.

The more you read, the more informed you become. You will become better at learning words in context, and being able to use those words to again, sound smarter than your friends. A larger vocabulary has also been shown to increase your self-esteem and confidence, as well as make you come across more well-rounded, well-spoken, intelligent, and more aware.

So read up, and maybe that job interview you have coming up will go a bit better than you thought it would! Besides, people who read more are more likely to get promotions, raises, and leadership roles, so you’re going up in the world, kid!

Now of course there’s about a million more benefits to the book in your hands, but these four are in my opinion, the biggest benefits there are! Reading is so important and fun, so I really hope you’ll pick a book instead of tv before bed just a little more often!

Check out my personal favorite book recommendations, and join my little reading corner here

Check out our podcast Better Off Better and listen to us struggle to read for an hour a day here

Check out the author of this post Jenny Whipple

Check out our Youtube channel for video podcasts and other comedy stuff