Over 25% of Americans have not read a book in the past year. Reading might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but with all the book genres available, it’s impossible not to find something you’re slightly interested in.
You might not read for pleasure, but the benefits of reading 20 minutes a day make it difficult not to push through.
So keep reading to find out about the benefits of reading every day and how you can make it a habit.
1.8 Million Words in a Year
By simply reading 20 minutes each day, you’ll end up exposed to an estimated 1.8 million words each year. Not only will this increase your vocabulary, but you’ll also find your general knowledge, analytical skills, communication skills, and comprehension will all also increase. An enriched vocabulary is nothing to sneeze at, but that is just the start of all the benefits you can experience.
While reading is important for people of all ages, it’s most beneficial to older people and young children. Reading helps preserve cognitive function in older people. Reading also slows down mental decline and keeps our brains engaged daily.
Brains deteriorate as we age; there’s nothing we can do about that. But reading daily can slow down the rate of deterioration. This is extremely important for people with diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia, as it can delay the onset of the disease.
Exposing a young mind to various types of books and knowledge helps them absorb information they might not have been exposed to otherwise. Their vocabulary will grow at an incredible rate, and they’ll be naturally curious about the things they read. Children’s brains are like sponges, so if you instill the importance of reading at a young age, you’ll find they keep up with the habit.
If you’re running out of books to read, you can take a look at Insights on Innovation.
Boost Mental Health
It’s clear that your brain benefits the most from reading. So it’s no surprise that reading every day can help boost your mental health.
Reading is done through a complex neuronal network in your brain. The firing of signals and circuits strengthens our brains. Similar to how cardio is good for your body, reading is a workout for your brain.
Not only does reading strengthen your brain, but it also helps your brain and body to relax. While small amounts of stress are needed throughout the day to ensure we complete tasks and reach new heights, constant stress is detrimental to our lives and health.
Reading is proven to reduce stress and anxiety while also helping with symptoms of insomnia. Immersing yourself in a book for a few minutes helps you forget about your problems and focus on the written words. This is why reading for pleasure has become such a big part of some people’s lives.
Everyone wants their children to succeed in life and academically. Well, reading can help with that. Children who read, or are read to, are exposed to various books and stories throughout the year. This builds a foundation for analytical thinking and using logic to solve problems from a young age.
Daily reading has also been linked to academic success as the children have a larger vocabulary and better reading comprehension skills than their peers who don’t read.
Building this habit early on will make it easier for them to keep it up later in life. Reading to increase your vocabulary and reading for stress relief aren’t approached the same way. So set goals for yourself, but remember to make them achievable.
Building the Habit
Simply being told to read 20 minutes a day isn’t a good enough motivator to build a habit. Like everything else, it takes time to get into a routine, so jumping in and expecting that you’ll easily slot reading into your life isn’t sustainable.
You need to slowly build the habit to ensure you stick with it. Starting with 500-page high fantasy novels will leave you stressed out if you don’t end up reading fast enough, or you’ll become burnt out from reading too much, too quickly.
Before you start building this habit, you need to sit down and decide why you’re doing it.
It’s a good idea to have a few reading materials available as you might not always be in the mood for the same thing. Make a list of a few books you want to read and pick them up the next time you’re at the mall, or get ebook versions so you always have access to them.
Start small; even if you’re just reading 2-5 minutes each day at the beginning, you need to start building the habit. As you get into a routine, you can increase your reading time, but try not to let reading become a chore. If you enjoy reading and find books you like, you’re more likely to willingly spend extra time reading.
The Benefits of Reading 20 Minutes a Day
The benefits of reading 20 minutes a day make it impossible to be against reading even if you don’t enjoy it. Spending 20 minutes each day reading a few pages of a book can help your mental health and build your vocabulary at the same time.
Even if you despise reading, you can find something to tolerate for 20 minutes each day in order to reap the rewards from all these benefits.
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