It is an undeniable fact that reading is a key to success and top business leaders and entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Elon Musk just to name a few are voracious readers.
But the other good thing about reading is its numerous important health benefits one can derive from engaging in it.
Reading has been shown to do all of the following:
- Reduce stress levels (by 68 percent!)
- Preserve brain health and lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia
- Alleviate anxiety and depression
- Help you fall asleep
- Increase life expectancy
- Boost happiness and overall life satisfaction
Reading accomplishes all of this by activating your mind, providing an escape from day-to-day life, and offering refreshed perspective for life’s challenges.
How much reading is needed to see these profound benefits?
It turns out that reading silently for only six minutes has been shown to reduce heart rate and ease muscle tension.
In fact, that small amount of reading worked better for relaxation than other proven methods such as listening to music, going for a walk, or sipping a cup of tea.
Regularly reading just a bit more than that — only 30 minutes a day—has been shown to add two years to your life.
That’s right — developing a habit of reading for just a half hour per day can make you live years longer.
So what types of books should you read?
We know that the wealthiest, most successful people tend to read non-fiction books (and in particular biographies and autobiographies of other successful people), opting to be educated over being entertained.
But the health benefits of reading are produced from all types of books — fiction or non-fiction, poetry or prose. And reading literary fiction specifically has the power to make you more empathetic and increase emotional intelligence.
The bottom line is reading can dramatically change your life, so you should read about whatever interests you most.
Just make sure to do it.
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