Reading Helps Lower Stress and Keep Your Brain Healthy

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BooksIt shouldn’t come as a surprise that reading regularly is good for your brain, but it may be beneficial in ways you haven’t really considered. Besides helping you learn and be entertained, books can improve sleep, help you relax, and even help empathy. It has also been documented that self help books can ease depression. But, a new study adds stress relief to the list of reasons you should be reading regularly.

According to a study from Mindlab International at the University of Sussex, reading brought down stress levels by as much as 68 percent.

The Houstonian Online reports subjects had their stress levels and heart rate increased through tests and exercise before being told to read silently for six minutes. While they read, their heart rates and tension fell significantly. Heart rates were especially affected, reaching lower levels than before the testing and exercise began.

“It really doesn’t matter what book you read, by losing yourself in a thoroughly engrossing book, you can escape from the worries and stresses of the everyday world and spend a while exploring the domain of the author’s imagination,” study leader Dr. David Lewis told the Huffington Post.

Combined with the recent research showing that regularly reading helps prevent early cognitive decline and memory problems late in life, and it is clear reading isn’t just fun. It is healthy.

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