Reading is pretty much universally recognized as a source of intelligence. It’s a leisurely activity that seems to be placed a few levels above most others.

And yet it seems to be a pleasure that’s becoming more and more lost on us due to ever-present Wi-Fi and the myriad of fun apps available to us.

But once you see the proven benefits of reading, you’ll be tempted to ditch the smartphone every once in a while and pull out a good old hardcover.

#1. Reading Reduces Stress

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Readers from the University of Sussex found reading to be more effective at reducing stress than music, walking and drinking coffee. It only took readers six minutes to reduce their stress levels by upwards of two thirds.

Reading was even found to be extremely effective at getting people with insomnia to fall asleep. The bright lights from our screens (which are a common cause for insomnia today) trick the brain into thinking it needs to be awake, but when you read a book under a dim light, your brain realizes it’s nighttime.

#2. Reading Makes You More Empathic

shutterstock_325660658Do you ever find yourself falling into a good fiction novel? It happens all the time; you fall in love with a character or society in a novel, and you’re transported.

Experiments have shown that people who read often and find themselves in that situation are stronger empaths.

#3. Reading Really Can Help You Overcome Depression

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Think those self-help books are a load of baloney? Recent research has actually found that reading is one of the best ways to fight depression.

Readers who were given a guided self-help book showed lower depression levels after a year than those who were treated using conventional medicine and talk therapy alone.

#4. Reading Makes You More Attractive

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Having a hard time finding that soulmate? Try picking up a book.

Reading can make you a great conversationalist, and the right book can teach you incredible things. Check out this list of books that will make you more attractive to intelligent partners.

Romantic partners aside, reading will also make you more socially active. A study by the National Endowment for the Arts suggested that people who read are more motivated to participate in social events.

#5. Reading Improves Your Memory

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When you read, you’re training your brain. Each set of new words you encounter helps your long-term memory. Experiments have shown that reading slows the rate of decline in a person’s brainpower.

Reading also prevents Alzheimer’s disease according to research by the National Academy of Sciences. What else reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s? Crossword puzzles.

#6. Reading Makes You A Better Writer

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As we read, we subconsciously begin to imitate an authors’ way of writing and presenting ideas. If you’re reading highly skilled, classic authors, some aspects of their style may wind up in your writing.

This post details how to use reading to become a better writer.

Further, reading develops your creativity. Researchers at the Obafemi Awolowo University found that by placing comics in the elementary school curriculum, children became more expressive and artistic.

#7. Reading Makes You Physically Healthier

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Researchers from Auburn University found that people who love reading tend to work out more often than people who have other hobbies.

Having trouble finding a book to read? Check out this website!

[h/t: Brightside]

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