Know about the many mental health benefits of reading

Reading a good book can transport you to another world, expanding your horizon and enhancing your knowledge and vocabulary. But, did you know that reading can help sharpen your mental acuity, too?

According to nutritional psychiatrist Dr Uma Naidoo, reading has various mental health benefits, and pleasure reading can be utilized to help you relax and take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

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A 2009 study, conducted by Mindlab International at the University of Sussex, found that reading reduced stress in participants by nearly 70 per cent and was more effective than things like having a cup of tea or listening to music. Another study, published in the Journal of Teaching and Learning, asserted that 30 minutes of reading could reduce stress as much as a yoga session of the same duration.

“Reading can be used as an escape as well as a tool to increase your attention span, improve your sleep, and increase your knowledge,” Dr Naidoo said.

Here are some other mental health benefits of reading, according to the expert.

*It reduces stress.
*Reading is associated with increased focus.
*It also helps strengthen your cognitive ability.
*You will experience improved quality of sleep after reading.
*Reading is also linked to empathy development.

So, when are you picking a book?

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