A higher quality of life is a desire that more people are seeking every day. Most people want better physical and emotional health. Most people want a better financial wellbeing. Often, many people are looking for it in the wrong places.
Some people will take a job, while applying for higher paying jobs. Once they get a higher paying job, then they will apply for jobs that pay more. They believe that cycle may help them to climb the salary ladder faster.
Some people will take recreational drugs to address their emotional health. Unfortunately, they do not realize that they will eventually become addicted because the body will gradually require a bigger dose of that drug to provide the same effect.
Then, there are some people who will also take drugs to address their physical health. Many prescription drugs have side effects, which will require the user to take another drug to counter the previous drug's side effects. Unfortunately, the new drug probably has side effects, which may require another drug to counter that drug's side effects.
Prescription drugs have killed millions of people. Opiates and some psychoactive drugs have killed over a million of people. Gambling and excessive spending has influenced people to commit suicide. Have you considered that books could be the resource that saves someone's life?
Science has proven that reading books will increase your quality of life. Do you want to keep your sanity? Read books! Do you want to make more money in the long term? Read books! Do you want to live longer? You know what I am going to say next. Read books!
Let's explore the science to learn about the benefits of reading books.
Better Physical Health
Reading books will help you live longer!
The Yale School of Public Health learned from the University of Michigan's Health and Retirement study that book readers over the age of 50 will live an average of two years longer if they read fiction or non-fiction for at least 30 minutes a day within a period of several years.
There are books. Then, there are magazines and newspapers. However, it appears that reading books is healthier than reading newspapers or magazines.
From the same study, they have found that book readers were 23% less likely to die than newspaper or magazine readers if they read for more than three hours a week.
Unfortunately, many newspapers and magazines are storytellers of negativity. So, I can understand why readers of these publications would not live longer, due to increased stress about societal issues. Did you know that stress decreases life expectancy?
Better Emotional Health
Reading books will make you a better person by increasing your emotional intelligence.
A study published in the Public Library of Science discovered that people who read fictional stories and were emotionally transported in the narratives had increases in empathy.
Empathy is an essential character trait that we need to develop to better understand others. Any form of prejudice can impede or slow one's progress to reaching their finish line. So, instead of using ignorance to judge others, ask questions to understand and use empathy to be more compassionate to others.
Reading books does not only increase empathy, but it helps with overall emotional health. An old, yet uncommon, therapy has been used for over 100 years to help people cope with depression and other mental issues. It is known as bibliotherapy, which is using books to help people in addressing life problems.
According to a study in the National Institutes of Health, depression patients who received a bibliotherapy prescription had the same results as the patients who received medication. The study suggests that bibliotherapy may be as effective as a standard treatment, which often involves an antidepressant drug. Moreover, the study showed that the low cost of bibliotherapy could make it a preferred choice.
Better Financial Wellbeing
Reading books will increase your financial net worth in the long term.
Last year, CNBC featured the socio-economist, Dr. Randall Bell, regarding his 25 years of research about the core habits of success. A portion of his research was a survey of over 5,000 people, including unemployed people, multi-millionaires, students, professionals, and retirees. To no surprise, reading books is one of the core habits. In that article, he is quoted in this statement:
Those who read seven or more books per year are more than 122% more likely to be millionaires [than] those who never read or only read one to three [books].
Would you define financial freedom as your finish line? If so, then you should be reading more books.
The Final Word
While modern science suggests that reading books improves emotional health, financial wellbeing and physical health, people should still use discretion because any book is not guaranteed to yield those benefits. Please note that not every book would be a good candidate for bibliotherapy.
For example, reading a political book could cause more stress and discourage empathy. Another example are apocalyptic fiction books, which could result in maturing a person's mild case of depression to a more severe case.
So, common sense goes a long way. Reading books will increase your quality of life. Reading books are a great tool to help you reach the finish line.
How many books did you read last year? How many books have you read this year?