If you have spent many a day with your nose in a book, then there’s some good news for you. Reading is very beneficial for your mental health as well as your interpersonal relationships. Not only are books an excellent source of entertainment, but they also influence your mental health in ways that you have never imagined. Research proves that reading can boost your cognitive health and help keep stress away.
Just like eating right and physical activity is crucial to maintaining physical health, reading daily exercises the brain muscles and helps them unwind after a long and stressful day. Reading for pleasure helps increase self-esteem, confidence, slows down signs of dementia and symptoms of depression.
Immersing yourself in a good book is almost like immersing yourself in a new world. You feel like a part of a fictional world, thus, separating yourself from the daily grind that can be stressful sometimes. What’s more, certain books help you connect with the main characters, so you feel that you are not the only one suffering. A good book often becomes a vital companion in a healing process and opens up doors of empathy.
So, if you need an extra boost to read daily, then we have some scientific facts and valid research to back you up. Here’s why you should visit your local library more often:
1. Helps You Relax And De-stress
According to a study by the University of Sussex, reading helps reduce stress levels by 68%. These statistics prove that reading is one of the strongest activity that helps the brain and the body relax like no other.
So, the next time you find yourself exhausted after a tough day at work, pick up a book and let yourself disconnect from the world for a few hours.
2. Makes Us Empathetic
Research in the mid-90s helped scientists understand the concept of empathy in a much better way. Mirror neurons, the neurons that are fired in our brains when we perform an action or witness someone else performing that action, are formed in our brains while reading.
According to a study, reading stimulates our brains to increase empathy for others. Reading literary fiction evokes the most empathic response as compared to non-fiction reading material. Humans are social creatures, and fiction helps us relate with the characters and understand their struggles which in turn helps increase empathy.
3. Makes You Mentally Flexible
Reading poetry and other poetic material causes fascinating changes to the brain cells. Reading complex text like poetry increases activity in key areas of the brain which promote mental flexibility.
The process of reading poetry and reappraisal of the meaning of words helps increase mental flexibility and adaptation towards unique human behavior and situations. Avid readers are more likely to seek creative solutions rather than just being led by instinct and habit.
4. As Effective As Therapy
Have you found yourself going through a lot of troubles recently? Picking up a book and relating with a similar character or fictional situation like your own is almost as effective as seeking therapy. According to Cristel Russell, a consumer behavior research at the American University, reading can help you find answers to your problems.
So the next time you find yourself relating to a character or situation in a book, pick up a healthy way of dealing with those issues.
5. Enhances Brain Activity
Research proves that reading stories can impact the brain in both psychological and neurological ways. According to a study, the brains of participants were scanned before, during and after reading a fiction book. The result showed that there were significant neurological changes in the brain’s resting state after the participants had finished reading the book.
This study proves that reading provides heightened connectivity to the brain muscles and increased memory muscle.
6. Helps Stave Off Dementia Symptoms
Reading stimulates the brain which helps ward off mental decline and dementia symptoms. Studies show that people who read regularly have 32% fewer chances of mental decline as compared to those who don’t read.
Various brain tests prove that readers are more likely to sleep better, have lower stress levels and higher self-esteem.
7. Increases Spatial Intelligence
Lastly, reading a book can also increase the third form of intelligence- spatial intelligence. Spatial intelligence is related to the concept of one’s place in space and how distances and directions interact. Spatial intelligence helps in activities like map reading, building, planning, and sports.
Did you know that reading is contagious? Seventy-five percent of parents want their children to read more often. If you’re also struggling to make your children bookworms, then start reading actively at home. Read aloud to children till they learn to read on their own.
A research by Scholastic suggests that reading aloud to younger kids helps them become frequent readers later on in life. Organize fun story time sessions at home to spark kids’ interest in reading.
Reading helps us stay away from mental decline, acts as a de-stressor and also increases empathy. What more motivation do you need to start reading regularly? Do you read every day? If yes, share some of your favorite books with us in the comments below.
7 Simple Healthy Habits For A Healthy & Longer Life
Ageing is not a disease, it is a fact of life. As we get older, our body experiences many natural changes, such as hair turning white, it becomes harder to see and hear, weaknesses and so one. But by following proper health routines and having healthy habits, that will promote longevity. Whereas, unhealthy living habits such as smoking and drinking will compound and may quicken ageing.
Many researchers have discovered that people who live longer eat more healthily, perform regular activities, and manage their health issues. Our body responds to good. This is the only way to live longer.
The human body is more connected with nature than we know, nature is similar to our organisms in the body and has a life span, by practicing healthy living habits you can enhance your longevity and may fight the early signs of ageing.
There are many problems which can be solved just by ensuring proper nutrition, implementing vaccination programs and performing physical activities. So if you want to live longer then follow these 7 simple tips.
1. Never Stop Working
Researchers found that the people who retire may be at a higher risk of ageing. If you stop working you may experience severe health problems as you tend to use your mind and body less. Working keeps you active.
Retiring may result in you spending less time with people and that in turn can result in depression and a lack of mental activity which may make you age sooner rather than later compared to those who never retire. So the key here is to stay active even after you retire.
2. Eat Healthy Nutritious Fiber Rich Food
Food is a significant factor and directly counters our health internally. Including more nutritious and fiber rich food in your diet will benefit you in many ways.
It helps to decrease the chances of constipation, maintain blood sugar levels and lowers cholesterol levels. A high fiber rich diet also reduces the risk of colorectal cancer and promotes longevity.
3. Engage In More Activities
Exercise and physical activities are the real foundation of your healthy living. The research found that the people who spend at least 30 minutes in walking, running, cycling and or performing yoga are more active and live longer.
Exercise helps to improve your mood, mental alertness, balance, muscle mass and strengthens your overall body. If you are unable to practice extreme core exercises, then do yoga. It can give you similar strength training effects.
4. Minimum 7-hour Sleep Is Must
Sleep is also very crucial to function so that our body performs to heal cells and retain energy back into shape. Good rest can help your body to regulate blood sugar levels and strengthen your immune system.
It also decreases the risk of heart health diseases. Proper sleep will replenish you, make you ready for another day and promote longevity.
5. Avoid Supplements
Evidence proves that consuming healthy nutritious foods that contain Vitamins, Minerals, selenium, and beta-carotene instead of supplements will help you to live a long and healthy life.
All the green vegetables, fruits, and grains are rich in nutrition, which slows down the rate of cognitive decline. So instead of taking synthetic supplements rely on nutritious rich foods for healthy living.
6. Stay Positive
Researchers found that the people who always stay connected with their friends, family and think positive live longer.
People who never stress, never consume alcohol or smoke and meditate regularly live a longer healthy life compared to others. Meditation keeps your mind fresh and focused.
7. Go For Routine Checkups
The human body is so sensitive and easily gets affected with any external and internal factors and some diseases don’t even show any symptoms, so it is essential to go for routine checkups.
It will help you to know more about your health conditions and give you peace of mind. So go for routine checkups to stay at your best.
Top 10 Easy Ways To Detox Your Body
Are you aware of the numerous toxins which our environment exposes us to? Because of the towering consequences it has for our body, we need to detoxify our system.
Nevertheless, these toxins are basically from water pollution, air pollution, artificial foods, pharmaceuticals, etc
The good news is that there are ways by which you can detoxify your body system to guarantee overall health. This article provides you with ten of these means.
1. Begin With A Glass Of Water
Do not think that you can take too much of clean water. The more you drink clean water, the more your body system cools down and diffuses unnecessary influence of toxic elements in your body. If you really desire to stay free of toxins for the most part of the time, you may resolve to begin drinking water all the time, especially as the day begins.
2. Consider Taking Lemon In The Morning
This aids you in flushing out virtually all the toxins and produces an alkaline solution for your body system. Optionally, you can supplement some teaspoons of vinegar made of apple cider to your glass of water. Do you know that Hippocrates, that ancient doctor, treated his patients with apple cider vinegar? He actually discovered that it was a potent cleanser and healing remedy, a common antibiotic which fights bacteria and germs for a stronger and healthier life.
3. Take A Newly Prepared Vegetable Juice Every Day
Another way to detox your body faster is to use a newly prepared vegetable juice each day. This drink includes a great amount of greens like kale, cilantro, and spinach. You should admire beginning your day with some juice prepared with carrot, apples, ginger, lemon, turmeric, ginger, cilantro, kale, and beetroot. As another season switches, some of these ingredients would also need to change.
4. Toxic F
Some types of oil like sunflower oil, cotton seed oil, peanut oil, canola oil, and vegetable oil are toxic in nature. You can replace these oils with some better oils like extra-virgin oil, avocado oil, hemp oil, flaxseed oil, coconut oil, etc. Some of these oils are greater sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
5. Proteins And Legumes
Protein proves to be very great for the normal operation of two significant pathways in the liver cells. Food nutritionists refer to these pathways as Phase one and Phase two detoxification means. Venture to choose organic grass-fed beef and seafood caught in the wild.
You may consider legumes too. Food experts relate how beans, a form of legume is one complete source of soluble fiber and an array of amino acid indicators. Lentils too are a great source of leguminous food substances that can help detoxify your body faster.
6. Fruits Only
How much fruit do you eat daily? And how do you eat them? Ensure you take them raw. When you process fruits into juicy substances by adding chemicals to make them tasty, they often lack the necessary nutritional elements. The chemicals included in fruit juices often counteract the health effects of raw fruits. So, you may take your fruits raw. They are very high in water content.
7. Vegetables And Fats And Oils
Eat raw vegetables and herbs more. Herbs and vegetables have enzymes which help digestion and enhance nutrient absorption. With their nutritional contents, vegetables that are not starchy offer a complete sort of fiber and phytochemicals. Therefore, they offer nutrients which help your system to get rid of toxins. Supplying your body with particular nutrients in remedial doses could normally detoxify your liver and some other organs.
8. Little Or No sugar
Try to remove substitutes that have toxic artificial sweeteners, and choose normal types like honey, stevia, maple syrup, molasses, date sugar or coconut sugar.
9. Little Or No White Flour
Do you know that taking white bread is like putting gum into your body which stresses your digestive tract? It is capable of bringing about many digestive disorders and may require great effort to experience natural bowel circulations. Try to replace white bread and flour with Kamut flour, brown rice flour, cornmeal, buckwheat flour, quinoa flour or spelt flour. Get rid of white bread and eat bread made wholly from grains.
10. Eliminate Toxic People From Your Life
Are you wondering who toxic people are? These are the people who will always encourage you to live a toxic life. That friend of yours who buys you sweetened soda drinks or processed foods every day, and other associates who encourage you to live an unhealthy life. It’s high time you stayed away from such people.
Do you want to be truly healthy? Then, it is important for you to detoxify your body in order to get rid of the toxins that come your way all the time. This guide has described the most important ways you can detoxify your body. Assuredly, you will get effective results if you take action.
6 Ways To Incorporate More Wellness Into Your Daily Lifestyle
A lot of the time, people think of ‘less’ when it comes to achieving wellness. They want to eat less junk food, drink less, and work on quitting smoking. However, ‘more’ is also a must when it comes to a healthier lifestyle. Even better, focusing on more can make it feel like it’s easier to stick to these changes.
If you want to make the most of wellness in coming years, treating yourself to more is a great approach. It can make you feel like you’re getting something instead of having something taken away—and you are. You’re getting healthier, happier, and will likely extend your life.
Here are six ways to incorporate wellness into your lifestyle by working on more:
1. Get More Sleep
Everyone knows it’s important to have good sleep, but yet Americans continuously pat themselves on the back for their lack of it. Sleep is tied to overall health and wellness. Studies have linked quality sleep to lower risks of diseases and healthier body weights. It’s also one of the easiest things to do if you understand its importance.
Practicing good sleep hygiene and making sleep a priority are both essential for getting to bed a little earlier. However, it’s not only the amount of sleep you get but the quality of it, that counts. Creating a bedroom that’s a sanctuary is a critical part of good sleep.
2. Eat More Whole Foods
Instead of focusing on what you should eliminate from your diet, think about what you need more of. Healthy, whole foods that are filling and actually fuel you will automatically help you eliminate less healthy foods from your diet.
When you’re craving junk food, there might be two issues at play. One is an addiction to chemicals and sugars, but the other is that your body is starved for healthy foods. Eat or grab a healthy snack before you’re ravenous, and retrain your body to crave what’s good for it.
3. Enjoy More Fresh Air
Exercise is important, but sometimes even gym rats aren’t giving their body what it actually wants. If you dread another session on the treadmill, go for a run or fast walk outside. Breathing fresh air is something everyone craves innately.
However, Westerners have created a space and lifestyle where going outside isn’t necessary. You’ll be surprised by how refreshing a walk around the neighborhood can be. It might even replace your afternoon coffee as a pick me up. Take advantage of the outdoors when you can, whether you incorporate it into your ‘official’ workout minutes or not.
4. Do More Strength Training
Women, in particular, resist strength training that actually challenges their muscles. Many are afraid they’ll look masculine or ‘get too big,’ but their lack of testosterone prevents this from happening. Others stick to the same strength building routines, such as dumbbells, without ever branching out.
Try yoga, Pilates, or changing modalities (such as kettlebells or fixed machines) to stay interested and keep your body guessing. Even if you switch up the movements and resistance, your body becomes accustomed to certain types of exercises. It’s important to shake things up.
5. Drink More Water
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give up other beverages, but that’s often a natural side effect. Water is the best way you can hydrate your body. It can help you eat less if you’re looking to reduce fat and it can improve every aspect of your body—including your skin.
Challenging yourself to drink a glass of water before having another beverage is a great way to incorporate more water into your life. Having a glass of water before a meal can also help your body gauge whether you’re thirsty or hungry.
6. Spend More Time Laughing
Laughing is linked to health, and with good reason. Get your laughs whenever you can, because studies show that adults laugh way less than children. Spend time with friends who make you smile, listen to a funny podcast or watch comedies.
Wellness is about a lot more than looking a certain way or eating kale on a daily basis. You can create your own definition of wellness by focusing on more and feeling like every indulgence is a treat.
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