While having a good reading habit helps you become smarter and more eloquent, those aren’t the only benefits you can gain from this activity. In fact, there are even better reasons for why you’ll want to finish that book you bought ages ago.

Bright Side found out about the incredible health benefits you can gain from reading and we’re here to share them with you. Read on to find out what they are!

1. It can help you manage stress better.

In a 2009 study, it was discovered that taking a reading break for at least 30 minutes can lower stress, much like laughing and yoga can. When you find yourself in stressful situations, it’s important to take the time to decompress. And get a good book to read while you’re at it, so it’s a win-win situation!

2. It helps reduce anxiety.

While reading doesn’t cure anxiety, this enjoyable hobby can help reduce any worries that you may be thinking about too much. Reading a novel and immersing yourself into the world of your book can give you mental courage. Reading can also lead you to reflect on your own life, which drives personal growth and can lessen anxiety. This is what bibliotherapy, or book therapy, is all about.

3. It may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

The simple act of reading stimulates your brain. A study found that people who engage in activities that exercise the mind are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, compared to those whose leisure activities are less stimulating. Maintaining an inactive lifestyle can put you at risk of developing Alzheimer’s, so it’s always good to keep your mind engaged and your body active.

4. It can help you fall asleep faster.

Do you find yourself using your mobile phone right before you sleep? This habit has been found to shorten sleep time and reduce the quality of your sleep. Your mobile phone’s screen light actually reduces the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. So instead of browsing through your gadget before bed, read a physical book instead to invite a good night’s rest with no interruptions.

5. It may help you live longer.

Since reading engages the brain, making a habit out of it can keep the brain from declining. In turn, this can prevent cognitive-related diseases associated with a shortened life span. A 2016 study discovered that people who read more live longer on average, as opposed to individuals who don’t have a reading habit. Not only is reading a fun activity, but it can also do wonders for your well-being.

6. It can improve the way you interact with others.

Reading allows you to enter into lives that are different from your own. In doing so, you get to understand other people better. One bit of research found that people who were exposed to reading fiction fared better when it came to their social ability and demonstrated more empathy. Another study also found that those who read literary fiction, which are stories that let you explore the characters’ lives, are able to empathize better.

7. It can compel you to adjust your personality.

People who read fictional stories can actually change their personality traits. Reading lets you delve into the lives of people you otherwise might not encounter in real life, and that experience can help you realize the kind of person you want to be.

Another experiment also showed that reading satisfies individuals’ needs to have a human connection, as the feeling that reading gives is the same as having a social interaction.

How do you spend your leisure time? If you love reading, what do you enjoy most about it?