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  21/11/2023

Yale Study Insight: More Books Translate to Longer Life

When you lose your way, books can illuminate your path; when you’re tired, books can provide you with motivation; when you’re feeling bored, books can bring you joy; when you’re in pain, books can heal your wounds.

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Yale University conducted a renowned study titled “”””One Chapter a Day: The Relationship between Reading and Longevity.””””

The study was conducted on people over 50 years old, and they were divided into 3 groups:

One group had no reading habit; one group consistently read for half an hour each day; the remaining group consistently spent more time reading.

The experiment lasted for 12 years, and after monitoring over 3,500 individuals, the following conclusions were drawn:

Compared to those who don’t enjoy reading, reading for half an hour each day can reduce the risk of death by 17%, and reading for over half an hour each day can reduce the risk by 20%.

Researchers also compared the lifespan of readers and non-readers and found that readers live on average 2 years longer than non-readers.

This study has reshaped the perception of many:

It reveals that longevity is not only related to diet and exercise but also connected to reading books.

Confucius lived to be 73 years old, which, in the social conditions of his time, can be considered a long life.

Lao Ai Gong once asked Confucius about the issue of longevity and reading: “”””Will those who read live longer?””””

Confucius firmly replied, “”””Of course.””””

In the world, there are many activities that are beneficial for both physical and mental health, and reading is one of the activities that should not be overlooked.

When you lose your way, books can illuminate your path; when you’re tired, books can provide you with motivation; when you’re feeling bored, books can bring you joy; when you’re in pain, books can heal your wounds.

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01

Reading, can keep the brain healthy

Lately, when talking to friends, I’ve noticed that almost everyone shares a common perception:

As we age, our brains seem less flexible than before.

Memory deteriorates day by day, and information that was once easily remembered is now forgotten;

Mental agility decreases, and it takes more time to react to problems;

Learning efficiency also declines, and now, if we try to learn new knowledge and skills, our minds feel sluggish and slow.

Modern science reveals:

The essence of the human aging process is the aging of cells, especially the aging of brain cells.

In Darwin’s “”””Theory of Evolution,”””” he once mentioned the argument of “”””use it or lose it””””: The brain cells of humans, even though they die every day, are reborn every day.

Regular exercise for the brain, maintaining blood flow in the brain, will keep various functions of the body in the “”””best state.””””

Ji Xianlin (an Indologist, linguist, paleontologist, historian, and writer from China) suffered from many illnesses throughout his life, born in impoverished circumstances, in his childhood, he often lived without knowing if there would be another meal, and in middle age, he had two cancer diagnoses. However, he still lived to be 98 years old.

He used to ride a bicycle around the campus like a young man.

He said: “”””If reading can be considered a hobby, then my only hobby is reading books.””””

He woke up at 4 in the morning every day and used the time before work to research and learn. He persisted like this for over 60 years. His room was always the brightest room at Peking University back then.

In his later years, even after reaching retirement age, Ji Xianlin continued to dedicate himself to the cause of learning.

Even when he was 80 years old, he completed the academic work “”””The History of the Silk Road”””” with over 730,000 words.

When talking about the secret of longevity, Ji Xianlin said:

“”””Based on my personal experience of more than 90 years, never let your mind idle; always keep your mind active. ‘Use it or lose it,’ this saying is no longer valid, in my opinion. Keeping the brain active will help us live longer.””””

Reading books is like doing “”””brain exercises””””. Reading regularly can make your brain function fully and enhance its power.

Professor Shi Shuqing, one of the renowned experts in China, considers reading books as a good formula for his elderly health.

He says, “”””I believe that reading is very good for physical fitness. Reading good and elegant poems is good for treating stomach problems; reading funny stories or humorous books is good for treating nervous breakdowns; reading novels can help patients focus and aid in their recovery.””””

Both 85-year-old Shi Shuqing and 98-year-old Ji Xianlin are telling us a moral lesson:

Reading books is very beneficial for health.

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02

Reading Books Can Heal the Soul

Shakespeare once said, “”””Books are the nutrition present all over the world.””””

In life, there is a type of doctor’s prescription-free medicine, and that is books.

A study from a university in the UK showed that reading for 6 minutes can eliminate 60% of stress in the human body.

Its decompression effect is much greater than listening to music, walking, drinking tea, or playing games.

In 1992, a young man suffered from severe depression due to excessive stress.

He couldn’t sleep at night, had difficulty communicating with people, and his weight dropped from 80kg to 55kg.

At times, he even contemplated ending his life, but luckily, his family intervened.

Subsequently, under his family’s persuasion, he agreed to undergo psychotherapy, but even after several sessions of psychotherapy, his symptoms didn’t improve significantly.

So, this young man fought the illness for 5 years.

Ultimately, what truly cured him was not some highly effective medication but a book.

In the book, there was a sentence that woke him up: “”””Flowers are most beautiful when not all have blossomed, and the moon is most beautiful when not completely round.””””

Reading that sentence, he suddenly realized: “”””Reading a book is like reading oneself, it’s self-improvement.

If I don’t read many books, if I don’t read about different people, how can I understand that I need to accept my flaws?

After accepting my flaws, I feel that I have become much more perfect.””””

As the mind was enlightened, the depression gradually disappeared.

That young man was Bai Yansong, a well-known news commentator and journalist in China for China Central Television, who played a leading role in stories such as the Sydney Olympics and the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

Famous Chinese poet Lu Du once said that when you feel lonely, you can turn to alcohol, but when you are extremely disheartened, only reading books is the best remedy.

When you feel lonely, and you read the sentence “”””all the splendor in life is exchanged for loneliness”””” in the book “”””One Hundred Years of Solitude,”””” you will begin to enrich yourself in solitude.

When you are facing difficulties, reading the book “”””Caigentan,”””” you will stop complaining and continue to strive your best.

In life, no one is without troubles, and reading books is the best antidote.

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03

Reading Books to Keep a Youthful Spirit

People always age from within their “”””hearts””””; wrinkles are related to youth but have nothing to do with charisma.

Zheng Nian, known as the “”””Last Beauty of China,”””” despite facing many ups and downs in life, radiated a youthful and graceful aura until her last days.

Born during an ongoing war, she endured mental and physical torture while imprisoned to the point of physical and mental exhaustion.

So, she immersed herself in reading poetry to escape the pains and hardships of life.

After losing her husband and daughter, she chose to leave her place of heartache and live alone abroad.

“”””In the U.S., being an elderly person with no home, no children, and no relatives is truly difficult and challenging,”””” Zheng Nian once said about her life.

But this major blow didn’t break her. She tried to suppress her pain and focused on reading and writing.

Every day at 10 AM, she would enter her study.

In front of her workspace, there was always a flower that brought life to the room.

During this time, she wrote her memoir, “”””Life and Death in Shanghai,”””” a book that made waves immediately after being published in the UK and the USA and has been reprinted several times.

Someone once commented about her:

“”””Zheng Nian’s face will always make people feel a pure and tranquil beauty.””””

Years may fade makeup, but only the charisma of book readers can endure through time and become richer with each passing day.

Reading books helps enhance intelligence, refine charisma, cleanse the soul, and fill life with light.

Those who love reading books often see the world with a pure heart, live wholeheartedly, love the world passionately, and overcome obstacles with unwavering determination.

Because they know that youth is not just an attitude; it’s also a choice of perspective.

Wise people like them can remain calm amidst life’s challenges and, over time, their “”””hearts”””” will forever stay youthful.

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04

Reading books is the most valuable self-cultivation journey in a person’s life.

Through reading books, you can improve your character and expand your horizons.

If you read more, your vision will broaden, and life will be filled with positivity.

Read more, and you will remain forever young throughout the rest of your life and continue to improve.

(Source: cafebiz.vn)

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