How Reading is Beneficial For Brain Health?

Reading has always been an integral part of civilization. Reading has helped humankind to build a future that we live in right now. Reading books isn’t just filling your head with knowledge instead it’s nourishing your mind and here are the benefits you can reap from it. For many of us these days, reading has been reduced to the occasional clicked-on article showing up on our Facebook or Twitter feed, GPS directions, and the monthly bills. That’s about it what we read on a daily basis and this is the problem.

People need to understand reading books not only entertains them but gives a broader perspective to things. Reading helps people’s brains process information both visually and verbally more effectively. Brains that can’t read might also struggle to process verbal information which could be why a slow reader may lag in other academic areas. Reading improves every aspect of a person’s communication skills. There are a lot more perks of reading for your brain. Let us explore it one by one.

Reduces Stress

Reading is a powerful way to grow, discover, create, and experience the fullness of our world. It is a gift. The art of reading has an impact on our physical and emotional state.  We relax when we read, a study from the University of Sussex found that it only takes 6 minutes of reading to reduce stress and enhance our relaxation.  It slows our heart rate, reduces muscle tension, and reduces our stress levels.  Reading combats mental decline, increases mental capacity and individuals who fail to read regularly experience a mental decline at a rate of 48% faster than those who read regularly throughout their lives.

Increases Intelligence power

Diving into a good book opens up a whole world of knowledge starting from a very young age. Exposure to vocabulary through reading (particularly reading children’s books) not only leads to a higher score on reading tests but also higher scores on general tests of intelligence for children. Plus, stronger early reading skills may mean higher intelligence later in life. Nowadays, many young children are lacking in competent reading skills. In an age, where technology is everywhere, the humble book has taken a backseat. Try reading a short story before bedtime every night or have designated family time for a reading activity to increase the quality of language skills, vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Provides Escape From Real World

We’ve all been there. There are some days when you just have to throw in the towel and check out of your life for a bit. And losing yourself in a book is a safe, easy, effective, and inexpensive way to take a mental vacation (without all the stress of airline travel.) Plus, unlike vacationing in the real world, your literary travels aren’t limited by time, geography, space, or even physics. You can go anywhere, anytime. Travelling through the battlefield of Kurukshetra or exploring space with Neil deGrasse Tyson and questioning the existence of humans with “Cixin Liu” there is no limit to where we can go.

Reading Improves Creative part of the Brain 

If you’ve read “Tiny Beautiful Things” by Cheryl Strayed, then you already know exactly what this means. And if you haven’t, definitely check it out. Book-inspired problem-solving isn’t limited to the For Dummies book series. No matter what you might be going through in your life, you’ll be able to find a book, or even several other featuring characters who have experienced something similar and their hard-won lessons can help you think differently or approach a problem in a way that hadn’t occurred to you before.

Reading Develops Empathy for Others

People who read fiction have been shown to improve the level of empathy, the ability to understand someone else’s beliefs, feelings and thoughts. Known as the theory of mind.  We all know as readers that books allow us to experience life from the vantage point of someone else and that shifting worldview won’t just impact us in our on-the-page world, reading can also help increase empathy in our real-world relationships too. 

 

Final Thoughts

Reading has the bizarre positive effect on the brain with scientific research backing it. It doesn’t matter if you read a book on an electrical device or a paperback, unless and until you are reading a book. If reading leads to us treating ourselves and others better and helps with mental decline, what more motivation does one need to pick up a good book?

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