Books to brains are what superfoods are to our bodies. They nourish, refresh, rejuvenate and feed our brains with enlightenment and entertainment. The value of reading books is supported by new science-based evidence which proves that reading affects your brain positively. When was the last time you picked up a novel or a magazine to read? Most of us nowadays find ourselves spending half the time on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram on our phones. So, how does reading affect your brain? Below are seven benefits your brain gets from reading.
1. Reading Improves Memory
A study on how the brain reacts when reading showed stimulation in the brain area associated with autographical memory. The research by Liverpool University pointed out that a story presented the brain with a lot of things to remember, including the characters, emotions, and the plot. This triggers your brain to be more alert and acts like a workout. With time, it improves your memory because the brain tries to grasp as many details as possible.
2. Reading Prevents Alzheimer’s
By reading, you’re keeping your brain active and stimulated. It’s like a muscle in the body; it requires regular exercise to stay strong. That’s what happens to your brain when you read. You’re preventing your brain from losing power. This cognitive stimulation can potentially prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s. Reading a novel usually takes you to a different world where you identify with the characters in the book and creates a better understanding of their world. This heightens brain activities making you less likely to develop Alzheimer’s.
After a long day at work, when you’re physically and mentally tired, sit back and pick up a book instead of watching TV. Books can reduce your stress by up to 68 percent and help you relax. Research by Sussex University showed that regardless of the type of book you read, as long as you enjoy it, you can disengage from this world and escape the worries and stresses of your daily life. The study also showed that within the first six minutes of reading, the readers’ heart rates slowed and their muscles were more relaxed. Because of this distraction, regular readers show lower levels of stress and depression.
4. Better Sleep
Reading before bed can help you sleep better. It creates a favorable environment that’s far from the daily engagements and stress. Reading fiction engages your imagination and helps you to relax before bed. While more people are turning to e-readers and tablets, research indicates that staring at a screen before sleeping will keep you awake longer. So, ditch your tablets and phones and pick a fiction novel to enjoy better sleep and wake up refreshed.
5. Reading Helps Us Become Better Writers
The more you read, the fewer grammar mistakes you make. It’s a known fact that reading a lot will make you a better writer. Our brains are capable of memorizing what we read and when you come across a word or a sentence more than once, it will register in your mind. To refine your writing and avoid bad writing habits full of typos and spelling mistakes, regular reading is the solution.
There is a lot of information out there and every time you read, you expand and enrich your brain with new ideas and concepts. Having a vast knowledge propels you to the front of the pack and you become better-equipped to deal with certain situations. The good thing about knowledge is that; no matter how life turns out, no one can ever take knowledge away from you. The kind of information you get from reading fiction and non-fiction can either be for pure entertainment or might come in handy one day. So, keep reading and tap into tons of information that otherwise you wouldn’t have access to.
7. Reading Encourages Creativity
Unlike a movie, reading a book creates uncertainty, allowing creativity to thrive. Apart from making you happy, many people are able to solve common life issues faster compared to those who don’t read regularly. Whether you’re reading for pleasure or for educational purposes, it’s easier to find satisfaction in books than in movies or other activities. You’ll feel better when you learn about a new design or a new language. You become more open-minded and appreciative of others, especially the stigmatized and marginalized groups.
It’s Your Turn
If you’ve been postponing reading that book you bought months ago, now is the time. Pick it out of the bookshelf today and chapter by chapter, you’ll discover the pleasures of reading you’ve been missing out on. Fiction is especially interesting since they take you on a wild journey of treachery, survival, and adventure. What are you reading now and what favorite books did you find most interesting?
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