How Does Reading Affect Your Brain?
Why bother to read a book when you can watch a movie adaption or listen to an audio version of it? Who even has the time to read a 400-page novel? Why read the newspaper when you can watch CNN? Why waste your time trying to read the manual when you can watch clear instructions on YouTube? This is exactly the mindset that many people share today.
However, know that there’s a big difference between watching/listening and reading. According to a study published in the Brain Connectivity journal, (http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/brain.2013.0166) you can experience a number of benefits when you read. The study found that the most brain benefits could be experienced when a person reads fiction. The reason why fiction is particularly helpful when it comes to improving brain power is because it makes you put yourself in another person’s shoes and use your imagination.
Nowadays, people usually choose to buy fiction books, while they get news and facts from the Internet. Most are looking for an escape from their lives, which is why fiction books are more popular than nonfiction ones.
However, the number of readers isn’t that high. According to statistics, 42% of college graduates won’t ever read a book again after they graduate from college. While some find it relaxing, most people believe that books take up too much time or that they’re not as interesting as watching a TV show or a movie.
Reading Stimulates Imagination
Although a movie might be good, it certainly won’t last as long as a book. Reading also stimulates imagination, while television and film do not.
On top of that, you can enjoy a book anywhere. Some readers actually get encouraged to reconnect with nature after they pick up the habit of reading.
If you got this opinion due to the low quality of some books that you’ve read before, then maybe it’s time to start reading some of the classics. If you like science fiction, then browse the sci-fi section of the library. There are countless titles to choose from, and they will all improve your brain health. Here are some of the main benefits you can experience when you read.
Reading Improves Focus
Effective readers have incredible focus. When you read a book, you’ll need to pay attention to every single detail in order to fully understand the story. If your concentration isn’t that great currently, then simply start by reading only 10-20 pages a day. Once your focus improves, you’ll be able to read much more than you used to.
Reading Improves Memory
You won’t really comprehend what you read if you don’t remember certain details, you’ve read early on in the book. To fully understand a book, you’ll need to remember every character mentioned, as well as their backgrounds.
You’ll need to remember their ambitions, strengths, and flaws. Know that your mind will forge new brain pathways for every new memory you make. This is exactly why books will keep your memory sharp.
Reading Encourages Analytical Skills
People who read frequently are able to spot patterns more quickly than non-readers are.
Reading Will Expand Vocabulary
Whenever you read a book, you’ll probably stumble across numerous words you’ve never heard before. This will compel you to look up the meaning of these words. Upon doing this, you will instantly include them in your vocabulary, which will help you express your thoughts and emotions more clearly in the future.
Reading Decreases Stress Levels
Most people live a very fast-paced life, and spend a huge portion of their time trying to juggle numerous activities at once. This can elevate your stress levels, which can be very dangerous, seeing as how stress is one of the main causes of numerous health problems. When you read, it will allow you to finally escape from your everyday troubles and enter a whole other world. This will provide you with the relaxation that you need in order to remain healthy.