Do you enjoy reading? Not only is reading a wonderful pastime, it also has many benefits that help you in life.
Learn more below about how a regular reading habit is good for your mind and soul.
Work Out Your Mind
An English author in the 17th century once stated that reading is for your mind what exercise is for your body. But how does reading work out your gray matter?
Clinical research suggests that reading makes certain parts of the brain work harder, which causes beneficial stimulation. As your reading ability gets better, these neural networks strengthen and grow.
Researchers have also looked at how reading novels affects the mind. For example, the participants in this clinical study read a book, and as the story got more intense, certain areas of the brain showed spikes in activity.
And hold on, there’s more!
CT scans showed that connectivity in the brain was enhanced during the reading process and for many days after reading. This suggests that reading regularly provides enduring, beneficial brain stimulation and growth.
We now know that keeping the brain fit requires regular use, and reading provides that workout.
Research also shows that people who read novels, or works that study the interior lives of the literary characters, have an increased belief to grasp the ideas, motivations, and feelings of others.
Scientists refer to this increased sense of empathy as ‘theory of mind.’ It’s a skillset vital to navigating, building, and maintaining relationships with people.
Reading a few pages of a book probably won’t make you more empathetic. But studies show that long-term reading of fiction books may lead to an improved theory of mind.
Enhance Your Memory
Many of us get upset when we forget things. Maybe you have a list of things to do on Saturday, but you often forget what’s on that. Don’t worry. Another benefit of regular reading is you can boost your memory.
When you read a non-fiction work, you learn many new things about that subject. And when you read a fiction novel, it’s essential to remember the characters, plot, time, and place, and imagine the world in which the book takes place.
That’s a massive amount of information to remember. Keeping track of this information works out the memory. Each additional memory creates new neural connections or makes old ones stronger.
And if you ever decide after reading for years to write and print your book, we’re sure that would be great for your memory, too!
Learn More Words
Researchers decades ago described what they called the Matthew effect, which refers to Matthew 13:12. It states that whoever has been given a lot will have many things, an abundance. But, conversely, whoever lacks things, what little they have will be taken away.
The idea of the Matthew verse is that rich people tend to gain more wealth and poor people tend to lose it. This idea also transfers to vocabulary.
Studies show that school children who start reading when they are young grow larger vocabularies over the years. And the size of your vocabulary affects your life, such as your standardized test scores and employment opportunities.
Who would think that reading makes you get a better night’s sleep? Yet, it’s true. If you put aside your digital device and read a book, this signals the brain it’s time to chill out and get to bed.
Reading also helps your mind to unwind and destress. Doing it nightly before bed helps calm your brain, reduce anxiety, and increase deep sleep.
So, pick up a book every day, and you are sure to enjoy many benefits. Happy reading!