empress2inspire.blogMental Health

Benefits of Reading

For some people, there’s no greater pleasure than settling into a comfortable chair, cracking open the stiff spine of a new book, and diving headlong into a different world. Books open up infinite possibilities and pleasure, but sadly, reading is a pastime that fewer people are engaging in.

Reading is probably one of the most beneficial and feasible activities that a man can do. It is through reading that a person is going to be able to discover new ideas, concepts, places, and people. Here are some of the reasons why you should incorporate reading in your daily life :

  • Reading brings existing neural pathways in the brain to life.
  • Reading complex poetry in particular helps the brain remain elastic and active.
  • Frequent brain exercises, like reading decreases mental decline for the elderly by 32%.
  • When you read a book you have to remember a lot of things, including the different characters, and also the main plot and any subplots throughout the story. All of these points throughout the story are a new memory in your brain, which means new synapses being cerated and existing ones being strengthened. Therefore, your brain’s short term memory and recall capabilities improve.
  • A study showed that depressed patients in the mental health world showed positive improvement when they were read stories aloud. they reported feeling better and more positive about things.
  • In the case of depression, self help books are the best type because people with severe depression benefit greater from a low-intensity intervention. Self help books fit into this category, so not only does reading them help patients with depression, but he topic also adds a benefit.
  • Researchers have demonstrated that reading can reduce stress by around 68%.
  • Elderly patients who regularly played mentally challenging games or read books were two and a half times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s.
  • Creating a bedtime ritual, like reading before bed, signals to your body that it’s time to wind down and go to sleep. However, this only applies to real books as screens like e-readers and tablets can actually make you awake longer and hurt your sleep.
  • Children who read are better able to grasp abstract concepts, apply logic in various scenarios, recognise cause and effect, and utilise good judgement.
  • Numerous studies have shown that students who are exposed to reading before preschool are more likely to do well in all facets of formal education.
  • A children’s book exposes your child to 50% more words than watching a television show.
  • Researchers have discovered that those who read about characters doing something are more likely actually to do that activity in real life. This means that you’re more motivated to ask your employer for a raise, or complete that bucket list you’re meant to get to.
  • Identifying with characters in the book also helps you experience the type of real life relationship you would experience with a real person, which means you identify with people who are shy if you read about a shy character.

No entertainment is so cheap as reading, or any pleasures so lasting, reading may look very prickly outside but if we actually remove the husk, it is our companion that assists us to go through our livings. It will not only refresh our mind and soul but it will give us a great outlook towards life.

103 replies »

  1. I resonate with what is written. Books have a substantial influence on my personality, the way I think, analyze things etc. It opened up my thinking boundaries. It’s like a friend during solidarity. I prefer hardcovers to kindle versions. Also, what’s written here is totally agreed. Reading before bed, in fact helps a lot. Disconnect from the hustle of the day and find solace in reading and then hitting the sack 🙂

    Thanks Garima for writing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Manohar, I am glad you liked this post. Reading requires us to sympathize with character’s emotions. Being “emotionally transported” by a book has been shown to cause boosts in empathy. Specifically, studies have found that reading fiction helps readers understand what other’s are thinking by reading people’s emotions. In today’s world, our attention is often drawn in a million different directions at once. When reading, you are concentrating on one thing. By doing so, you are training your body to avoid distractions. This ability can help when performing other tasks that require concentration. Thankyou for stopping by today.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Also, once we finish reading a book. It’s a good practice to write a synopsis on what does the book talks about. This will help us in recollection of the content, and then reciprocating the same through writing. Win win situation, for the mind to rewind as well as writing skills too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree. In 2017 I rediscovered the joys of reading. I purchased a big comfortable chair and a reading lamp. On cold nights I wrap myself in a blanket make tea and sit in my chair and read. During the summer beach and pool side reading with a cold beer.😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am glad you agree. Immerse yourself in peaceful and tranquil reading material and you may notice a decrease in blood pressure and a sense of calm. Reading self-help books has been shown to help people suffering from mood disorders and some forms of mild mental illness. Thank you for stopping by today.

      Liked by 2 people

    • You are welcome. I am glad I could help. Reading a substantial piece of writing strengthens your focus because it requires focus to read. Unless you focus, you won’t follow what you’re reading. In fact, reading is an antidote to today’s obsession with multi-tasking – writing an email while chatting online, keeping an eye on your phone, drinking coffee and checking reactions on your Twitter feed. This habit scatters attention and hampers productivity – actually, you get very little done.

      Liked by 1 person

    • That is great. In order to follow a plot you have to remember quite a lot and that is good practice for your brain. You have to remember a range of characters, their backgrounds, actions, roles in the plot, as well as the various sub-plots that make up the story. After all, you won’t comprehend what you’re reading if you don’t remember certain details as you read. So reading, keeps the brain’s memorizing ability in practice. Thank you for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this post. I love love love reading. I like reading horror and romantic suspense. When I was young fairytales were fun. As I got older they where just not realistic. We need our children to be positive about life but not unrealistic. Ok now that I have went off on a rant. I will say again great post

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am glad you liked it. The more you read, the more your vocabulary improves. The more your vocabulary improves, the better you can express your own thoughts and feelings. Language is such a wonderful tool with so many fantastic words for us to use to express ourselves. People who are able to use language skillfully with a wide range of descriptive vocabulary have always captured the imagination and admiration of others. It is a fact that the ability to be articulate impresses others and paves the way to promotions, leadership roles, and public office. Thank you for stopping by.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I am glad you liked it. Reading about the life and times of people who live or lived in different circumstances from you, can make it easier for you to understand and relate to those who are different from you. A book on gay relationships can be a real eye-opener if you are straight; a book on the life of an African living in Paris can be equally revealing. Books are there to open the world up for us; to take us out of our own environment and show us the realities of others out there. Some books have the power to change your mind and outlook completely. Thank you for stopping by.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I am glad you liked it. Snuggling up with a good book can transport you to the magic of other worlds away from immediate worries, reducing stress. A 2009 study by the University of Sussex found that reading for just six minutes can reduce stress levels by up to 68%.Losing yourself in a book is the ultimate relaxation. This is particularly poignant in uncertain economic times when we are all craving a certain amount of escapism. A well-written, substantial article can have the same effect. Thank you for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “No entertainment is so cheap as reading, or any pleasures so lasting, reading may look very prickly outside but if we actually remove the husk, it is our companion that assists us to go through our livings. ”
    Wonderful Sentence and expression of the real; only a genuine book reader will feel such…Thank you so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahha glad you agree. Buffett typically reads six newspapers each day: The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, The New York Times, The USA Today, The Omaha World-Herald and American Banker. Thank you for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. Glad you liked it. The more you read, the more words you gain exposure to, and they’ll inevitably make their way into your everyday vocabulary. Reading books is also vital for learning new languages, as non-native speakers gain exposure to words used in context, which will ameliorate their own speaking and writing fluency. Thank you for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Good to know all these facts about reading! I only do audio books now since I lost my vision. I do miss, however, the smell of the pages of a book and falling asleep with the book on my chest. But, I read more now than I ever have… Thanks for the great article! 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Will. Glad you liked it. Whether you’re reading 30 minutes each day or upwards of two hours, the key is to get some (book) reading in every single day. The benefits are well charted: improving both intelligence and emotional IQ, reducing stress, and allowing readers to, on average, live longer than non-readers. Thank you for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sidd, I am glad you liked it. A daily dose of reading can do wonders for your memory, health, and relationships. The best thing you can do for your brain today requires minimal money, space, and time—just pick up a good book. Thank you for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Last month I realised I had become terrible at reading books.

    So I set myself a simple habit: I would read at least 10 pages every day.

    I designed it to be simple so it was achievable and didn’t seem a massive task.

    I hit the target on average 5 days a week, but made up for it when I did read, going for more than planned!

    Good habits start with small sustainable intentions!

    Like

    • Hi James, thank you for stopping by. “To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.” — W. Somerset Maugham. Somewhere after “lose weight”, “stop procrastinating”, and “fall in love”, “read more” is one of the top goals that many people set for themselves. And rightly so: A good book can be hugely satisfying, can teach you about things beyond your daily horizons, and can create characters so vivid you feel as if you really know them.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes indeed. Today, knowing how to read remains the key to power. Giving texts to read remains the key to influence. Reading is a weapon given by adults to new generations, without fearing that these generations emancipate themselves from their elders. Reading is a means given by power in order to fight it. It shouldn’t be feared: only civilisations that were brave enough, that had this trust towards their youths survive today.

      Thank you for stopping by my blog today.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, I am glad you liked it. Reading has also been linked to slowing mental decline by keeping important parts of the brain working, and improving overall mental flexibility, an important component to developing and retaining memory. You may not be able to see it, but your brain is one of the most important parts of yourself. Thank you for stopping by today.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Audiobooks can also change the way we listen, read and learn, improving the literacy of young readers and those for whom English is a second language. There are plenty of benefits to regularly listening to audiobooks.

      Like

  8. At 80, with a family history of glaucoma that can lead to total blindness, I prefer audiobooks heard with earphones. During daily walks I could hear 19 Wodehouse books in succession last year and many Upton Sinclair, Sinclair Lews and Jane Austin classics this year without fear of the blue light. Librivox is certainly admirable. Audiobooks are lacking in Indian languages; I read Telugu, Hindi and Marathi books too and want to get the technology for a Librivox-like app for Telugu books> Hope some reader will help. HOPE someone will do it as I will on live long enough to set it up.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Reblogged this on The Reluctant Poet and commented:
    Studies have shown that just six minutes of reading can help reduce stress levels by up to 60 percent. That’s 68% better than listening to music, 100% better than drinking tea, and 300% better than going for a walk. Reading isn’t a cure to anxiety, but it can help you feel better while doing something you already love.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Hmm, do I?

        I’ve got Asperger’s. That’s tied up with why I love reading so much. I was the one sitting at the edge of the playground with his nose in “Huckleberry Finn” while the other kids were playing and socialising, The adults thought my reading was bad for my mental health.

        I don’t know if they’re right, but I figure my alleged mental ill health was good for my reading so I’ve kept both of them up. Gotta get your priorities straight.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I do like to read, but not on devices. I have found that reading paper books is more efficient for me. From the studies I’ve seen, people get a better sense of where there are in the book, how much they’ve read, how much is left to go, and it helps in retention of what one had read, as well exercising the brain more. I recently ran across this article, describing the results of a study, in which the writer says you might want to print out the article for better retention. A professor of Education, Health and Behavior looked at 33 studies done between 2008 and 2018, with 2,799 study subjects – men, women, and children. There was no difference in reading speed, as was once thought. She found that reading from paper generally led to better understanding and improved a person’s performance on tests connected to the reading material. A caveat to this is that such differences were notable only when the reading materials were expository texts — or explanatory and based on fact. She found no major difference when it came to narrative, fictional texts. She found that paper readers usually have a higher recognition of how well they have understood a text than screen readers. This skill is called metacognition. The word “cognition” means the mental action of increasing knowledge and understanding. “Metacognition” simply means thinking about one’s own thinking. Anyway, I can simply add the link here.
    https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/study-paper-reading-more-effective-than-screen-reading/4876473.html

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I have PTSD from being assaulted and severely bullied and worse, and I find reading and studying has helped me more than anything. Good article, and children who read will do better in life than those whose parents never read to them or don’t encourage them when they are a little older to read. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are brave Anne. Not many people have the courage to lead a happier life after going through so much. Thank you for sharing your inspiring story. Reading makes you feel happier with yourself and your life. Readers reported being less stressed and less depressed, and having higher levels of self-esteem and a greater ability to cope with challenges.

      Like

  12. What I learned from Professor Alex Argyros’ book, “A Blessed Rage for Order, Deconstruction, Evolution, and Chaos,” is that if art is an agent of loss, absence, and death, which it certainly is, then it is also the site for the production of truth and beauty. So when we read a work of literature that we are tempted to describe as beautiful, I suspect the work is a self similar system, describing similar patterns at different levels of the description and functioning as a non linear, dynamical system able to occasion global leaps of organization within the readers mind. Therefore, it is through literature that we are able to open our hearts and give others the opportunity to look inside and feel connected. Want to know what book I’m reading right now? The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you agree Styron. Everything you read fills your head with new bits of information, and you never know when it might come in handy. The more knowledge you have, the better-equipped you are to tackle any challenge you’ll ever face.

      Like

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