- Nancy Urbach
Should You Be Reading More?
Picking up a good book can be entertaining, but did you know that reading can provide other benefits? Studies have found that reading may reduce stress, strengthen your brain function, and boost your creativity. Next time you are shopping online, don’t forget to pick out a good book and start benefiting from reading more.
Reading can reduce your stress.
At the University of Sussex in the UK back in 2009, scientists evaluated how stress can be lowered by different activities. They measured the physical body’s response, by measuring heart rate and muscle tension reaction to each activity. They found that, “Reading a book or newspaper for just six minutes lowered people's stress levels by 68 percent. According to the authors, the ability to be fully immersed and distracted is what makes reading the perfect way to relieve stress”. When you fully focus, it envelopes your brain’s attention so you stay in the present. The focus doesn’t allow your brain to wander onto other topics; giving your mind the break it needs from over analyzing or thinking about your never ending to-do list.
Reading can strengthen your brain.
Reading has been found to strengthen your brain, researchers have confirmed that reading involves a complex network of circuits and signals in the brain. As your reading ability matures, those networks also get stronger and more sophisticated. After scientists had their participants read for a few days, they observed their brain connectivity increased after reading. Just like any muscle, the more you use it the stronger it gets. Reading is the perfect workout for your mind. The good news is that there are so many topics and types of books you can enjoy while doing your mental workout. Keeping your brain in shape can help you to maintain your mental strength as you go through the cycles of life.
Reading can boost your creativity.
"When we read fiction, we practice keeping our minds open because we can afford uncertainty." According to Maja Djikic, a psychologist at the University of Toronto. Djikic came to that conclusion after she conducted a study in which 100 people were assigned to read a fictional story or a nonfiction essay. The fiction readers emerged as more flexible and creative than the essay readers—and the effect was strongest for people who read on a regular basis. Books can open up so many possibilities into creativity. There are whole worlds that authors have created to entice the mind and get you thinking about what comes next. Why not use all the tools and books at your disposal to increase your creativity.
You can start with a few pages a day! Find a genre that speaks to you and dive right in. We eat healthy to maintain our body, why not read more to maintain your mind? Your brain will thank you and you can discover some amazing books along the way!