Reading can transport the reader to a different world and show the world through the eyes of various characters each of them a slice of the writer’s reality. The journey from a writer’s mind to the free flow of a book to a reader’s mind — to be interpreted in their own way – is a beautiful journey.
This is because reading can rewire a human mind.
Humans have had written the language with them for just around 5000 years, which shows that reading is not essential for the survival of human species. However, it does make us socially more adept and better able to understand people around us and walk through life.
HERE ARE A FEW FACTS THAT SHOW HOW READING IMPACTS YOU AND CHANGES YOU FOR THE BETTER:
1. Reading improves cognitive intelligence
Research has shown that reading changes certain areas of the brain and activates certain others. According to neuroscientists, reading “rewires” those areas of the brain responsible for spoken language and vision. This improves our cognitive intelligence.
Reading can improve the functioning of the brain area that filters the massive amount of visual information that we see every day. This effect can also be observed in adults who learn to read much later in life.
A 2013 study from Emory University showed that reading novels could rewire certain areas of the brain, producing biological changes that lasted for up to five days.
2. Reading helps us understand how other people think and feel
Reading improves our emotional intelligence. Books allow us to hold multiple points of view in our mind at the same time. Someone who reads more is thus more likely to empathize with fellow humans or animals as he/she is able to quickly flow into a third person’s perspective in order to see a situation through a different pair of eyes.
Reading improves our “theory of the mind” – how we think other people are thinking, and “how we use the states to explain and predict the actions of those other persons”, as the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy states.
This “intuitive philosophy” allows us to look around us and have a better idea of how people around us are thinking and feeling. This understanding can improve the overall quality of a person’s life as it would allow us to act with better judgment and more insight into the feelings and thought pattern of others.
Reading helps us empathize much better, allowing us to connect with other people more as it trains us to understand and accept other perspectives. Our executive functioning improves because of these effects on the brain.
3. Vocabulary Expansion
This goes with the above topic: the more you read, the more words you gain exposure to, and they’ll inevitably make their way into your everyday vocabulary. Being articulate and well-spoken is of great help in any profession, and knowing that you can speak to higher-ups with self-confidence can be an enormous boost to your self-esteem. It could even aid in your career, as those who are well-read, well-spoken, and knowledgeable on a variety of topics tend to get promotions more quickly (and more often) than those with smaller vocabularies and lack of awareness of literature, scientific breakthroughs, and global events.
4. Reading could help tackle developmental disorders
Certain mental disorders are increasingly appearing to arise due to problems in particular brain circuits. A study by Carnegie Mellon showed that “100 hours of intensive reading instruction improved children’s reading skills and also increased the quality of… compromised white matter to normal levels.”
5. Stress Reduction
No matter how much stress you have at work, in your personal relationships, or countless other issues faced in daily life, it all just slips away when you lose yourself in a great story. A well-written novel can transport you to other realms, while an engaging article will distract you and keep you in the present moment, letting tensions drain away and allowing you to relax.
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.
Additionally, here’s a bit of food for thought: should you ever find yourself in dire circumstances, remember that although you might lose everything else—your job, your possessions, your money, even your health—knowledge can never be taken from you.
7. Stronger Analytical Thinking Skills
Have you ever read an amazing mystery novel, and solved the mystery yourself before finishing the book? If so, you were able to put critical and analytical thinking to work by taking note of all the details provided and sorting them out to determine “whodunnit”.
That same ability to analyze details also comes in handy when it comes to critiquing the plot; determining whether it was a well-written piece if the characters were properly developed, if the storyline ran smoothly, etc. Should you ever have an opportunity to discuss the book with others, you’ll be able to state your opinions clearly, as you’ve taken the time to really consider all the aspects involved.
8. Better Writing Skills
This goes hand-in-hand with the expansion of your vocabulary: exposure to published, well-written work has a noted effect on one’s own writing, as observing the cadence, fluidity, and writing styles of other authors will invariably influence your own work. In the same way that musicians influence one another, and painters use techniques established by previous masters, so do writers learn how to craft prose by reading the works of others.
9. Improved Focus and Concentration
In our internet-crazed world, attention is drawn in a million different directions at once as we multi-task through every day.
When you read a book, all of your attention is focused on the story—the rest of the world just falls away, and you can immerse yourself in every fine detail you’re absorbing.
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