Brain Areas Involved In Both Language Comprehension And Language Production Five Surprising Benefits of Reading

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Five Surprising Benefits of Reading

Between work and family, it’s hard to find any motivation to find time to sit down and read for any length of time. In fact, the average American only reads about five books in a year. With countless numbers of people only reading social media posts, text messages and emails, the benefits of reading are not being utilized. But there are many out there, and many of them will surprise you.

1) Reading prevents dementia and Alzheimer’s

Studies show that doing creative and stimulating things like reading keeps your mind functioning longer. Like exercise for the body, brain stimulation prevents signs of aging, including common diseases for older people. Not only can diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s be delayed for a very long time, but in some cases they can also be completely prevented.

2) Increase your memory retention

When you read books, you have to keep all the plot lines and characters in your head as you gather new information as you keep turning the pages. It actually strengthens the synapses in your brain the more you do it so you can remember more in general.

3) Reading makes you more empathetic

When you read anything with a point of view, whether it’s a memoir, novel, or personal essay, you put yourself in the shoes of the narrator and you can see things from their point of view, including their flaws, good points, and in the most cases back story. It can allow you to empathize with others in your life, even that annoying coworker who can’t stop complaining.

4) Reduce your stress

Another of the many benefits of reading is stress reduction. When you read a compelling piece, everything around you melts away, even your problems. You will be completely focused on the story or information that will calm you down and make you happier, especially if you are reading something happy and heartwarming. And when you’re done reading, you might be calm enough to look at your problem again from a different angle.

5) Relieves loneliness and other symptoms of depression

When you read a novel you develop a kind of relationship with the characters. Even if you exist only on ink and paper, you are still connected to that character. Sometimes you are even in their head. It alleviates feelings of loneliness because you feel connected to the characters. It also relieves feelings of sadness and tiredness when you read something happy and stimulating. There’s nothing like an effective piece of writing describing a hilarious event at a family reunion to lighten the mood. It can remind you of fond memories of your own from friend or family gatherings and for others, like me, you can experience the fantasy of an ideal family gathering that may never happen in real life. When I need a good pick-me-up, I personally choose romance novels that are often light and set in a world where good always triumphs. (Unless you read Nicholas Sparks. Then there’s death after the happily ever after.)

These five do not even count half of the many benefits you can get from reading. Unfortunately, not nearly enough people make it a habit to read regularly because they find it too boring or time-consuming to cram in ahead of time. The trick is to find good books that will interest you, regardless of how “intellectual” they are considered. Instead of browsing Amazon to read reviews that can often be questionable at best, find a blog that reviews books in a genre you like, or one that covers many genres. Below are two great resources that will help you find your next great read.

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