The Benefits of Reading are far and wide, but to describe it briefly, let me ask you a simple question first. If you are planning a vigorous health routine what steps would you usually take?
Daily exercise? A well-maintained diet? Better work life balance?
Think of reading as an exercise for the brain and food for intelligence as well.
Our brain demands equally tough drills to remain healthy and fit, and by indulging in reading—be it a newspaper, entertainment section, or a novel—you are constantly exercising your brain and refining your intelligence level simultaneously.
Physiologists believe that reading consumes more brain power than its other audio and visual counterparts, because deciphering the letters, words, and then sentences take more time comparatively. Thus, providing you with an opportunity to not only allow your brain enough time to process the information but also retain it. In fact, it wouldn’t be too far to assume reading as a ‘brain workout’.
To further prove my point on the benefits of reading, I have put together the top 08 reasons why you should consider taking up casual reading in your daily routine.
1. Reading Sharpens Memory (Fighting Alzheimer)
Memory fades with time, but reading can prevent aggravating the situation further.
In a study conducted by “Alzheimer’s disease center and departments of neurological sciences”, Chicago, the author explained the effects of cognitive activities on brain aging. He believed early age reading could lessen the extent of memory loss in old age, consequently lowering the risk of developing Alzheimer.
To put it plainly, our mental stamina—Brain cognitive reserves—plays a crucial role in protecting us from mind weakening, and reading strengthens those reserves to delay the process.
2. Reading Improves Comprehension
Comprehension signifies your ability to easily and quickly understand the sentences.
While with age our readability level improves, the pace with which we comprehend a written content is solely dependent on how often we read.
Take a classic example of cooking. For a regular cook, the meal preparation time would be shorter than the one who cooks rarely despite both having similar cooking skills. Comprehension works in a similar way.
The more you read, the better your reading speed would be.
3. Reading Improves Vocabulary
I came across an interesting article—“A million-word gap”, published by the Ohio State University— recently. The article was based on a study conducted on toddlers and revealed that children whose parents read to them daily, gained 290,000 more words before they reach the kindergarten stage.
That’s a pretty huge number. Imagine how much improvement in your vocab would be if you include leisure reading in your routine.
4. Reading Improves Critical Thinking
Reading stories or perplex contents challenges your mind to push boundaries while analyzing these mind-boggling situations hones your critical thinking skills.
Take suspense stories for instance. If you’ve interest in that particular genre you would’ve noticed how when the author purposely misses out few details, your mind would suddenly start coming up with probable scenarios to anticipate the gaps in the story.
That’s critical thinking in a nutshell. It’s a sure way to shoot up your intelligence level in a short time.
5. Reading Develops Creative Visualization
Successful writers are known for their ability to create a world reader can visualize, a world that is realistically non-existent, yet our mind visualizes the details depicted via words.
Reading marvelous story building develops Creative visualization in us. Our mind broadens its circle of thinking, and great ideas and inventions come into the world.
As an avid novel reader (myself), I have greatly enjoyed the perks of creative visualizing. By polishing my ability to focus on little details, I had learned to flex my creative muscles and generously embedded them on my product lines.
To explore your capabilities, I suggest you check out self-help books from famous authors (such as Steven Covey give more examples you fake avid reader) to learn more about creative visualization.
6. Reading Increases Knowledge
Reading no doubt levels up your pool of knowledge.
Every time you learn something new, the information is retained in various parts of your brain—temporal lobe and cerebral cortex to be precise—and is stored away in short-term memories, and then shifted to the long-term part when it’s time for new ones.
It’s an endless pool with always space for more.
I personally took up reading as a hobby initially. I would read novels, stories and entertainment news for nothing but to amuse myself. However, with each passing time, I realized how much knowledge I have acquired through leisure reading.
7. Reading Builds Compassion
From creating unimaginable worlds to experiencing other people emotions, there is a whole lot to discover in a reader’s world.
A good book not only keeps you engaged with the storyline but you also feel a connection with the characters. From feeling happy at sappy happy endings to keeping a box of tissue handy in an emotion-packed story, a good writer has the ability to make you feel the emotions of the characters. I distinctly remember cozying up to a hot cup of cocoa and box of tissue while reading P.S I love you on a winter night.
Understanding one’s emotional turmoil could incite compassion in you. You would start to understand how people facing similar situations would feel in reality and it would slowly enhance your emotional intelligence.
8. Reading Relives Anxiety
In my opinion, reading is one of the best stress relieving activities. If you scroll through the internet alone you’ll find tons of content on the benefits of reading books in reducing stress.
But the best way to prove it is to give it a try yourself. Take a break, select your favorite book, settle on your comfortable chair with a hot cup of coffee, and engross yourself in the world of the author with the smell of brewed coffee permeating in the background. You will eventually feel your tense muscles relaxing.
Our intelligence is a collective of memories, knowledge, critical thinking and many as such. By reading a day you are not just improving all these parts but also elevating your overall Intelligence. I’ll wrap up my article with another burning question to stress the benefits of reading.
“What would happen to your body, if you simply stop exercising?”