Elizabeth O'Brien

The Benefits of Reading…

Reading has been shown to create more empathetic people. People who read literary fiction - stories that explore the complexities of the lives of fictional characters – show a more advanced ability to understand the feelings and beliefs of others; to empathise. Even MRI Scans of the brain show heightened brain connectivity during the time when a novel is being read and for days afterwards, especially if there is suspense and tension in the book. (Study conducted by Pub Med Central, a highly respected database from the National Institutes of Health, and referenced by Healthline)

How you benefit from reading:

Vocabulary. Reading expands your vocabulary at all ages. This relates to the fact that reading helps to keep people’s minds active, again regardless of age, and helps us reflect on actions and circumstances that are new to us.

Personal Development:
It helps you to feel empathy. People who read literary fiction - stories that explore the complexities of the lives of fictional characters – show a more advanced ability to understand the feelings and beliefs of others; to empathise. British philosopher, Sir Roger Scruton once said: “Consolation from imaginary things, is not imaginary consolation.” Reading fiction allowing the individual to get caught up in the lives of characters; and non-fiction books can also be excellent, teaching coping skills or suggesting coping mechanisms to be used in all areas of life.

Health Benefits:
 Reading is thought to benefit mental acuity at all ages, and to help prevent age-related cognitive decline. The National institute on Aging, an American organisation, recommends reading as a way of keeping your mind engaged as you grow older. Although research hasn’t conclusively proven that reading books prevents diseases like Alzheimer’s, studies show that older people who read or solve maths problems or puzzles every day, maintain or improve their cognitive function. These theories are often discussed and have gained credence. At all ages, these are considered to have a positive impact on the development of the human mind. Even MRI Scans of the brain show heightened brain connectivity during the time when a novel is being read and for days afterwards! (Reference: PubMed; Healthline; The National Institute of Aging)

Makes you happy: Reading a book that you enjoy reduces stress. Even in the more trying times, a book will elevate your mood and take your mind away from the stresses you face. Many doctors recommend reading as a drug-free holistic means of warding off insomnia and creating a better sleep routine. Depression is often helped by reading fiction, allowing the individual to get caught up in the lives of characters; and non-fiction books can also be great, teaching coping skills or suggesting coping mechanisms to be used in all areas of life. Those prone to feeling down or to overthinking things, may benefit more from such coping skills.

Various studies have shown that people who read regularly live longer. Like the way people who drink tea live longer, it is sometimes difficult to know if these things actually promote longevity; or do they just distract people from doing things that have an adverse effect on longevity? Maybe drinking tea and reading, keep people out of mischief….

What should you read? The answer to this really is: Read what you like.

 

Reading a book that you enjoy, reduces stress. Even in the more trying times, a book will elevate your mood and take your mind away from the problems, the stresses you face. Many doctors also recommend reading as a drug-free, holistic means of warding off insomnia and creating a better sleep routine. Depression is often helped by reading fiction, allowing the individual to get caught up in the lives of characters; and non-fiction books can also be great, teaching coping skills or suggesting coping mechanisms to be used in all areas of life. Those prone to depression or to over-thinking things, may benefit more from these coping skills.
Reading a book that you enjoy, reduces stress. Even in the more trying times, a book will elevate your mood and take your mind away from the problems, the stresses you face. Many doctors also recommend reading as a drug-free, holistic means of warding off insomnia and creating a better sleep routine. Depression is often helped by reading fiction, allowing the individual to get caught up in the lives of characters; and non-fiction books can also be great, teaching coping skills or suggesting coping mechanisms to be used in all areas of life. Those prone to depression or to over-thinking things, may benefit more from these coping skills.