Reading books regularly not only provides entertainment and information on demand, but can also offer multiple lifetime benefits and perks!
“Studies and brain scans prove that reading activates different parts of our brain at the same time,” he said Jennifer Bahrman, PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston. “Reading a book is like taking our brain to the gym. It sharpens our mind and has a positive effect on our mental and physical health.”
Books – even shorter ones – charge the brain.
“Unlike the tidbits of information we might glean from social media, reading a book is a more conscious effort. It requires you to set aside a little time; It requires your mind to be fully present,” she said. “Newspapers, magazines and other light materials are good to read, but to get the most benefit from reading, books are better because they have more content to fuel our brains.”
Whether fiction or non-fiction, for pleasure or for learning, any book is suitable.
“Find a topic that sparks your interest, something you enjoy. As long as it’s relaxing or fun for you, it works,” Bahrman said.
For anyone not in the exercise, try to read at least 10 minutes a day, morning and/or evening. To read more, always carry a book (physical or electronic).
“Maybe you can read a few pages or a chapter of a book while waiting for the subway, at the doctor’s office, or during your lunch break. Of course, don’t forget a book on the way to the airport,” she said.
For National Book Month, this clinical psychologist shares six solid reasons to pick a book — today!
Reading books helps build intelligence.
First, reading provides the brain with vocabulary; vocabulary develops into oral and written skills; communication skills progress to higher understanding and critical thinking. Reading books essentially builds brain power by boosting memory, attention span, and imagination.
This habit can benefit a person at any age, but it is especially effective in early and late life.
“The act of reading books helps rewire our brains to work better. It actually helps us become smarter and more observant,” Bahrman said. “That’s why we encourage parents to read to their babies and introduce their children to books at an early age. This is also why we encourage seniors to keep reading as the brain ages.”
Reading books helps prolong memory.
A 2001 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that older adults who read regularly are 2.5 times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s. Essentially, people need to train their minds or risk losing some cognitive functions like memory.
“Reading novels, for example, requires that we expand our memory with characters, plots, and subplots. It also requires our brains to use our imaginations,” Bahrman said. “Reading stimulates our brain, so it is very effective at slowing down the mental aging process. It protects.”
Reading books helps to relax the body and mind.
A 2009 study by the University of Suffolk in England found that reading for six minutes a day can reduce stress by up to 68%. Another study from 2009 in the Journal of higher education teaching and learning found that 30 minutes of reading reduced blood pressure, heart rate and stress just as effectively as yoga or humor.
“Reading a book is an opportunity to slow down and focus. When we’re feeling stressed or anxious, it helps us focus on something else temporarily,” Bahrman said.
It’s also a way to unwind before bed.
“Because it can relax you, it can help you fall asleep more easily. However, a printed copy is better before bed because the screen light from electronic devices can keep you awake,” she said.
Reading books helps earn points.
Because the process improves comprehension, concentration, and memory (and general intellect), students who read books independently achieve better results on achievement and aptitude tests. When available, study for important exams such as B. standardized entrance tests, with hardcover and paperbacks of the “old school”.
“Studies show that people who read from a physical copy have a better understanding and retain more of what they read,” Bahrman said. “Printed books help people concentrate better; Electronic pages can be more mentally taxing due to eye strain and screen time.
Reading books helps develop empathy.
Fiction in particular offers different perspectives on life through the eyes of characters. Readers are therefore better able to connect with more people in real life due to their increased social and emotional intelligence.
“Reading helps you experience and understand other people’s situations and feelings. It helps develop an intelligence that makes you more aware and sensitive to others. It allows you to connect with more people,” Bahrman said. “Empathy is a valuable skill in the workplace. It is the key to working well in teams and leading and leading people in professional and private life.”
Reading books helps position you for success.
Book lovers tend to achieve more inside and outside of the classroom. They also possess the desired qualities that employers seek, including: advanced education, demonstrated oral and written skills, strong social intelligence, and greater resourcefulness.
“You may do better in an interview because you articulated your answers well, or you may be selected for a promotion because of your people skills or your ability to generate ideas and solutions,” Bahrman said. “Put simply, the more books you read, the more opportunities, career opportunities, and overall success you are likely to have during your lifetime.”