Reading is one of life’s simplest pleasures, and reading can bring joy and contentment that no other hobby can. However, it also can bring all kinds of wonderful effects into your life, with tremendously helpful benefits to your mind, body, and life. Here are 7 of the best effects that reading has on the brain:
- Reading heightens brain connectivity.
One of the incredible effects that reading has on your brain is that the neurons in your brain are better connected and working at maximum efficiency. That means you can think more quickly, are better at creative problem solving, and have better memory recall. This is because reading acts as something of a “workout” for your brain, so your mind is better prepared and stronger for when you need it throughout everyday life.
2. Reading strengthens your empathy
Reading has the benefit of making you a more empathetic, compassionate person. People who read regularly have been shown in studies to give more money to charity, be kinder to others, spend more time volunteering for their community, and show more compassion to strangers. This is because reading forces your mind to practice seeing the world through the perspective of other people and cultures, giving you more “practice” with compassion and strengthening your empathy muscles!
3. Reading provides mental stimulation
Unlike many other popular pastimes like movies and television, reading provides a huge amount of mental stimulation. This means that reading can improve your IQ, make you a faster, more creative thinker, and even help prevent mental decline such as conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
4. Reading reduces stress
One incredible effect of reading is that it reduces stress. This is for a few reasons – for one thing, reading daily creates a time each day during which you are avoiding too much stimulation, not watching television screens, and spending some quiet time alone, which already contributes hugely to experiencing less stress. However, reading has a way of transporting one to another time and place. Researchers have described the state of mind of one reading a good book as almost meditative, because of the deep state of relaxation readers can achieve. It has the effect of reducing your blood pressure, reducing your resting heart rate, and preventing stress-related conditions like heart and respiratory stress.
5. Reading Can Improve Our Memory
Reading has an incredible effect on your memory. Readers have been shown to demonstrate better memory both in the short term and long term, with an even more significant gap between readers and nonreaders for recalling complicated details of recalled events. Readers are used to taking in and remembering long-form narratives in books, so remembering and accurately recalling detailed information is a skill they’re quite used to.
6. Reading strengthens relationships and reduces risk of depression
Your mental health can be significantly improved by reading regularly. In fact, studies have shown that reading regularly can greatly reduce your risk of such mental conditions like depression and anxiety. It also has the added effect of improving your personal relationships, partially through the positive effect it can have on your mood and partially through its ability to improve your empathy and compassion.
7. It expands a reader’s attention span.
It’s no secret that in today’s fast-moving world, the average person’s attention span is rapidly shrinking. However, by reading just a bit every day, you can improve your attention span considerably. Reading is unique in its slow, careful pace, giving you a chance to practice focusing on a single task for an extended period of time. Reading for even just twenty to thirty minutes a day can have a huge impact on your ability to focus and pay attention for longer stretches of time. The effects that reading has on the brain is to give it a workout!
By inspiring a love of reading into your child from their earliest years, you give them the opportunity to reap the effects of all these benefits to reading for their entire life. By providing them with a beautiful, easily accessible bookshelf from Tidy Books, they can have agency and engagement with their personal library from infancy and grow up with a passionate love of reading.