At this very moment, your brain is accomplishing an amazing feat—reading. Your eyes scan the page in short spasmodic movements. Four or five times per second, your gaze stops just long enough to recognize one or two words. You are, of course, unaware of this jerky intake of information. Only the sounds and meanings of the words reach your conscious mind.
— Stanislas Dehaene, in Reading in the Brain
We don’t have to be aware of the science behind reading to understand what it does to us. Yesterday, I asked people on the bearded gram what benefits they found in reading. I’m gonna use their answers and some extra info to share with you five benefits of reading.
1. Reading makes your brain stronger
Reading strengthens your brain. It’s science, the more you read the more you stimulate your brain and improve the connections of neurons.
And it goes beyond the muscle metaphor. It’s more than just stimulating a muscle by contracting and relaxing it. Reading is a complete workout for memory, language, emotions.
2. Reading makes you a better person
Through reading, you learn different stories and you understand different personalities. That allows you to be more empathetic and understand different scenarios.
By reading you also learn how to look at situations with different eyes all the time because you have a stock of probabilities learned from the books you’ve read.
3. Reading teaches you how to read and write
Sounds obvious, but when you read, you learn new vocabulary, and—even better—you learn words and expressions inserted in contexts and sentence structures.
And because reading stimulates your memory, language, and emotions, it will become easier for you to apply these indirect lessons to your writing.
Also, you’ll become a better reader because the more you read, the more you make your brain work on reading, the easier and faster it gets.
4. Reading is relaxing
When you read and dive into stories and ideas, your brain starts working at frequencies that are similar to the ones you get while meditating, sleeping, doing yoga, or just relaxing.
You also escape from reality a little, which can make you forget problems for enough time to recharge your batteries and regain energy to deal with them more creatively.
That is also why it’s a good idea to read before you sleep. You prepare your body and brain for a good night of sleep at a perfect brain waves frequency.
Finally, studies found that a few minutes of reading can lower your blood pressure, heart rate, and feelings of psychological distress.
5. Reading can save you from depression
Similar to what I said above, you can escape from reality a little. It’s not good to do it all the time, but temporarily escaping your world and embark on imagined realities can not only balance your emotions but also teach you how to cope with situations and manage your symptoms.
The benefits of reading are infinite. These five are the most important to me.
Now, between the lines
What benefits do you find in reading? And which one is the most important to your life?