Looking for reasons to begin reading? Or wondering why reading is good according to science. Look no further. Here are scientific benefits of reading, both physical and mental, emotional and cognitive. Reading is not an empty activity to fill time or a mere source of entertainment. Reading has tangible benefits, and various studies across the globe have proved these benefits to be true.

Boost emotional intelligence

Books stimulate thought, they prompt the readers to explore various possibilities, thus enhancing their judgement and perceptions. They enhance emotional intelligence, by prompting children to relate to and empathize with characters. Moreover, they foster understanding of human relationships, complexities and natures. In this way, they help readers understand their emotions as well as how to manage and regulate them.

Raise intelligent quotient

Reading acts like a workout for the brain, much like jogging does for the heart or body. This regular exercise for the brain keeps it sharper and fresher. Thus, reading books boosts not only emotional but also cognitive intelligence. Studies prove that reading prevents and delays cognitive decline as well as increases brain longevity. Visual and comprehension processes that are involved in reading boost the functions of the brain.

Scientific Benefits of Reading | Why Reading is Good According to Science
Scientific Benefits of Reading | Why Reading is Good According to Science

Increase attention span and memory

Books can have important positive impacts on the cognitive functioning of humans. They force you to abandon all other trains of thought and focus your energies on the material you are reading. This practice in concentration is almost a form of meditation which improves attention spans in the long run. And of course, you need to remember plot points in order to follow and grasp the storyline in its entirety. This is an effective exercise in memorizing based on comprehension

Reduces psychological illnesses

Reading involves the brain in fruitful processes, leaving fewer resources to devote to mental activity that leads to depression and anxiety. Books are known to calm the mind and make the reader feel good. Immaterial of the matter of the book, they cause marked improvements in self-esteem and self-image. Thus further makes people immune to psychological illnesses. Thus, reading books helps to curb depression, anxiety and even Alzheimer’s.

Bolsters stress response

Reading actually decreases the heart rate and muscle tension, as a study done by the University of Sussex proves. These lower levels of heart rate and muscle tension reduce stress both in the body and in the mind. Reading thus acts as a meditative act which reduces stress and helps the body fight stress more effectively. As previously mentioned, the fact that reading uses up all cognitive resources acts as a distractor from stress and relieves it.

Scientific Benefits of Reading | Why Reading is Good According to Science
Scientific Benefits of Reading | Why Reading is Good According to Science

Boosts vocabulary and comprehension

Reading allows one to encounter more words, phrases and meanings. Even when one doesn’t consciously look for the meaning of words, one usually subconsciously tries to decipher their meaning contextually. This leads to an improved vocabulary as well as fluence with language due to repeated exposure to it. It makes understanding of language faster and easier as well as responses quicker and more appropriate. In short, it aids vocabulary and comprehension.

Enhances empathy

Reading teaches people to relate to the world and be sensitive to it. In short, books transport you to worlds vastly different from your own, which increases awareness about various aspects of life. The protagonists of stories may be of different classes, castes, religions, races and professions, yet we are forced to be a part of their story. Irrespective of other considerations, we feel their emotions as our own, which enhances empathy.

Widens the imagination

Obviously, reading forces people to think out of the box. Exposure to fantasy and fiction worlds, studies claim, increases our own power to think creatively. Inhabiting worlds vastly different from our own is great for bolstering the imaginative processes of the brain. Moreover, reading teaches people that it is possible to think out of the box, that creativity is real and tangible and present within everyone. Thus, it encourages imagination.

Scientific Benefits of Reading | Why Reading is Good According to Science
Scientific Benefits of Reading | Why Reading is Good According to Science

Strengthens social and communication skills

Books are not mere stories, they are also companions. Contrary to what people think, all booklovers are not introverts without any social life. On the contrary, studies show that people who read a lot have great social and communication skills. Not only are they proficient in language and intelligent enough to hold a conversation, but also they are super empathetic and make others feel nice. Plus, they never run out of things to talk about.

Improves sleep cycle and overall health

Finally, books help maintain health in another important way – they regulate healthy sleep cycles. Because books help calm the mind and relax, reading books leads to sounder sleep, studies show. Plus, reading books before bed creates a kind of ritual, which makes your body recognize that it is time to wind up the activities of the day and prepare for bed. Reading thus acts as a cue for the brain to relax and rest, rather than screens which reduce sleep.

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