The Benefits of Reading: New Worlds to Be Discovered
Reading is a gift. It enriches us, excites us, and transports us to other worlds. It’s also an opportunity to grow, empathize, and discover new perspectives. In this article, discover the benefits of reading.
A book is something that can take us to so many new places, and yet it’s one of the least-valued treasures. It’s an opportunity to meet new people, see other points of view, and visit other worlds. It truly is one of the best gifts for anyone who knows how to appreciate it and the best companion to help us with any of life’s circumstances.
Reading opens a door to endless possibilities: magical universes, stories from the past, and futuristic visions. It’s the key that can open the locks of uncertainty, and give us inspiration for life. It can fill us with emotions that remind us that we’re truly alive!
Immersing ourselves in an ocean of letters is an experience that seldom leaves us indifferent. A book moves us, surprises us, makes us reflect, and can even change our lives.
“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they’re the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teacher.”
-Charles William Eliot-
The Benefits of Reading: Creating, Building, and Understanding
A book nurtures us, questions us, and offers us new perspectives. Reading enriches us if we open all our senses to it. It isn’t the same to skim quickly through a book, because, in that way, we’ll never connect with what the author is trying to tell us through the pages of their book.
We can get into the characters’ minds and live out everything that happens to them, recreating the conversations in our own minds and making them come to life. We can also learn more about different theories or concepts that the authors are trying to get across to us. Reading is all this and so much more.
Reading is creating, imagining, understanding, empathizing, and, above all, building. It’s a dialectical process between the author and the reader.
Psychologists Paul Watzlawick and Marcelo Ceberio affirmed this in their book The Construction of the Universe. They claim that reading and its consequent reflections are structured as a process of co-construction between the author and the reader.
It’s a true work of art, in which both participants get to know each other and build the product together – a product which is nothing less than a message with true values.
“To travel far, there’s no better ship than a book.”
The Psychological Benefits of Reading
Reading is an open door to learning, which can lead us towards exciting scenarios. It seduces and enriches us, and nourishes our brain. The fact of the matter is that reading strengthens mental processes such as memory, reasoning, and perception. It really does have the power to “open our eyes”.
Psychologist Ignacio Morgado, director of the Institute of Neurosciences of the University of Barcelona, affirms that reading activates certain areas in our brain:
- The occipital and temporal cortices recognize the meaning of the words.
- The hippocampus and the temporal lobe interpret the words and fill our minds with memories.
- The amygdala and other emotional areas activate when reading sentimental texts. This is the case whether they’re true stories or fiction.
- Additionally, the prefrontal cortex and working memory are activated when you try to reason what you’ve just read.
Reading Helps People Sleep
The University of Toronto recently published a study in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences. In it, they show that reading fiction improves empathy and certain other skills. This is because this type of genre creates a simulation of different social worlds in the reader’s mind. As a result of this, there’s a better understanding of social experience and relationships.
Furthermore, according to a study conducted by The Sleep Council, if you read half an hour or an hour before going to sleep, this can significantly reduce the build-up of stress. This is because reading is an activity that distracts the mind from the worries and pressures of our daily lives. It offers you a refuge where you can feel free from all these strains.
A Better Vocabulary
Another benefit that we can obtain when reading is a better vocabulary, especially if we read different types of literary genres. We form connections between words that are used orally and those we read. This enriches our verbal fluency and, indirectly, improves our spelling. Nor can we forget the influence that reading can have on our creativity, imagination, and emotional world.
A book is a silent companion we can build a bond with, and every link can transform us in so many different ways. Reading gives us a refuge, transports us to other worlds, and expands our mind.It might interest you...