Why Reading Books Benefits Our Mind and Body
Fri, December 3, 2021

Why Reading Books Benefits Our Mind and Body

Research has shown that reading has the power to change someone’s mind. / Photo by: Pressmaster via Shutterstock

 

Some will say that books are slowly being wrenched from the hearts of most people. This is because of the emergence of the latest technologies that are snatching away the people’s interest and time to sit down to read a good book. Apps on smartphones are now allowing us to listen to audiobooks instead of opening the pages of their physical versions and immersing ourselves in the written words. 

According to an article published by Life Hack, the leading source of practical and adaptable knowledge dedicated to improving health, happiness, productivity, relationships, and more, recent research showed that the attention span of an average person has decreased from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds today. 

So, even though we still love books, it often happens that we read it for a while and then set it aside as we get the urge to whip out our phones and scroll through our social media accounts. So perhaps, we should become aware how, in the not-so-distant past, when the internet wasn’t even meant for public use, it was books that kept us company, bringing us to different worlds and times during the most boring nights in our lives. And that, despite the technological wonders literally on the tip of our fingers, books are still here for our more profound enjoyment.

Books Strengthen the Brain

Research has shown that reading has the power to change someone’s mind. As once said in the movie “V for Vendetta,” “You cannot kill an idea.” When you read a book, it creates endless streams of thoughts and ideas that are hard to eliminate. But perhaps more importantly, a good book can literally strengthen your brain. 

Healthline, an American website and provider of health information, reported on their website that researchers found out using MRI scans that reading activates complex networks of circuits and signals in the brain. As the reader’s ability matures, those networks also get stronger and more sophisticated. 

In 2013, researchers from the Department of Economics and the Emory University’s Goizueta Business School in Georgia, USA, found out that more areas of the brain lit up after their study’s participants read the novel “Pompeii” over a period of nine days. Their brain scans showed that throughout the reading period, their brain’s connectivity also increased, particularly in the somatosensory cortex. This part of the brain is responsible for physical sensations such as movement and pain. 

Great for Your Health

Romance novels are one of the most favorite genres of all time. Most of us have probably enjoyed at least one romance novel in our lives. Some might consider it a guilty pleasure while others just can’t resist reading great love stories. Either way, these tales of steamy and passionate stories have always been popular among readers from generation to generation. 

And it’s a good thing too, as studies have shown that this favorite literary genre also brings health benefits that we simply don’t notice. Little Things, an online lifestyle site, mentioned in their article that romance novels provide benefits to the body, mind, and relationships too. Reading a great love story all the way to its happy ending can be a great stress reliever for most people. When people have lower stress levels, it means a calm heart rate and lower blood pressure. 

These novels can also prove to be a great guide when you’re relationship is going south. The experiences and the lessons learned by the romantic heroes and heroines can be a great inspiration to improve how you express your love and affection to your partner. On the other hand, single people can also enjoy these novels while they’re waiting for their own love stories to start. It is nice to follow the hero’s quest for true love as you wait for your own knight in shining armor to arrive. 

 

Reading a great love story all the way to its happy ending can be a great stress reliever for most people. / Photo by: A.G.A via Shutterstock

 

Boosts Confidence

Great romance novels always have the most relatable heroes and heroines. These characters usually endure a lot of hardships and must overcome obstacles so that they can have their happy ending. How these characters grow with each chapter can inspire the reader to persevere themselves so that they can triumph against their own adversities in real life. 

Romance novels remind us to see our flaws as unique traits that can be used against the hardships we might encounter. Fiction is also a great source of inspiration for finding our own hero, who can be anyone, really. They don’t have to be a costume-wearing vigilante, but someone with whom you can relate to.

Encourages Empathy

Novels help readers to empathize. We might not notice it at first, but whenever we cry when someone dies in the book, it is a sign that the author is successful in making you feel another person’s pain through their words. These stories allow the readers to explore extensively the inner lives of the characters through their thoughts.

While high-tech gadgets keep us entertained, reading helps us connect to our humane self.