Benefits of Reading
Why do you need the skill of getting information from written words? Reading has walked us through different aspects of life. Whether in the eighth century BC or the twenty-first century, it has become a part of everyday life. It is an intellectual activity for all ages. It has offered all its readers unique gifts from vocabulary to empathy. For me, it is like a doctor who heals patients- relief from stress or mental illness. This blog aims to unveil many such benefits of reading.
Benefits of reading to all age groups
Improvement in comprehension and vocabulary
Reading builds on the vocabulary list and improves spelling and comprehension. In preschool children, it helps with language learning. This helps in better grades in assessments and other standardized tests. With communication skills and knowledge broadened. Reading opens doors to many opportunities.
Teaches to empathize
Charles Dicken in his novels Oliver Twist,Hard Times…has hinted at the benefits of reading in developing emotional intellect like empathy. Reading fiction gives readers a chance to empathize with different characters. This role play prepares them for real-life situations. To build, move and maintain relationships. How do readers develop empathy?
Have you ever cried or laughed while reading? If yes, you are empathetic. In the story of Cinderella, we get upset when Cinderella does all chores alone. And filled with tears of joy when married to the prince. These actions are not done to us, but we react. Hormones along with the brain do this job.
Readers are in stress if characters are in danger. This is due to the release of cortisol (hormone). It engages the readers with the text, otherwise, they quit and move to other activities. Another hormone, oxytocin produced when there is a feeling of closeness. (physical or imaginary). Hence building a close relationship between the reader and the character. Communication between the brain cells (mirror cells) gives real-life experiences to the reader. Like sweating and tingling sensations in the body. Thus reading sets off a chain of reactions in the body which develops empathy.
Benefits of reading for better sleep
Nowadays there is limitless access to the internet. It is hooking individuals to phones, computers, TV, or e-reading, even while resting. This adversely affects on quality and quantity of sleep. Melatonin is a hormone that controls the sleep-wake cycle. Its production increased in the presence of light, signaling the body to be awake. While in dark its production is reduced, directing the body to sleep. Thus light from screens disrupts this cycle. The readers are advised to read for about thirty minutes away from their beds.
Selection of text for bedtime reading is the key to quality sleep. Keep away from horror and suspense stories. as these triggers stress hormones. Reader lying or sitting feels physically relaxed. The world of text gives mental relaxation. Thus the body gradually enters into sleep mode, rather than forceful sleeping.
Reading and self-identity
Adolescence is the period of self-identity ie. self-exploration or self-defining. They reflect on values, beliefs, and roles they have in the world. Reading makes this process easy. During the struggling period, readers look upon characters as their role models. Various plots help relate to different situations they face. Reading as an identity guide shapes their present as well as future.
Benefits of reading-knowledge
Be it pleasure or academics, readers are being informed about various topics like cultures, history, science, sports, and, so on.
Reading as an antidote to depression
During depression you will feel lonely.” We read to know that we are not alone”, William Nicholson. Engaged in fiction, readers get into the characters, a shift, and relief from their natural world. Non-fiction gives an insight into causes, symptoms, and, ways to deal with depression. Draw the benefit of reading from books like ” Feeling Good” by Dr.David Burns, “Lost Connections “by Johann Hari, and so on.
Reading a tool for entertainment
It’s one choice to entertain, with reading as one available option. It is portable and cost-effective. Allows the readers to pause and enjoy. Some engaged in laughing along with the book. With various settings, you get a tour of imaginary places. Books, magazines, and, pamphlets give factual data about the various tourist spots.
Reading for pleasure in early childhood strengthens the bonding with parents and learning. During schooling, it promotes literacy needed for academics via grammar, spelling, and, so on. The benefits of reading are noticed in emotional and social well-being.
Benefits of reading in age-related cognitive decline
Cognitive decline is the reduction in mental abilities like thinking, concentration, and, memory. As reported in the Journal of Neurology (2013), the decline was due to abnormalities in the brain. Like Lewy bodies, amyloid burden, and tangles. It progresses with age. In this scenario reading is an aid for prevention, prolonging, and, treatment .” Early the better “is not the cornerstone of reading. It can be picked up at any stage.
Reading a mental exercise strengthens the neurons ( brain cell ) network. The more you practice the better, making you a mature reader with sophisticated brain networks. After reading, readers recall the character or author’s name and, plot. Thus the benefits of reading enhance memory. Reading reduces decline by thirty percent.
Case studies provide pieces of evidence for the benefits of reading.
Advantages of reading in weight loss
Duke University conducted a study on thirty-one girls of ages nine to thirteen years. Dividing into three groups, all following a diet plan. The first group read a novel called Lake Rescue. The second group was reading other books without motivation and the last group did not read at all.
After a few months, weight reduction happened in all groups due to the diet plan. But was more in the first group, followed by the second group. This study suggested that the girls of the first group looked up to the heroine of the novel as motivation. She was the mirror image of them. Obese, lacked self-esteem, and was bullied for her size. Later she changed her lifestyle and worked on her mentors’ advice. So did the girls.
Avoiding surgery or medicines was opted, considering the age factor. Reading for behavioral modification along with lifestyle changes helped.
Let’s wrap up the benefits of reading
Literacy is an indispensable part of the fast-paced developing world. Whatever reasons you may have for reading. For pleasure and bonding as with children. Young learners battling in life, do so for better grades or job opportunities, for seeking knowledge, and to self-defining. Adults use it to overcome boredom, as a measure to avoid upcoming mental illness, or as a part of treatment. A book is a friend for them during emotional turmoil.
Aspiring for the benefits of reading is not a ‘want’ but a ‘need’.Young or old it’s worth doing. So give a head start to READING.