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Reading - are you a book worm ?


Who has time to read a book anymore ? In a survey of 2,000 UK adults, 67% said they would like to read more but nearly half (48%) admit there are too busy to read. Our modern hectic lives are without doubt to blame. We have more access to entertainment / devices where we can watch anything at anytime, or be connected to work and the added distraction of social media with all those push notifications ! So it’s no wonder we haven’t time to read a book, however, we are all missing out on a hidden gem to get away from it all.

Reading has many benefits to adults, which has been scientifically proven as follows:-

1. Reading makes you a better, brighter well informed person. How ? Well books offer instant access to a world of ideas, and open us up to the way other people think. A 2014 study by the University of Toronto shows that reading can positively affect our personality due to the way that it broadens our perspectives. Reading also helps to build empathy; insights into complex arguments and stories help you to better understand your colleagues, loved ones, competitors, and the broader world around you. If you can easily put yourself in someone else’s shoes, you’ll be more likely to make better, kinder, more thoughtful decisions.

2. Reading stimulates your brain, Reading allows you to vicariously experience sights, sounds, and situations by stimulating regions of the brain as if you’re actually living the experience. Researchers in Spain found that reading about pungent substances (e.g. jasmine, cinnamon, or garlic) kicks the olfactory centers of the brain into gear. In France, studies have shown that reading about action (e.g. the boy kicked the ball) triggers those associated with motor function. This action strengthens and speeds up neural pathways allowing you to be more creative, think more clearly and critically, ask better questions and make faster mental connections. In turn, this keeps your brain healthy.

3. Reading staves off the onset of Alzheimer’s .The simple, meditative activity of reading can help to reduce symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and mental health issues such as depression. How ? The cognitive effort of grasping new concepts in a text activates a host of neural pathways in your brain. As well as that, when you’re focused on a text and, it has a calming, mindful effect on your brain. Just as regular physical activity keeps your muscles toned, mental exercise keeps your brain fighting fit for longer. A study by the Rush University Medical Health Center in Chicago supports this, saying that people who regularly engage in activities like reading are likely to have healthier brains well into old age.

4. Reading reduces stress. Learning to take time to read could be one of the best things you do for your mental health. A study by pioneering neuroscientist Dr. David Lewis of the University of Sussex has found that reading for just 6 minutes is sufficient to reduce stress levels by 60%, slowing your heartbeat, easing muscle tension, and altering your state of mind

5. Reading more makes you a faster learner. The main benefit that reading has on your brain. You learn! Reading is the easiest way to give your brain a shot of new knowledge that can open you up to a new perspective, idea, or means of doing something.

Summary

Reading every day makes sure that you’re constantly exposing yourself to new potentials for change, past stories and building your knowledge base. The more time you spend reading and learning, the faster you’ll be able to connect new concepts and spot patterns.

Brett’s view

I enjoy reading and read a lot more than I do now when I caught the train to work. The newspaper has seemed to replace the books of late, but I’m getting back into reading more and really enjoy it once I do.

David’s view

I am probably the worst reader in the World, it started as a child and now as an adult I am trying to read for 30 mins before bed time. Surprisingly, if I leave my phone and ipad downstairs I actually manage to read rather than surfing ! So I am trying to get into this routine, especially after learning about all the positive benefits. Hopefully, there is still time to be a book worm !

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