You often hear how reading a certain book transformed someone’s life. You can find valuable lessons by reading, you can learn from others’ mistakes or confirm your beliefs in a subject captivating to you. Reading can alter your emotions by hearing what others have experienced, by showing you that life isn’t only about money, fame and power. Reading can bring you closer to your emotional side and open your eyes.Reading has a tremendous impact on the brain, and below are four ways this influences the brain and daily life.
1. Reading causes the brain to physically rewire itself
When we read, a new white matter is created in our brain. White matter can be considered a bridge, a communication path between parts of grey matter. This bridge makes it quicker for information to travel to specific areas of the brain and without this path, information will take longer to reach it’s intended target.
The white colour comes from the myelin sheaths. These are made by glial cells and the stronger they are, the faster the electric signals travel between neurons. Myelin sheaths make sure that most of the electric signal reaches its intended target as parts of it is lost on the way if the sheaths are not strong enough.
Myelin sheaths grow when we perform the same action over and over again, because the same neurons fire on the same path, thus making the connections stronger. Now imagine what happens if the bridge is weak and collapses.
2. Reading can reduce stress better than listening to music or taking a walk
A 2009 study at the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress by up to 68%. Listening to music reduced the levels by 61%, having a cup of tea or coffee lowered them by 54% and taking a walk by 42%.
The impact of the stress on the body is felt due to the increases in cortisol, the stress hormone. Cortisol is being produced by the adrenal cortex and it is released in response to stress and low blood-glucose concentration.
Stress also increases the chronological age of your brain, meaning that you brains age can be higher than your biological age. Some brain functions worsen with the increase of chronological age, for example, our short and long-term memory are affected by stress. The more stressed we are the less we can remember.
3. Reading a book takes you away from daily worries
When you read a book that you love, you are being absorbed in a dream world that takes you away from daily problems. You are holding a magical world in your hands.
Not pondering over your emails, bills, deadlines even for 15 minutes a day, will make a big impact in the long run.
Consider your mind a computer; the more files, folders and programs opened at the same time, the more it lags and the PC will crash sooner or later. Associate reading with a restart you perform on your mind in order to de-clutter and start fresh.
4. Reading will change the way you feel
Reading can shift your feelings, it can uplift you, bring a sense of joy and happiness, calm your body and mind.
You can feel empowered and motivated after reading a wonderful biography. Some personal recommendation is William Wallace, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffet, Gandhi.
Reading increases your empathy, the ability to connect with the others, in our case the author. The writer shared his story with you and by reading it you engage with him on a personal level.
Reading shows you what humility is. By reading someone’s story, you accept that person point of view, you grant them a chance to say what they have to say. You listen without interruption as the curiosity will make your ego disappear at that moment.
I hope that you take time to improve your passion for reading, as this will not only impact positively your brain and daily life but will also open the way to new worlds, new views and new dimension.
Take care and have a wonderful day,