Brain food

When was the last time you read a whole book or even a detailed feature article in a print magazine? Do your daily reading habits flick across on social media, online news and other digital mediums?

If you’re like so many people who don’t make time to read…then you should take the opportunity to restore your love of reading. Here are a few wellbeing benefits you might be missing out on!

Mental stimulation
Recent studies have shown that reading or staying mentally stimulated can slow the progress of Dementia and/or Alzheimer’s. Also explored in our article on crossword puzzles, using our cognitive functions helps us to keep mentally fit and healthy.

Stress less
Books bring us so many glorious ideas, concepts and journeys that have the ability to transport us to new and exciting places. The written word can distract, intrigue, inspire and move. Sometimes the best way to calm our mind and reset our thoughts and emotions is a quiet moment with a narrator (that isn’t the voice in our head!).

Increase memory
Did you know every new memory we create imitates brain pathways or new synapses and strengthens existing ones, assisting in short-term memory recall and mood stabilisation? Amazing, right?

Just think, when we read a novel, we remember characters’ names, their attributes, family trees and sometimes across centuries! It’s great brain training.

Vocabulary expansion
A wide vocabulary not only sounds impressive in a job interview and gives us confidence on a first date, but it’s also a fantastic life tool to be able to speak and write with style and accuracy.

The English language, according to The Second Edition Oxford English Dictionary, contains 171,476 words currently being used every day. It just goes to show, the more we read, the more words we’re exposed to and inevitably these words will make their way into our everyday vocabulary.

Knowledge bank
Reading widely provides many wonderful insights and facts about life, love, loss and everything in between. Even novels can be scattered with factual information. That knowledge just might come in handy. You never know when a vital piece of material might be needed during a game of trivia. The way a character survives a challenge just might help us if we get into a similar life circumstance.

Improved concentration
The world is extremely fast-paced and we are expected to keep up. Many of us find our days consist of commuting to work, checking our phone heavy with content, working on a task (or five), checking emails, running errands, meeting with co-workers, catching up with friends and supporting the family. It’s no wonder the stress levels across the country have risen dramatically.

Focusing on a book retrains the brain to centre its concentration on a single task. When you zone out and direct your attention to one thing, which also requires concentration, stillness and calm, stress levels can reduce dramatically.

Reading is a way to expand your ways of thinking, still the mind, open your eyes and fill up your heart.

Want to learn more?

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