The Surprising Power of Reading Fiction: 9 Ways it Make Us Happier and More Creative
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Reading makes a large majority of people feel good, more satisfied with life.
Reading for pleasure has been able to foster even with the advent of the internet along with so many attention magnets like video games, smartphones and even Netflix. This is proof that it has something in it that makes people happy.
Fictional writings are diverse, uncertain and ambiguous. This leads to creating the ideal environment for creativity inside our minds. It decreases our need for cognitive closure, strengthening our mind.
Reading fiction also leads to having more evolved procedures for processing information in our minds.
Imagining stories activates the particular regions inside our minds that facilitate better understanding of others and seeing our surroundings with a new perspective, equivalent to putting oneself in someone else's shoes.
When we read about a situation and how someone else is feeling, we create the feeling inside our minds.
Hearing a good story makes us remember information for a long period of time. Studies show that regular readers have better memory, and a 32 percent lower rate of mental decline.
Even memory-related disorders like Alzheimer’s disease are less in regular readers, according to a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
With just six minutes of silent reading, a person can lower their heart rate and ease the tension in their muscles by about 68 percent.
Reading puts our mind in a low gear, resting its cognitive ‘chips’ and disengaging it from active duty for a while. Reading puts our mind into a light trance, a form of meditation, and has similar benefits like relaxation and a peaceful, calm feeling.
Reading non-fiction before bed makes us project into the future, and increases our anxiety levels.
Reading fiction does the opposite, it stokes our imagination, disengaging our mind from the day’s tensions and being conducive to a relaxing sleep.
Reading fiction creates activity in the left temporal cortex region of the brain, which is associated with language.
Reading fiction helps build up our vocabulary, far more than reading non-fiction, as fictional books have a greater variety of words and phrases.
Reading fictional tales with diverse characters makes a reader more tolerant and open-minded towards marginalized groups.
Young readers are less discriminating and more inclusive towards others who come from a different socio-economic background or look different than them.
Reading fiction can help us explore many ideas of complex emotions, change and other unknown factors that are missing from our lives.
Peeking into a different (fictional) reality of someone else's story helps us learn how others live and adapt to changing situations, something that benefits us in our life situation.
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A negative mind will never give you a positive mind.
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