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The Beauty of Books

I have enjoyed reading for as long as I can remember. My love of reading first began when I was little when my father taught me how to read and we loved going to the library together as it is one of my fondest memories. Ever since then no matter what changes and challenges I face in life reading has been a constant source of solace and a companion especially in 2020. 

However, in these challenging times that we are living in, I feel that the positive benefits of reading have had a surge of rediscovery and in popularity as people have more free time to fill and that this can make a positive difference to our daily lives, with more people indulging in the hobby using the time they may not have previously had.

There are numerous positive mental health benefits to the hobby of reading and how this hobby as a daily practice can be used as a tool that promotes health and wellness by providing many benefits in physical and emotional well being. Read on to discover more in this first instalment of a two-part series.

Stimulate your mind

Studies have shown that reading can help you by stimulating the brain it can slow or even prevent various conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. As it helps to keep your brain sharp and engaged.

Just like other muscles in the body that require stimulation the brain requires this to keep sharp by providing mental stimulation via things like puzzles and games like chess.

Reduce stress

One of the main benefits of reading is in its ability to lower our stress levels by allowing us to be absorbed in something else. 

The power of the novel is able to transport us to another land while perhaps a shorter article or a non-fiction article can still distract us while informing us and allow our tensions to disappear which is allowing us to relax.

Gain knowledge

A benefit of reading is also related to the knowledge that we absorb and retain from the hobby as you never know where this knowledge could be useful. And that the more that you know and learn from books you read the better equipped you will to face any challenge that may come your way.

It is also good to know that even in dark circumstances and times nothing can take knowledge away from you.

Expand your vocabulary

The more that you read the more words that you will know and that will benefit you in all sorts of ways.

Being well-spoken and articulate is an asset in any profession or environment and definitely boosts self-esteem as it builds up confidence 

It can even aide career development as those who are well-spoken and knowledge often get further in the careers with more awareness in the world around them.

It is also handy if you want to learn a new language as it helps those who are not native to a language by being exposed to words in a context which can aide in speaking and writing fluency.

Improve your memory 

When you read a book, you have to remember characters their backgrounds their ambitions their dreams and nuances and subplots that are part of every story that we read.

This can be a lot to remember but our brains are amazing and can remember all of these details with ease.

Every new memory that we create is beneficial as it creates new synapses in our brains and strengthens existing ones which aides in our short-term memory development and stabilising our moods.

Develop stronger analytical skills

Have you ever read a book and found yourself solving a mystery before the end of it?

If so this was solved by using your critical thinking skills to come to a solution by taking note of all of the details that were provided within the text.

This same ability to analyse details comes in handy when it comes to critiquing a plot to determine whether a piece is well written and if the characters were properly developed and if the storyline was fluid and smooth.

If you have the opportunity to discuss the story with others in any setting these skills will enable you to have clearly stated opinions as you have taken the time to consider every aspect involved.

Improve your concentration

In our internet-driven world, our attention is divided between various websites and this can affect our productivity. With this behaviour, our stress levels can be affected hugely.

However, reading focuses our attention and by reading a story it absorbs us and ables us to immerse ourselves fully in details.

Lara Edwards
Community Manager and Editor of Motiv8.Me Woman. A photographer, radio presenter, poet and spoken word performer, Lara recently graduated from university with a joint honours in History & Creative Writing.

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