The practice of using books and other fictional forms of the written word has proven beneficial to humans over many centuries. Although often maligned because it isn’t “real”, reading fiction has been known to help the mind and accepted fact in the modern world for quite some time now.
Never allow yourself to feel guilty for choosing to read a work of fiction rather than a biography or historical work. There are many benefits to your mind from reading fiction. Below are listed some of them.
1. IMPROVES PROBLEM-SOLVING SKILLS
Characters featured in a story are constantly experiencing problems and the main part of the story is how they solve these problems satisfactorily. When we are reading a story, our brain is focused on the main characters and we begin to consider the possible ways in which they could solve their dilemmas. Thus we are utilizing our problem-solving skills. The more we use them, the stronger they become.
2. HELPS INCREASE EMPATHY
Being able to put yourself into another person’s shoes and understand and sympathize with their troubles is a gift. Reading fiction improves our ability to do that. You get to live within the events that another person is going through. Your brain gets caught up in the story and doesn’t distinguish between what you are merely reading and what you are actually going through.
This helps us to understand the people who populate our real lives a lot more thoroughly and relate to their difficult circumstances with kindness and compassion.
3. IMPROVES MEMORY
Reading stories is one of the easiest methods to help you grow and strengthen your long term memory. Not only can reading sharpen your basic memory, but there’s the possibility it might be able to help decrease the effects of diseases like Dementia and Alzheimer’s later down the road.
4. IMPROVES VOCABULARY
It’s an established fact that people who read a lot, particularly fiction, have larger vocabularies than those who seldom read. You are inundated with a variety of new and interesting words, and really can’t help but expand your vocabulary.
Plus you will become more articulate and find it easier to communicate with others.
5. PROVIDES INNER SERENITY
If you’re upset about something, or just generally feeling frazzled, there’s nothing like sitting down and unwinding with a good book. Before you know it, you’re relaxed and feeling in a much better frame of mind. The nervous tension is gone and has been replaced by a sense of inner serenity that is hard to come by on its own.
It was not known or appreciated until fairly recently that reading fiction helps your mind. Nowadays, however, it is understood and even taken for granted that reading fiction is a part of nearly everyone’s life and that it has many beneficial qualities for the mind. In fact, it’s really the ideal way of letting your mind expand and grow. In addition, it has proven to be a stress-reliever and an effective way of calming both the mind and body. Never let anyone tell you that your time would be better spent reading something worthwhile, like a book on history or someone’s autobiography. Keep enjoying your fiction the way you always have and do it guilt-free.
Matt is a freelance writer who gives reviews to fictional books on a local newspaper. He also has a book club that gathers at their local library.