Did You Know Reading and Writing Has Health Benefits?
A snowy landscape strewn with barren, dying trees. A world so white that the horizon blends perfectly with the ground, not leaving any scope to demarcate between sky and snow.
You might be imaginative enough to be envious of me sitting on snow and writing this article. Alas, this sums up a description of Siberia from ‘Kane and Abel’ by Jeffrey Archer that I was reading a few days back. The narrative was so strong that I could clearly visualise the landscape sitting in India at 40 degrees Celsius. Did you ever contemplate that reading and writing might have any health benefits at all? While many bookworms have been termed as inactive people reading all day during commute to work, at the dining table, at social occasions and family gatherings (b-o-r-i-n-g), and even attending a meeting at office – it isn’t all bad. Trust me.
I can list at least 5 health benefits of reading and writing that will lead you to a better and happier place. Take a look.
Stimulates your brain – Have you heard the idiom that an idle brain is devil’s workshop? The human brain needs constant stimulation to be active and work to its full capacity. If you just sit waiting for your brain to jump up and do everything for you, that ain’t happening. Reading regularly is supposed to slow down or resist Alzheimer’s Disease, as claimed by researchers. Writing a few lines each day gives your brain the jolt that it needs daily. Just like you need a morning coffee to get ready for work, the brain needs a little stimulation too. Think about it, don’t deprive the most precious organ of the fodder it needs every day.
Reduces stress – Isn’t that each one of us aims for these days? We are so burdened with professional and personal stress that a little reading and writing can do wonders. I can vouch that reading at least two pages before going to sleep has helped me a lot over years to distract from all worldly problems and plunge into the bookish sphere. I had shocked my mother by reading Sherlock Holmes on the morning of my Secondary exams, that too just before the Mathematics paper! It helped me keep calm and concentrate on the exam with a relaxed and happy brain. A page or two of writing each day is also rejuvenating. You can’t deny the therapeutic effects of writing a diary, to the least. Try it sometime and let me know.
Enhances your Vocabulary – Well, that’s obvious. The more you read, the more you know and discover new words each day. The pearls of wisdom are imperative to sustenance as significant individuals. If you learn a new word or two each day, they will come up in your writings someday. This is particularly useful for writers, but even if you don’t write, do read. It opens up a whole new world with new scenarios, characters, cultures, and customs giving a new perspective to life.
Improves memory and analytical skills – You remember the character that turns out to be the murderer in a book, but can’t recall the name of Akbar’s son. I think it has happened to almost each of us. The stuff we read out of love and passion are etched in our memory and sometimes a remarkable dialogue or character is remembered for life. Studies have shown that new memories strengthen the synapses in our brain and improve our short-term memories. Similarly, reading a thriller helps increase your analytical skills while you finish off your nails and scratch your head to find out whodunit.
Betters writing skills – For all the aspiring writers, reading is the best exercise that helps in your writing. The more you read, the better you can write – is what most writers will advise you. Reading varied authors will give you an idea of their styles, flair, language and plotting skills. Writing every day will help you in pursuing the dream of seeing your name in print.
On World Health Day, all we can do is add our bit of reading and writing to some use and value. Remember, the more you sow, the more you reap.