The Mental Health Benefits of Reading

Have you noticed that reading is not what it used to be? Thanks to electronics and technology, humans find ways to get information now without even reading. You can look up directions on YouTube, watch TV to get the latest news, or go see the movie instead of reading the book. While there is nothing wrong with any of those things, in fact they can be quite helpful, we should not be quick to forget reading.

Here are some benefits to reading:

– Reading is a mental activity. Your brain is a muscle and needs to be exercised. Reading provides exercise for the brain. It is more challenging to the brain to read than to process images. It challenges your intellect and concentration.

– Reading helps you develop a wide vocabulary. A skillful reader has a wide recognition vocabulary. He may not know exactly what every word means, but he will have a good general idea of the meaning of the sentence. You will also become increasing curious about new words and be moved to figure them out using the context or looking them up in a dictionary.

– Reading trains you to have an active and open mind. Merely grasping the writer’s idea is not enough. You must make a positive response to what you read. Be an active, not a passive, reader. Develop the habit of drawing your own conclusions, the habit of active thinking, of agreeing or disagreeing with the author. Keep your mind open; understand and weigh the ideas that you read. A practical part of active reading is the drawing of conclusions.

There is so much to discover when you develop the joy of reading. Grab a book and get going today!

A note to parents: Take time to read to your children every day. Starting when they are young will build in them an appreciation for books and for reading. It will also improve their language skills, cognitive reasoning, and intellect. This is something that will benefit them in the long run. It also builds a strong connection between parent and child. 

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