Research proves that fictional stories are better for the brain. If you want to find out more, then keep reading this article.
1. Developed empathy
Reading fiction develops empathy and helps to imagine yourself in the place of another. This is because the brain processes read and real information in the same way.
The left temporal lobe, which is responsible for language perception, makes the brain think that it is doing what the work’s hero is actually doing. This phenomenon is known as embodied cognition. As we read, we literally move into the character’s body.
Through fiction, we stop focusing on ourselves and begin to understand the behavior and motivation of others.
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2. Freedom from stereotypes
The literature demonstrates the laws by which society operates and increases tolerance towards minorities and the oppressed.
In one study, fifth graders read excerpts from Harry Potter, the teacher helped them analyze the text, which traced Harry Potter’s loyal position to Mudbloods – students born in Muggle families. After three lessons, the children became more tolerant of immigrants,refugees and so on.
3. Resignation to uncertainty
Stability is a myth, but novel lovers are of little concern. The study demonstrated that people who read fictional stories have less cognitive certainty than those who read nonfiction.
In the experiment, 100 students from the University of Toronto read one of eight stories or eight essays. After that, each completed a questionnaire assessing the level of their emotional need for certainty and stability. The results showed that participants who read stories had a better understanding of chaos and instability. This means that they think broader and approach problem-solving creatively.
4. Rich imagination and creative thinking
“The author writes only half of the book. The reader writes the other half. A good writer really doesn’t tell everything, but only the essentials, forcing the reader to use his imagination. The appearance and past of the characters, the setting, the smells, the timbre of the voice – as directors filming a film adaptation, we often think out the details ourselves.
If you find it hard to fantasize, take on fiction. It will stir your imagination.
5. Healthy sleep and strong nerves
Retreating into a fictional reality is beneficial to anyone under stress, but a book is the most effective remedy. Research shows that just six minutes of reading lowers heart rate and relaxes muscles by 68%. By comparison, listening to music calms you 61%, walking 42%, and playing video 21%.
Reading is ideal before bed. It distracts, relaxes, and helps you sleep.
6. Solid memory and logic
To remember all the characters in ” War and Peace ” and understand the twists and turns of the plot, you need strong nerves and developed memory and logic. By making your way through a complex romance, you extend the life of your brain. Proven that avid readers in old age are 32% less likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease.
The longer your chosen piece, the better your brain works.
7. Rich vocabulary
Research results show a direct relationship between the amount of fiction reading and vocabulary. The table shows the results of a survey of 30-year-old readers.
|Reading habits||Vocabulary, words|
|Read a lot, a lot of fiction||29558|
|Read a lot, sometimes fiction||28299|
|Read a lot, rarely fiction||24,064|
|Read sometimes, sometimes fiction||23353|
|Read sometimes, fiction rarely||21947|
|Rarely read, fiction rarely||12402|
If you want to speak beautifully, read fiction. So you will learn to formulate thoughts better and tell stories, get rid of formulaic phrases in speech and writing.
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8. New friends and discoveries
Fiction introduces us to people and sends us on adventures that we lack in real life. Characters become our friends, behavior models, and advisers. We argue with them, hate, and support them. In doing so, we experience real emotions. Reading literature, we not only move away from reality but gain new experience.
Journalist and producer Lisa Boo spoke at a TED conference about how books helped her weather the crisis and opened up new opportunities.
Fiction teaches us to understand others, empathize, and compassionate. It stimulates the imagination and enriches vocabulary. Connoisseurs of fiction are broader, open to new experiences, and creative problem-solving. And most importantly, they are more balanced and sleep better.
Adapted and translated by Wiki Avenue Staff
Sources: Life hacker