From a very young age, students are told that reading will make them smarter and that they should pick up books instead of TV remotes in their free time. The promise of improving one’s intelligence has likely intrigued many of us. Studies have shown that reading does in fact improve intelligence.
Reading engages and strengthens the brain, which improves vocabulary, brain connectivity and writing skills. Reading introduces the brain to new words, concepts and facts, ultimately increasing one’s intelligence. Not only does reading make you smarter, but it also has several other benefits.
Better Fluid and Emotional Intelligence Experiences written about in books give examples of problem-solving and understanding others. Fluid intelligence refers to a person’s problem-solving skills and ability to identify patterns. People who read are proven to react and adjust to unusual situations more easily than others due to the content they have read. Reading also helps increase a person’s ability to understand others’ feelings and thoughts, also known as emotional intelligence. Reading about another person’s life makes us more empathetic and understanding towards our peers.
Reading also reduces stress and promotes relaxation. A Sussex University study found that reading can lower stress levels by as much as 68%. Reading helps to escape daily stresses and worries by preoccupying the brain. It is also very calming and even promotes better sleep, especially when reading before bed.
Improve Memory Reading improves the brain’s ability to retain information. Most books require students to remember multiple characters, their significance in the story or what happened in the previous chapter to comprehend the literature. Reading works out the memory muscle in the brain, ultimately making it stronger and providing you with a better memory. Because reading is so beneficial for bettering one’s memory, many scientists believe that reading can even reduce the chances of developing dementia.
Better Focus and Productivity. Reading requires focus, so reading can strengthen one’s focus and concentration abilities. Focus and productivity are interconnected. Therefore, when the ability to focus is improved, it leads to a higher productivity rate.