Researches show that it is much healthier to read a good book than change the channels on the TV, watching worthless programs. Reading can reduce stress by even 68%!
Statistics show that an average American older than 15 years of age, watches television for 2.5 hours, but reads a book for just half an hour during the working week. He spends his spare time surfing the internet and looking at the computer or a “smart” phone screen. It’s estimated that 42% of college graduates will never read book after the graduation.
Japanese research from the first half of this year, found that watching television can change the composition of the brain. The study included 276 children and teenagers, so scientists found that a lot of time spent in front of TV screen increases gray matter’s frontal brain lobe and reduces verbal IQ (the ability of expression).
Another study revealed long-term positive effects of reading novels. In the study, students underwent magnetic resonance brain imaging before, during, and after reading the novel. Scientists found an increase in connections of brain areas responsible for language sensitivity; the increased connectivity remained till the next day, similar to the “muscle memory”.
The leader of the research, Emory University neuroscientist Gregory Berns says: “The least we can say is that reading strong narrative stories, reconfigures the brain network for at least several days. It shows how the stories are remembered. This revelation could have a significant role in forming children’s brain.”
What else does the reading do to the brain? Research made by the University of Sussex found that subjects who had been under stress needed only six minutes of reading to calm down (heart functions slowing and the tension withdrawal from the muscles).
Dr. David Lewis describes how reading helps against stress: “It doesn’t matter what book you read, immersing yourself into a captivating story helps you escape from everyday stress and worries, and make you spend time exploring the world created by the writer’s imagination.”
Maybe it would be a good idea to visit a library or a bookstore to feel better.