Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

#Reading Is Powerful Medicine


To say reading is powerful medicine demands that I say a bit about the word “medicine”… Woman Reading

I’m not necessarily talking about pharmaceuticals—dangerous stuff

I suppose, if your dying and there are no natural alternatives, sure, take certain pharmaceuticals.

It’s just that doctors are often paid to dispense pharmaceuticals that people don’t need and that harm more than they help—I, in particular, was nearly crippled by misdiagnosed pharmaceuticals

So

My Oxford dictionary informs me that “medicine” has it roots in the concept “healing”.

So, am I saying reading can heal?

Yep, that’s what I’m saying.

And, that’s what a cool article over at Fast Company says.

The title is How Changing Your Reading Habits Can Transform Your Health and here are a few excerpts:

“…according to Dr Josie Billington, deputy director of the Centre for Research into Reading at the University of Liverpool….’Reading can offer richer, broader, and more complex models of experience, which enable people to view their own lives from a refreshed perspective and with renewed understanding’…”

Dr. Billington also said:

“People who read find it easier to make decisions, plan, and prioritize, and this may be because they are more able to recognize that difficulty and setback are unavoidable aspects of human life…”

So, those are good general (psychologically healthy) reasons to read more—here are some specific physical health-related reasons:

“Reading for pleasure in general can also help prevent conditions such as stress, depression, and dementia….Research has shown that people who read for pleasure regularly report fewer feelings of stress and depression than non-readers. Large scale studies in the U.S. show that being more engaged with reading, along with other hobbies, is associated with a lower subsequent risk of incidents of dementia.”

I’m sure you know that stress and depression can lead to many physical health problems

And, the article even covers more general Social benefits:

“Reading has huge power to make you see things from another person’s point of view…”

Research is cited:

“[showing] that reading reduces stress and creates neurological changes in the brain that makes it think you’re in another world—or another life. ‘Reading about people different to you, for example who come from another culture or background, can help you understand their perspective and readdress former prejudices.'”

But, you may say, I don’t have time to read more!

The article shares these recommendations:

1. Read what interests you not what you think you “should” read
2. Find just 30 minutes a week to read
3. Create a challenge for yourself
4. Don’t stick with a book if you’re not enjoying it

And, I suggest you go read the full article so you can benefit from what they say about each of those four recommendations :-)
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4 responses to “#Reading Is Powerful Medicine

  1. Salvatore Ritondo (@SalRitondo) November 27, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    This one has great personal meaning for me. ‘life changing I hope’

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai November 27, 2015 at 5:24 pm

      Good for you………

      Like

  2. dgkaye December 2, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    Agreeing here on all counts. Reading is truly like a well needed vacation and therapy. :)

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai December 2, 2015 at 5:02 pm

      Absolutely :-)

      Liked by 1 person

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