Do you notice yourself forgetting things? Are you are around your young children so much that you forget how to talk like an adult? Using words like ‘tummy’ or ‘boo-boo’ or ‘potty’. Do you find that the only things you’re reading are bedtime stories and haven’t picked up a newspaper or magazine (kids magazines don’t count) in months?
In order to be mentally healthy, you need to exercise your mind. Just as you exercise your body for optimal health, your mind is just as important and you must keep it functioning and clear.
Go to your local bookstore (if you don’t have time just order online) and conduct a search for something you are interested in. Buy it. (Or go to the library and borrow it!) Sit down every night or whenever you have a block of quiet time and read it. (MAKE time if you don’t think you can find it.) Order a subscription to a magazine. Read the newspaper. Set aside time at least once daily to devote to reading.
Besides the obvious result that you will increase your knowledge of things by reading about them…reading helps our memory, increases our vocabulary, boosts the attention span and increases our ability to reason or analyse. Not only ‘when’ we are reading, or the processing of thoughts of ‘what’ we are reading…but it builds our cognition. It strengthens our thought process of everything in every day life. It lets us develop our creativity and sense of reason.
By reading you are giving your brain the ability to participate actively in the medium (unlike a movie or tv). Your brain will process images and scenes from the words you are seeing. This strengthens your mind and the centers of your brain making them healthier.
Just like when you don’t exercise your body, your body will begin to deteriorate. So it goes with the mind. Your brain has billions of neurons. Neurons are little connections that communicate with each other. You’re never too old to build those connections in your brain. Reading stimulates the body’s ability to make new connections!
It doesn’t matter if you are reading fiction or the newspaper or whatever interests you. You’ve already seen what reading can do for a growing child. All the benefits on that young mind… it’s no different with your adult mind. Feed your brain!