LoveYourBrain Tip: Read A Book!

READ A BOOK!

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BRAIN HEALTH | 7.13.2015 | BY DAYA ALEXANDER GRANT, Ph.D., M.S.

Reading a book during the lazy days of summer is one of life's sweetest joys and escaping to another world is a wonderful stress reliever. In fact, reading for a mere 6 minutes can lower your stress by 68%! It also keeps your mind present. We all know the feeling of absent-mindedly reading a paragraph and then having to re-read it because you have no idea what you just read.

In addition to its psychological benefits, reading may also strengthen short-term memory and improve the brain's ability to concentrate.

Reading can also change our neural circuitry. One Emory University study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to observe heightened activation in two brain networks up to 5 days after reading a riveting novel (Robert Harris' Pompeii to be exact).

Interestingly, the superficial reading we do on our phones (while in line at the grocery store) doesn't truly challenge our comprehension skills since, during those times, we're often only skimming the text as fast as we can.

So tell us, what are you reading this summer?