Benefits of Reading and Writing

Abstract

Most people don't understand the amazing benefits of reading and writing, so they don't do it. In today's society people sit on social media, watch TV, or just flat out don't make time for such activities. Reading and writing are both great habits that can lead to neurological and psychological well-being and even improve the body's physical function.
Why reading is so important? by Russell Sarder: Author,Entrepreneur & CEO of Learning

Introduction

With an increase in technology, writing has turned into texting and reading is almost non-existent unless a post is being read on social media. Psychologists and neuroscientists have conducted many studies in order to understand the true cognitive and developmental benefits of reading and writing.

Results/Findings

A study was conducted by J.W. Pennebaker and S.K. Beall, psychologists, on confronting a traumatic event. In the study, one group wrote about traumatic experiences and deep thoughts for 15 minutes for four consecutive days while another group wrote about simple objects such as a pair of pants or a car. The study showed that "writing about earlier traumatic experience was associated with both short-term increases in physiological arousal and long-term decreases in health problems" (Pennebaker and Beall). These long term benefits included reduced stress, reduced blood pressure, improved mood, improved physical health, and an improved memory. They believe that people with medical conditions, such as cancer, HIV, and even arthritis can benefit from confronting their deep emotions through writing.

Likewise, neuroscientists have discovered that reading a novel can improve brain function on a variety of levels (Psychology Today). A study conducted by Emory University provided information that becoming engrossed in a novel enhances connectivity in the brain and improves brain function. Also, Dr. Anne E. Cunningham, the director of the Joint Doctoral Program in Special Education at UC Berkeley, known for her research in literacy development, argues that reading has cognitive consequences that extend beyond its immediate task of lifting meaning from a particular passage.

Conclusion

Studies conducted by psychologists and neuroscientists give compelling evidence that reading and writing is beneficial not only to a person's brain, but also to their physical well-being. Reading as little as five pages every night or writing out feelings can lead to an increase in happiness and health. Reading and writing are great habits to obtain that can and should be eased into and encouraged.

Works Cited

"Emotional and Physical Health Benefits of Expressive Writing | BJPsych Advances." Emotional and Physical Health Benefits of Expressive Writing | BJPsych Advances. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.

http://apt.rcpsych.org/content/11/5/338


"Reading Fiction Improves Brain Connectivity and Function." Psychology Today. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2015.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201401/reading-fiction-improves-brain-connectivity-and-function


Pennebaker, J. W. & Beall, S. K. (1986) Confronting a traumatic event. Toward an understanding of inhibition and disease. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 95, 274–281.


"What Does Advertising Do for the Consumer?" Journal of Advertising 2.2 (1973): 22-27. Web.

http://www.csun.edu/~krowlands/Content/Academic_Resources/Reading/Useful%20Articles/Cunningham-What%20Reading%20Does%20for%20the%20Mind.pdf