World Book Day 2022: Boosting memory to mental health, benefits of reading books | Health

World Book Day 2022: Books are our best companions for life and this special bond starts developing right from childhood. Books not just educate us but introduce us to a world of imagination and stimulates creativity and analytical skills. As per researchers reading helps connect us with the complex network of circuits and signals in the brain and as our reading skills mature, so does these networks. Reading with your children also promotes their well-being as they develop warm and happy associations with books and their characters. (Also read: 10 easy tips to manage your mental health)

Reading aloud stimulates all senses

Reading from a book enhances visual, auditory, as tactual as well olfactory senses, says Bharat Sharma, Director of Souvenir Publishers.

“Each sense interdependently creates a memory package that helps children remember what they learned. If a child struggles with remembering the spelling of a word, they will think of how it sounded when they or their parent read it aloud. Or they may be able to recollect how the book looked and remember the story they read. Reading aloud even encourages children to learn the correct pronunciation of a word,” he says.

Reading helps in cognitive development

“Reading helps immensely with cognitive development of a child. When a child starts reading, they develop intelligence reasoning language information processing, which is why it is very important for children to learn reading,” says Arouba Kabir, Mental Health counselor & Founder, Enso Wellness.

“The consistent practice of reading and revisiting the pages increases children’s familiarity with words, which they eventually remember. When a child comes across other similar books or real-life instances that resemble what they have read, they learn to connect the dots and extrapolate their knowledge. This extrapolation requires them to refresh their memory and strengthen their retention power,” says Sharma.

Reading helps in emotional development

“Reading also helps in developing emotions like kindness, empathy which is being able to understand what people are going through. When kids read books, they are able to experience the lives of other characters and they can identify how they are feeling,” says the mental health expert.

Colourful imagery boosts happy hormones

Children also get comfort and happiness out of books thanks to the colourful imagery and vivid illustrations which boosts their serotonin levels.

“In children’s books, words and sentences are often aligned with vivid illustrations. Colourful imagery is scientifically proven to boost children’s serotonin levels, which helps them remember the pictures that made them happy,” says Bharat Sharma.

Good for mental well-being

“Reading is good for anyone’s mental health. Children are able to develop a creative side if they are given good stuff to read. They are able to manage their emotions better, have more knowledge and good cognitive development. It is amazing for their mental health and helps build emotional resilience because in life there will be some unfamiliar situations and if they haven’t heard about it or read about it, they would think it is just happing with them,” says Arouba Kabir.

It arouses curiosity

Reading books with interesting fiction ignites curiosity in children about the story. This curiosity naturally enforces them to remember the content in the previous pages, so they can understand the story ahead. “It not only sharpens their memory like none other but also increases their appetite for absorbing information,” says Sharma.