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Reading fictional stories and its impact on your minds !!

Remember a time when you used to love reading your favorite book and no television or phone could distract you from turning the next page. Well, those days aren’t completely gone yet. All you have to do is take a book and start reading again today.

What may seem so tiring at first can eventually give you smiles and tears the more you keep turning pages one after the other. In fact, the last page may not just give you a sigh of relief but that is the part where you just lie back and imagine all of it actually taking place in reality.

But what does happen to our minds when we read a fictional story. Does it change our mood, our attitudes or even our characters? Do we become something we are not? Why do we give in to stories when we know it’s all fictional in the first place. We’ll find out !!

Is reading fiction really good !!

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Is reading a fiction really a good thing !!

Obviously reading is a good thing and the problem of today is that people might not be reading as much as they used to. But when a reader dives deep into the world of fiction, is it all about just turning the pages to find out what is going to happen next or does the reader have things going on in their minds.

Researchers have found that sometimes readers can be able to relate more with the character in the book eventually sympathizing with them, understanding them and even agreeing with the ideologies behind them.

Fictional reading can help you recover during your sick leave !!

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Reading can help you during your sick leave !!

Now you may wonder how could reading a book possibly cure your health, well it can !!

Researchers found that fiction reading can help women who are on their sick leave as it strengthened their ability to take part in day-day activities. The more women read the more they felt that they had as self-positive image about themselves and also a feeling of self-understanding through the subjective experience while they had a private space for recovery.

Most of the women recall their earlier interest in reading but gradually lost the interest once they became ill. Eventually, this reduced their reading hobby and they even reached the point where they had no interest to read at all.

However, most of the women then came back to the habit of reading after choosing books that centered on female protagonists or chick-lit books as the women felt they could relate to their sickness more with the character. And by doing this they eventually felt much better which would further lead them to read more literature based books like they once used to read.

Women listed out the various reason as to why they read  fiction, these are

    • Some preferred stories reflecting upon their own situation.
    • Some read books for aesthetic enjoyment.
    • Some of them wanted to temporarily escape from their illness.
    • Some of them found it more easy to relate to the characters
    • Some of them felt that it could actually help them recover faster.

The research was carried out Lena Martensson Ph.D. and registered occupational therapist, and Cecilia Pettersson Ph.D. and literary scholar from the University of Gothenburg.

The whole point may as well be to forget the fact that you’re ill in the first place and to engage your minds in something else. The next time you’re lying in bed, do take rest cos rest is important but trying reading a favorite book of yours and entertain yourself to a little happiness.

Losing yourself in fictional characters can affect your life !!

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Losing yourself in fictional characters can affect your life!!

The best part of any book or a movie is when you can relate to the characters in them. Don't you just love it when you admire a character so much only to find out that the character may just be your real life counterpart cos of the strikingly similar similarities? 

Researchers have found that people who often read fictional stories found themselves being able to relate to the emotions, beliefs, thoughts and even the deep internal conflicts experienced by the protagonist as if it was the feeling of the reader themselves. A phenomenon researchers call, ”experience taking’’.

The practice of experience taking could produce the following results in an individual-

    • It can be a powerful way to change our behavior and thoughts in meaningful and beneficial ways.
    • It can change our minds by temporarily allowing us to merge our lives with those of the character’s and further make us have a more sympathetic attitude towards them.
    • It comes by only when an individual is able to forget about themselves and their own self-concept and self-understanding.
    • The practice can also be much more immersive when the reader has replaced themselves with another person.
    • It is spontaneous cos nobody is forced into another person’s shoes but instead, the process can take place slowly and gradually.
    • It can even be a very powerful process cos the reader may never even realize that it is happening and takes place in their unconscious minds.

So it’s basically like this, you may consider some people weird, unusual or even inferior cos of the belief that you don’t share their traits and that alone makes you superior in every way. But in the process of experience taking, you automatically start relating to the character’s struggles, pain, problems and their experiences in life. Now you have just realized that you’re not that different from them which is when you experience a change of heart and a change in your attitude. And now you get to see them as your equal, discarding your previous grudges or perspectives about them.

The study was carried out by Geoff Kaufman, Ph.D. at the Tiltfactor Laboratory at Dartmouth College and Lisa Libby assistant professor of psychology at the Ohio State University.

A Sad Drama or a Tragic Real life story?

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A Sad Drama or a Tragic Real life story ?

Remember how you had teary eyes watching your favorite character die on screen in a movie, expressing their last moments with so much pain and agony. Better yet remember how you cried watching Simba react after looking at Mufasa’s lifeless body in the movie Lion King.

Another scenario -imagine you read the whole autobiography of a person who fought with a serious illness, all their life, stayed cheerful till the end but somehow suffered from the illness in their final days and finally passed away. Which one would make you sadder – the movie or the story?

So many of us would feel much more emotional and heartbroken after reading the story of the man with whom we traveled with and even got a glimpse of their life since page one. Researchers have said the exact something. In fact, consumers may even choose to read a tragic fictional story cos they know that it’s not going to affect them on a very high emotional level. Whereas they would refrain from reading a sad but less dramatic true story cos regardless of the intensity, the realization that something that painful actually took place could shatter or even scar them emotionally.

Battling their emotions, individuals may get so absorbed into the story or the actual experience that they might not be able to accept the fact that the story was purely fictional. Having deeply got into the protagonist’s perspective, the mere thought of an individual suffering from so much pain could haunt them. Regardless of whether they know that the story was fictional or not.

This could further lead the reader to change his/her taste in selecting and reading books as they may eventually start looking for more and more tragic stories to read. As this progresses, they might even want to watch funny or entertaining books and movies any more. By focusing on realism, readers may later start believing that true stories can have a much bigger impact on their emotional or depressed side instead of reading fictional stories and may continue in their search for tragedy related books. While this may pour in a rain of cash in the book industry, it may never bring peace to the minds of the readers throughout their lives.

The research was carried out by Jane E.J. Ebert (Brandeis University) and Tom Meyvis (New York University).

Can reading make us kinder!!

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Can reading make us kinder!!

After emotionally sympathizing with a character, a reader’s personality can sometimes even change, not in a bad way but in a much more nicer friendly kinda way.

Researchers found that readers had a much greater awareness regarding the people around them and were also more empathetic towards the people’s feelings when they were around them. According to one researcher when a reader reads words off the pages off a book, not only do we get a deeper understanding of the character but we also get the chance the chance to develop our empathic skills as we constantly picture what the character was going through in life.

The study was carried out Rose Turner who completed her Ph.D. in psychology at Kingston University London.

A little reading never hurt anyone !!

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A little reading never hurt anyone !!

From the things you have read above, reading is never going to hurt anyone in the future. In fact, it is the extraordinary power of imagination that pierces our minds leaving us emotionally vulnerable. Understanding and empathizing with others is a good thing but that doesn’t mean you drown in their sorrows cos eventually more than them you might just be adding in extra sorrows that you probably don’t even need anymore.

Reading should be done with the intention of making you happy or putting your minds at peace. Don’t try worsening it by reading about things that somehow make you become addicted to sorrow and pain. Instead, try reading things that can motivate you and give you joy in your life. Look for reasons to be happy. Read the lives and stories of others and let their experiences teach you more about what it means to live this beautiful life than to simply sit in a corner and cry.