The benefits of reading literary fiction

The benefits of reading literary fiction

What is literary fiction?

Reading literary fiction has many benefits for a person and is a highly respectable piece of art that is more complex than mainstream fiction. In today’s age reading has become less of a luxury and more of a chore. Reality tv and social media have stolen the attention of this generation and has made it much more difficult to even open a book. Research has even shown that the human attention span has decreased to eight seconds which is a massive drop compared to recent years. Literary fiction brings us special memories and experiences that social media cannot. As a generation we need to pick up a literary fiction book and engage in stories which you can lose yourself in and escape from real life. Literary fiction is a highly respectable type of literature compared to genre fiction.

Reading amplifies your creativity

Literary fiction is an example of respectable and inspiring art which our imagination thrives off as it leaves room for interpretation. A direction may be given to you but you can create your own path and decide where the story goes from there. Literary fiction usually has endings where the readers are free to imagine what happens next which allows readers to delve into their creativity. Literary fiction provides you with creativity skills you can apply to everyday life and help you to think outside the box more often and think about things in a more complex way.

Discovering your inner hero

It is common in fiction stories to have a protagonist who overcomes obstacles throughout the story and becomes a hero at the end. These types of stories help us to build a connection and relationship with the character and make us feel like we are experiencing the journey with them. Readers may feel inspired by these types of characters and help them to become hero’s themselves, for example helping family and friends. This joint experience is proven by the Annual Review of Psychology where they analyzed FMRI brain scans and it showed that when people read about an experience they go through the same stimulation in the neurological regions as if they are living through that experience themselves.

Gives you the ability to empathize

Empathy is a much needed emotion and quality especially for entrepreneurs and so it is essential you read as much as possible. This has even been backed by real evidence which found reading literary fiction improved tests done by participants that measured social perception and empathy. When we read stories we tend to not judge the invented characters’ decisions or actions as we know they are not real and sometimes we actually tend to show more emotion towards them as there is a real focus on the character and we see their inner selves. We can use this skill in our everyday lives by giving people more empathy and not judging their actions.

Helps you find your true self

Sometimes in the real world our true emotions and ideas are overwhelmed by peer pressure and we find ourselves hiding our true self. However, when reading we are not only discovering true emotions but also our hidden wants and needs. Reading is a time for privacy where you can be yourself and so releases any social pressures you may face in the real world and we find ourselves looking at a life we believe to be true but feel too ashamed to admit to others. Through following invented characters’ journeys we tend to reflect on ourselves and realize what priorities are important to us.

You learn from reading

Characters in literary fiction tend to face a lot of challenges along the way and over time learn how to approach these obstacles, whilst doing so we as readers also learn from their experiences.

If a challenge comes across our way in real life we will know how to approach it and deal with it effectively all because of reading. From these stories we can change the way we perceive these challenges to make them easier to get through and continue our journey through life.

Gain superior focus

In today’s world it is difficult for us to focus on something for longer than half an hour due to our obsession with our technology. In order to achieve success and create art we need to be extremely focused and have dedication towards finishing tasks that we have to complete. Reading literary fiction is the best way to improve your focus as it moves readers in different directions. Reading mainstream fiction is less beneficial as it is much easier to concentrate and is more clearly structured whereas literary fiction involves more ideas and emotion making a more confusing and complex narrative which the reader needs to fully engage with and keep long concentration. It is beneficial to read literary fiction as your ability to focus increases and you can use this skill to your advantage when doing everyday life tasks and you won’t spend as much of your time wasted on social media and texting.

It brings you inner peace

For some, reading can give you a feeling of relaxation and calmness. Literary fiction is the best for this as your mind is concentrated on the plot allowing you to relax and forget about all the outside stresses of the world. This is even backed by the University of Sussex which found reading for six minutes can reduce your stress levels by sixty eight percent. Not only do readers have lower stress levels they also tend to sleep better, have higher self esteem and lower rates of depression, showing how it can improve your mental health. You need to begin reading as soon as possible if you’re ready to bring these positive effects into your life but the hardest part is starting. It may be best to start with one book and the benefits will follow once you get into a habit of reading at least 2 books a week or possibly more.

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