Reading fiction doesn’t just boost emotional intelligence, concentration, and critical thinking. It also helps prevent memory loss.
By Jessica Stillman, May 1, 2023
If you’re a busy entrepreneur, sitting down with a novel might seem like nothing more than a light and enjoyable way to unwind. But science suggests fiction offers our brains a lot more than just distraction and stress relief. Research suggests that deep, concentrated reading–the kind we do when we sink deeply into a great novel–builds key mental skills like focus and empathy as well as the ability to sift through complicated information and analyze conflicting arguments.
Reading doesn’t just fill our brains with images and ideas. It actually rewires how we think about them. All of which adds up to a good argument for why you may want to join super-achievers like Bill Gates, Barack Obama, and Jeff Bezos and make more time for fiction in your schedule. But if you’re still struggling to make time for literature, perhaps Richard Restak, a neurologist and the author of 20 books on the brain, can convince you. Restak insists novels have one more undersung brain benefit–they also help keep our memories sharp as we age.
You’re late for an important meeting, but you can’t find your car keys.
You know you have to do one more thing before you leave the office, but you can’t remember what.
You run into an acquaintance you’ve known for years, but suddenly, you can’t recall her name.
Forgetting things can be frustrating, anxiety-inducing, and … oh, man, what was the third thing? Fortunately, there’s good news. There are simple habits, backed by science, that can help people improve and even rejuvenate their memories. Even better, some of these habits are quite enjoyable.
There comes a time in some people’s lives when their aspirations for their children begin to rival or even exceed their aspirations for themselves.
It’s happened to me since I’ve become a parent myself. As a result, I’ve been on a years-long mission to collect as much science-based advice as possible regarding how to raise successful kids.
Here are five of the most interesting and useful strategies I’ve found and highlighted recently. The science suggests that if you want to do right by your kids, you should probably do these things.
1. Make them do chores. Researchers at La Trobe University in Australia recently set out to determine whether children who do chores at home would develop better working memory, inhibition, and other success-predicting behaviors.
Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item…
When you forget things, you fall short: What time was that meeting tomorrow? Was it April who said she might want to become a customer in August, or was it August who said to call him next April?
Wait, what was the third thing?
I joke of course, but if there’s one thing many business leaders worry about — especially as they grow a bit older — it’s whether their memories have suffered. So, let’s go to the neuroscience: five specific tricks to improve memory and recall things better.
1. Walk backward. Let’s start with my favorite on the list, because the neuroscientists who came up with it can’t even explain why it works. Researchers from the University of Roehampton in London divided their subjects into three groups. In Group 1, participants were asked to watch a short movie, or memorize words, or study a set of pictures while walking forward. In Group 2, participants completed the same tasks while walking backward. In Group 3, participants acted as a control group, doing the same tasks but standing still.
Most of us want to produce the best work possible. How do you pursue that goal?
One approach is to aim for excellence. You study everything you can about your area, read obsessively about top performers, and anxiously practice your craft with an eye toward perfection.
This is one common-sense way to pursue excellence, but there’s another option as well. You could just throw quality out the window and produce a lot of work without worrying if it’s much good. Which path will get you closer to your personal best?