People usually turn to literature to find comfort and get new insights. Although this is one of the oldest art forms, it perfectly suits our modern mobile culture. Today's social media have become an important way to share pieces of literature. What's more, they enable writers and poets to become more visible and benefit from it. Nowadays, there are a lot of live readings that allow people to share their art and inspiration.
Even though some people claim that poetry is extinct for decades, it's not really true because it is more popular than ever. According to the latest reports from the National Endowment of the Arts, poetry reading has significantly increased in the United States. Probably, the development of social media is partially responsible for this tendency because the largest and the fastest increase was seen among young adults. Now you can enjoy poems everywhere: on Instagram, Facebook, and even Twitter.
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Such tendencies can be viewed as something positive. Why so? Let's try to find out how reading prose and poetry affect human brains.
Recently, scientists have used fMRI to see how this type of art influences the brain. They've found out that it seems to be wired to perceive the rhythms and rhymes used by poets and differentiate them from conversational speech.
What's, more it's been revealed that poetic imagery and the layers of various meanings in poems activate some specific brain areas that are responsible for interpreting everyday reality.
Consider some more findings below:
MRI studies have shown that while we are reading poems, some regions in the brain’s right hemisphere get stimulated. Since they are linked to reward and emotions, we experience reward anticipation. Interestingly, such brain reactions are similar to those when we, for example, are looking forward to eating an ice cream that we've just ordered.
In fact, poetry pushes the boundaries of language, stretching the traditional meaning and sounds of words. Researchers say that while trying to process those extraordinary linguistic acrobatics, our brain functioning reaches its peak levels, which helps to strengthen our overall cognitive health.
Once, researchers asked people to read the poems of Shakespeare and Wordsworth in two forms: the rewritten for more clarity and the original one. It's turned out that those versions of the poems that were more complicated triggered more intensive responses in the brain’s language center.
Brain scans show that the regions responsible for memory and daydreaming lights up in response to poetry. This can signal either the fact the poem reminded of personal history or it encouraged introspection.
If you feel inspired by the effects of poetry and want to read it more but don't know where to start, you can check some information about poems on the web. There are many essay examples with poem analysis at Gradesfixer, so you can pick something that you like. The more you learn about poetry, the more interested you might become in this form of art. Poems can open a completely new world for you and bring you a lot of insights.
Poetry is a genre that is often overlooked even by reading fans. However, it can be valuable for both our personal and professional development. If you are wondering in what ways, keep reading!
First of all, poems can teach us to simplify complexity. Sidney Harman, the founder of Harman Industries, asked his senior staff to hire poets as managers as he believes that they have an original system of thinking. In other words, they can look at the most complex environments and reduce their complexity so they become more understandable for others.
Since business leaders are surrounded by multifaceted and dynamic settings, they need to take that chaos and make it more meaningful. So poetry can help them with this as it improves the ability to better conceptualize the world and communicate it.
According to the new research, the more poems you read, the more you develop empathy since many poets focus on understanding the people around them. Also, it enhances creativity and boosts imagination as an experimental study shows that poems helped readers generate almost twice more alternative meanings. What's more, these participants managed to develop so-called self-monitoring strategies and enhanced their thinking efficiency. In fact, such changes can help executive professionals run their organizations and make imaginative solutions.
And last but not least, poetry adds more beauty and meaning to our lives. It's a real challenge for managers to keep themselves and their colleagues able to see some wonder and purpose in their work. However, in the best enterprises, people never lose a sense of the reasons why they are doing something.
Some people say that we do not learn from experience, we rather learn from reflecting on it. Based on this, the researchers from Harvard University decided to study the ways in which reflecting on workplace experiences enhances performance. So they asked participants to solve some puzzles, write brief reflections on their solution strategies and challenges they've faced. It’s turned out that on the second set of puzzles, these people demonstrated an 18% performance improvement over the control group that didn't reflect on their work. In fact, these findings state that we should spend more time reflecting on what we are doing, especially when it comes to solving problems.
Such conclusions were confirmed by another field study. The employees from a large Indian company were asked to reflect on their work experiences for about 15 minutes a day. The results of this research also pointed to the beneficial outcomes of reflection.
To incorporate this habit into workers' lives, managers could encourage them to share some literature in the workplace as this is a great tool to master self-reflection skills. With the help of books, employees can learn to slow down and reconsider their performance in reflective ways.
In the era of high technologies and short messages, reading a long exciting novel may feel like filling your lungs with fresh air. In fact, the plot twists of good literature seem to exercise and cleanse the mind. Even though such effects are obvious for some people, the researchers find it quite difficult to document the benefits of reading. However, some studies that demonstrate interesting findings have been conducted.
For example, there is a link between reading fiction and improvements in certain emotional skills. Also, a brain imaging study showed that reading Pompeii, a novel by Robert Harris, changed connectivity patterns in some functional hubs, so the brain efficacy was boosted.
Reading more literature can be highly beneficial for professional performance. It positively affects our brains and improves cognitive skills, such as memory and thinking. What's more, poetry can add some meaning and beauty even to our workplace, so why not to try reading it more?
James Collins is an academic writer and a poet. He writes poetry mainly about acute social issues and relationships between people. In his free time, James also enjoys doing reviews on the best-selling books and latest films.
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