Reading classics can be a morale booster

Perhaps the human brain is the most complex thing one can think of on this planet. Therefore, understanding it too becomes as difficult. We know very little of its working. How to keep it in “high gear” by rescuing it from the lows it goes into quite often can’t be in everybody’s easy grasp.

Our brain, being the master controller of everything that we do, keeps our morale and mood high or low depending on the circumstances we are placed into. But there are always ways on how to keep it in good humour during stressful times.

Researchers at the University of Liverpool have found that serious literature catches the readers’ attention and triggers moments of self-reflection that could have huge impact in keeping one in good humour. Shakespeare and Wordsworth find special mention as “tools of therapy” in moral boosting and keeping one’s hopes alive.

What the researches did was that they monitored the brain activities of those put to read serious literature both in their original form as well as in easier and modern translation. The result: The more challenging original books “set the brain into more electrical activity than the pedestrian versions”. And more electrical activity meant greater uplift of the readers’ mood.

Exposure to English classic works meant that the readers were able to shift their brains to a higher gear and they showed greater interest for more, very cheerfully. That means that reading habits, of good books, should be cultivated in order to keep a cheerful attitude even through challenging times. Such books build up one’s positive attitude towards life— much needed for a happy and contented life.

Perhaps it was in this context that poet Sherman Alexie said, “If one reads enough books, one has a fighting chance. Or better, one’s chance of survival increases with each book one reads.”

And, who said it, never trust a man who does not read books!

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