Why stories are good for you!

I like reading and I like making up stories.  It’s great to escape from the real world and enter someone else’s imagination.  I thought stories were good for you because they made you more creative, increased your vocabulary and meant you were quiet for a few minutes!  It turns out though that they are even more powerful than I realised.  And this is why:

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This is what a molecule of OXYTOCIN looks like.  Pretty neat, hey?

Oxytocin is an awesome chemical because it makes you feel good.  Some people call it the ‘love molecule’ or the ‘trust molecule’.  When we touch someone or hug them our brain releases oxytocin into our bloodstream and it makes us feel close to them.  It works when we stroke animals too.  It also helps relieve stress, reduces pain, helps mothers bond with their babies and even increases generosity.  Check out this website for more cool facts.

The really cool thing though is that stories can also make us release oxytocin.  If you read or hear a story about a character’s emotions and it catches your attention then oxytocin will be released.  I guess that’s why really good stories make us stay up all night reading and stay in our minds after they are finished.  We can become close to the characters and to the author because the oxytocin helps us trust them.  You can read about how it at Psychology Today.

So if you’re feeling down and don’t have someone to hug, have a virtual hug from me and read a good book 😀

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Benjamin says:

    Great post Alfie! That’s obviously why I read so much!

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