Reading Brings Great Benefits to Our Mental Health

BY: Neighbors’ Consejo|

Reading is an activity that we learned from a young age and it is almost a natural behavior in our daily routine. Literature, scientific articles, novels, poems, essays, there are many personal preferences around this topic but do we know the benefits of reading for our mental health?

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness [1] , there are four main benefits of reading for our mental health:

  1. It can reduces stress: According to Dr. David Lewis of the University of Sussex, “is more than merely a distraction but an active engaging of the imagination as the words on the printed page stimulate your creativity and cause you to enter what is essentially an altered state of consciousness [2] .” This, based on the study that he conducted for the University of Sussex in 2009 [3] , where it was found, for example, that reading reduces stress better and more quickly than other methods like listening to music (61%), drinking tea or coffee (54%), or going for a walk (42%).
  2. It provides us with a healthy escape: According to the University of Minnesota [4] , “reading can be a wonderful (and healthy) escape from the stress of everyday life. Simply by opening a book, you allow yourself to be invited into a literary world that distracts you from your daily stressors. Reading can even relax your body by lowering your heart rate and easing the tension in your muscles.”
  3. It can make us more understanding: Reading helps us to understand others and our environment in a better way, based on the knowledge of the experiences of the writers who share their experiences. We recommend you to consult the SQW3R Method for better reading comprehension [5] .
  4. It gives us an opportunity to identify others with similar circumstances: When we read about others with similar experiences, we can feel less alone [6] .

Additionally, the study “Stress Management Strategies For Students: The Immediate Effects of Yoga, Humor, And Reading On Stress [7] ” found that “30 minutes of reading lowered blood pressure, heart rate, and feelings of psychological distress just as effectively as yoga and humor did”.

So, the fact of having read at least this article, has already generated in you a wellbeing in your emotional health. We invite you not to stop doing this wonderful activity every day. What are you waiting for? Go for a coffee, adjust your chair or sit on the lawn to read a book of your choice.  









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