Mental Health Benefits of Reading
Looking after your mental health has become a priority these days. It is a major concern by all sectors because of the escalating number of individuals who are battling psychological issues. Recent studies show that one way to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety is by reading.
Many consider reading a pleasurable hobby. It is a productive way to pass time and a helpful tool to expand your knowledge and vocabulary. On top of all these, reading provides a positive impact on your overall mental health. Experts suggest that picking up a good book will do wonders for your thoughts and mood.
Benefits of Reading to Mental Health
People of all ages can benefit from reading. Many started reading when they were young and as they grow older it becomes their comfort zone. It is more than escaping reality, reading allows you to relax your mind and just be happy.
Reading reduces stress.
It is true that not all are keen on reading but trying this out can certainly reduce stress in your daily life. A 2009 study backed this claim when they found out that “30 minutes of reading lowered blood pressure, heart rate and feelings of psychological distress”. This shows that reading is as effective as yoga and humor in terms of alleviating stress.
Reading helps develop empathy for others.
Some have this misconception that people who love to read are loners and unsociable. They prefer books as their companions rather than initiating a conversation with someone else. On the contrary, reading allows you to be more understanding of what others are feeling and experiencing. One research study suggested that people who read fiction are more adept at bonding and connecting with other people.
It is a healthy escape from the real world.
There will always be times in your life when you just want to take a break from your work, from your friends and even family. Reading can be your free ticket. Most people enjoy reading because they can go to places, feel the excitement and get involved without leaving their seats. For them, it is the safest route to an uncomplicated and stress-free world.
It improves memory and focus.
As you grow older, you become more susceptible to cognitive declination. Others are scared to age because they might suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Since no one knows the most effective ways to prevent age-related health conditions, reading can help in delaying their emergence. A study done by Rush University Medical Center discovered that people who engaged in mentally stimulating activities like reading “were less likely to develop the plaques, lesions, and tau-protein tangles found in the brains of people with dementia”.
Reading eases symptoms of depression.
Reading may be a solitary activity but you will never feel alone and isolated. People who love to read can emotionally connect to the characters in the book and in a way join their journey, understand their feelings and experience their narratives. It is even used as a form of therapy, known as bibliotherapy. Therapists recommend books for you to read to minimize your episodes of depression and anxiety.
It contributes to a longer life.
A study conducted by Yale University found out that reading can increase your lifespan. According to the research, “those who read for more than 3.5 hours a week were 23% less likely to die within 12 years, while those who read for up to 3.5 hours a week were 17% less likely to die within that period”. It remains unknown how reading affects longevity but the simplest explanation is people who read are healthier and better educated.
When to Ask for Help
Reading can be an effective way to weaken depressive episodes and anxiety attacks. However, when your depression is taking a heavy toll on your daily life, you need to seek help and intervention from medical professionals. Therapists and counselors will guide you to find the best treatment.
Mindshift Psychological Services are equipped with trusted and well-trained medical professionals and sophisticated therapy and counseling. We aim to provide not just the perfect ambiance for better mental health and wellness but also work hard to give the most appropriate treatment for all our patients.
If you want to know more about us, visit our website or contact us at (714)584-9700.