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How To Boost Your Well-Being Through Literature

Reading and Mental Health: How Reading Can Benefit Your Well-Being

Reading improves Mental health
Reading improves Mental health (Image Source: Unsplash)

In the current age of innovation and advancement, mental health has become a prevalent challenge for many people. It is a crucial aspect of our daily lives, and there are several actions we can take in our communities to improve and sustain our well-being. One such action is reading, which provides numerous advantages, such as alleviating stress, enhancing cognitive abilities, increasing concentration, improving empathy and emotional intelligence, and much more.

In 2009, researchers analyzed the results of yoga, humor, and reading to see the number of stress levels in students in health science programs in the US. The study showed that just 30 minutes of reading reduced blood pressure, heart rate, and sensations of psychological distress just as effectively as yoga and humor did. Moreover, a study in 2009 discovered that reading can relieve stress by up to 68%.

Reading can be thought of as a vessel that transports you into experiencing realities outside of your daily life. Many people suffering from depression usually feel isolated from others. Reading can help ease these feelings. Often times reading books can help you escape your existence and partake in fictional journeys.

Empathy is also an ability that can improve with the regular habit of reading. When you read a character’s respective thoughts, and emotions, it’s equivalent to living another person’s life. Not just you can see their turmoils and how they struggle but also see their achievements and how they celebrate. This gives a perspective of how another person can have completely separate views from you. The reactions we have to certain parts of the story can enable us to comprehend the sentiments of others. A group of researchers from The New School in New York City has discovered that literary fiction can enhance an individual's ability to comprehend and empathize with the emotions and thoughts of others. Moreover, another study found a clear link between reading fiction and improved performance on empathy and social acumen tests that are widely used. Overall, reading books can help us develop emotional intelligence because of how our brain can relate and connect to the character’s views, which helps us apprehend being in someone else’s shoes.

According to researchers, people who read books on a regular basis develop an extensive bank of vocabulary; which helps a lot in the daily run. Since reading can help us understand different situations, many readers have the upper hand when communicating. A good imagination and a refined vocabulary can help readers easily construct well-written arguments to support their statements on multiple occasions.

Reading requires a lot of focus, it’s a whole process to get yourself to read. Become comfortable, have a selection that is aligned with your emotions of that day, and have the right mindset. Reading demands sitting quietly for certain periods of time. This increases your focus and concentration. Reading fictional stories forces your brain to remember each character and their backstory through each chapter. Through the course of your book, you have to be able to make multiple predictions and connect the dots.

In conclusion, reading can have many positive impacts on our mental health and well-being. It can help reduce stress, cure mental health disorders, improve cognitive function, and provide improved performance of display of empathy. You can enjoy reading in multiple ways, whether it be fiction, non-fiction, or even poetry, any sort of reading can help. So I challenge you all to read for at least 15 minutes today. then see how it can benefit you.

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