Reading is a fun and rewarding activity that keeps people entertained. But did you know that reading can actually enhance our health and well-being?
Even by reading for only a few minutes each day, you can improve your mental and physical health. This includes improving sleeping patterns, reducing stress, promoting mindfulness, and more!
Learn more about how reading can benefit your health.
One of the most common reasons people choose to read at night is because they feel like it helps them fall asleep faster. And this isn’t just anecdotal! There has been researching supporting claims that reading not only helps people fall asleep faster but also improves overall sleep patterns.
Using phones or tablets before bed has been linked to poorer sleep quality and shorter sleep duration. Reading before bed, on the other hand, promotes sleep by helping you ease into rest.
An easy way to implement reading into your nighttime routine is to set aside 15-30 minutes after completing all of your other rituals. Reading in bed after everything else has been taken care of means you can transition directly into dreamland without any worries.
Reading has also been found to help lower stress levels as it can help us escape our own mind, which might be filled with worries or intrusive thoughts, like that big presentation that’s due tomorrow.
Apart from distracting us from worries, reading can relax our muscles and lower our heart rate. It also works faster than other methods people do to relax, such as drinking tea or listening to music.
You must keep in mind that if you want to use reading as a way to de-stress, you might want to stick to books that are a bit lighter. Depending on preference, some books might contain heavy content that could work against your favor. Light reads may include young adult fiction, romance novels, fantasy, inspirational fiction, or well-known humorous reads.
Helps Find Connections
Research has shown that a large part of our mental health and well-being involves feeling connected to other people on a deeper level.
Reading can help initiate this is by allowing people to connect with characters, become empathetic to certain situations, and helping people see things from different perspectives. This can make people feel less alone, especially if their own lives and emotions are reflected through the words in the book. Moreover, reading allows people to transfer their learnings to real-life situations and build long-lasting relationships.
Another way reading helps build connections is through sharing your favorite books and authors with other people, either through a book club or in casual conversations. Discussing art and literature is a wonderful way to connect with the past and the future, and this practice continues to benefit more people!
Mindfulness has come into popularity over the past few years as more people have become interested in learning about taking care of their mental health. Mindfulness is a spiritual technique that has been practiced for centuries and has become an effective tool to aid anxiety and depression.
Many people practice mindfulness through meditation or by doing yoga—and reading can also be a vehicle in achieving mindfulness. Being mindful of the words on the page, slowing down to pause and reflect on what was written, or letting go of distracting thoughts while reading are all ways to practice mindfulness.
Especially if you’re reading fiction, an author might describe specific images in great detail or even include sensory imagery, such as sight, sound, or tactile. Once you apply mindfulness through reading, you’ll be noticing the finer details on your commute home from work or while going for a walk in the park. Labeling things you can see, hear, smell, or touch is a method that many people use to practice mindfulness, particularly if they’re feeling anxious or stressed.
Enhances Social Skills
A maybe surprising benefit of reading regularly is that it can enhance our social skills. The stereotype that book lovers are closed off is not always true and actually works quite the opposite.
Reading can help expand your vocabulary so you can communicate your thoughts and feelings better. When you’re able to say what you mean, people will less likely misunderstand you, which can result in better interactions. It can also help you gain confidence in public speaking, which, for a lot of people, is incredibly difficult—even scary. Reading also keeps your brain active, making you feel less sluggish when it’s time to go to that party or social gathering.
If you have social anxiety or find it difficult to think of topics to talk about around other people, reading can help you address this problem. It can prepare you for social gatherings, dates, or conversations with a friend. Whether you prefer to read fiction or non-fiction books, there are always relevant topics in both categories of literature that people will find interesting.
Books are a great conversation starter and an excellent jumping-off point for other delightful conversations. You can ask what others like to read, and from there, find common interests with new acquaintances.
Start Your Reading Journey
Reading can improve your mental and physical health in more ways than you think. It’s an incredible resource and a wonderful activity that can easily be integrated into your daily schedule. Whether you prefer to read before bed, during breakfast, or on your daily commute, reading is a gift you’ll never run out of—even after putting down a book.
If you’re a new reader or already a long-time reading enthusiast, there are plenty of books out there for you to enjoy.
Check out Book Outlet for new reads at great prices to get started!