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READING BOOKS AND MENTAL HEALTH


A few years back, I read this book called, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. I was probably sixteen around the time. I found it on a random bookshelf at the Crossword store in Kolkata. The book jacket looked very visually appealing, like one of those books about magic and supernatural things. As a sixteen-year-old, magic intrigued me and I read the first few pages of the book. I was engrossed in it for a good five minutes until my mom called out for me. On my way back, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I knew I had to buy that book.

Today, seven years later, I can easily vouch for the fact that ‘The Secret’ changed my life. The point of me writing this is to let you know that books are, undeniably, the most loyal companion one can find, in sickness and in health. My mental space is a product of what I read, and every avid reader of substance can account for the same level of internal bliss.

Reading makes your brain sharper

It is a well-known fact that books are a reservoir of knowledge. The more books you read, the more you can learn and educate yourself. Reading also enhances comprehension, vocabulary, interpersonal and communication skills.

Reading can help you discover your inner self

As poetic as it may sound, reading is the best way to establish a relationship with your inner self. This may not sound very intriguing to you right now, but when you lose yourself in the pages of your favorite book, there is absolutely no way of finding the same version of yourself again. You will grow and evolve into a better human being with every book you read until you become a product of your knowledge. Remember, your books will build you every time life breaks you, irrespective of where you stand.

Reading is your key to unlocking the greatest pleasures of life with minimal effort.

Reading can help you find peace of mind and release stress

There is nothing more comforting than a hot cup of coffee with a beautiful novel to read. Reading is known to break the monotony of chaos.

Your life may burden you with responsibilities and duty may take the better of you more often than not, but you’ll be happy to know that when everything in your life is constantly changing, your real companions are still there to comfort you.

Stress is your brain’s way of reacting to pressure and while it may feel like your world is falling apart on more occasions than one, you can always find yourself an escape inside the pages of your comfort novel.

Statistically speaking, as accounted by The University of Sussex in the study of 2009, reading can reduce stress by approximately sixty-eight per cent which is a lot more than the stress released by a regular, hot cup of coffee or even a massage.

Reading keeps age-related cognitive disorders away

People who are in the habit of frequent reading are less vulnerable to age-related cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia. The National Institute on Aging recommends reading as an effective way to exercise one’s brain as one grows older. Mental illness that comes with age is almost always chronic and reading is one of the most effective ways to avoid it.

Reading attenuates mental illnesses like depression and anxiety

Reading is a powerful exercise to relax one’s mind. As I mentioned earlier, it’s a subtle escape from the world’s overwhelming cacophony.

Non-fiction self-help books are extremely beneficial when it comes to personal development and introspection. Reading catalyses' mental fitness and irrespective of everything, mental fitness is significantly essential to prevent mental illness.

Self-help books have gained immense popularity in recent times and The Secret, as mentioned earlier, is also one of the most effective self-help books to have been written.

Reading prevents insomnia

Bedtime reading is a beautiful habit to abide by if you have trouble sleeping. Not only does it help propagate a better sleep cycle, but it also keeps negativity and nightmares away.

I would recommend you a subtle romance novel or an easy-going fictional story, to begin with.

Reading contributes to a longer life

Yes! You read that right, reading DOES contribute to a longer life!

Statistics have claimed that readers live a longer life than those who don’t. In addition, people who read more than three and a half hours every week are twenty-three per cent likely to live longer than those who don’t read at all.

This is a great piece of valuable information, isn’t it? I mean, out of everything else in the world, who knew that reading could be so beneficial in practice?

What should you read?

The world is a library of sorts, and you can always keep reading more and more to explore what you like. In all honesty, there isn’t a single genre you wouldn’t like when you begin your reading journey. There are more books in the world than people and there is no end to knowledge.

Regardless, reading isn’t always about books. You can read magazines, newspapers and other media too. The idea is to exercise your mind enough to stay mentally fit, in addition to physical fitness.

Always remember, reading is never about pressure, it’s always about releasing pressure. Reading would work like magic on someone who does it effortlessly and solely for the love of it.

You don’t need to read thick novels or heavy non-fiction; you only need to develop a practice of reading regularly to benefit your personal growth and well-being.

READ BECAUSE YOU NEED A BEST FRIEND!

In case you’re still not convinced, which I highly doubt — I’d say read for the sake of finding an unconditional best friend in the comfort of words. In the selfish world of expectations, disappointments, complaints and demands, this is everything you will ever need to find unending solace. Written By - Saakshi Agarwal


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