You Have to Read Books to Believe in the Health Benefits
Reading books has become a growing source of relief for many individuals during this particularly difficult year. Publishers Weekly reports that 322 million books were sold in just the first half of 2020, reflecting a spike in book sales. With more kids studying at home, the same publishers have noticed a rise in demand for books about social justice and at-home schooling.
However, adult fiction has seen the most dramatic demand, with a 23% increase between May and June. Reading a romance book, a thriller, or a work of contemporary literary fiction is a great method for people to escape their current reality. The benefits of reading for entertainment are simply the tip of the iceberg. There are several advantages to reading books.
According to research, reading just 30 minutes a day can help you physically reset, bringing down your heart rate, blood pressure, and stress levels. But reading can also help your mental health by allowing you to make sense of a complicated history or current problems in your life and, as a result, feel hopeful. Since the early 20th century, therapists have used bibliotherapy or the practice of using books and other literature to support a patient’s mental health. Still, the origins of this ideology can be traced back to the Greeks and the Egyptians, who saw libraries as sacred and healing places, according to Psychology Today.
Books offer a wealth of alternative worlds and escapes, but they also give you the chance to regroup, refuel, and change your perspective. According to studies, putting yourself in the narrator’s position makes you more sympathetic and understanding of situations that may differ from yours.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, those who experience depression frequently feel helpless and alone. However, reading fiction can assist in addressing and resolving these symptoms. How? According to Terri Bacow, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist with a license in New York City, by demonstrating to the reader how other characters address similar issues and navigate their way to a successful conclusion.
Reduce tension and stress
Just as you’re about to drift off to sleep after turning out the lights, a wave of anxious thoughts appears and sends you hurtling toward yet another sleepless night. What happened to my birth certificate? Will I pass away by myself? How can I rescue the environment? Imagine that instead of spiraling, you had a book you could read to escape your thoughts. Reading, especially fiction, can help you run a stressful situation by offering an engaging diversion and luring you into a different world.
Assistance with Processing Grief and Trauma
Trauma and grief are two claws on the same pain monster. Reading can help you get through that day when you lose someone since, according to Bacow, “for people who are grieving, each day is so agonizing.” “Here, autobiographies and self-help books are crucial because they allow you to learn from the struggles that others have overcome. Hope is what suffering people need, and these works can inspire them.”
Extension of Life Expectancy
According to research with 3,600 participants, those who read books live roughly two years longer than people who don’t. When reading books instead of periodicals or newspapers, the difference in longevity was noticeably bigger. There isn’t a set amount of reading that will make you live longer, but as a general rule, reading makes you live longer, so pick up a book and get reading!
Enhance Sleep Quality
According to The Mayo Clinic, sleep deprivation can substantially affect your mind and body, which can influence your mood and ability to concentrate on everyday duties. Doctors advise limiting light and noise while easing into sleep with a bedtime routine. Before going to bed, reading is a peaceful, screen-free method to calm your thoughts. Without a doubt, reading before bed is preferable to check your phone, advises Bacow. Reading can help you relax and create the stage for restful sleep by slowing down your brain waves.