Reading for wellbeing
Reading lists at university can be long and exhausting. As soon as you pick up a book which is not on the list and read it for your own pleasure, the activity becomes exciting and even refreshing. In addition, reading for your own pleasure has been shown to bring lots of benefits for wellbeing and mental health.
First, reading can help reduce stress. Re-reading your favourite books can provide a sense of comfort, bring you back to the stories and worlds you know well and prove a sense of belonging. Picking up a new novel can become a source of inspiration, give you new topics to discuss with your friends or can expand your knowledge. It’s been demonstrated that reading can reduce anxiety and worrying up to 60% with only six minutes of reading a day1.
Secondly, reading can help keep your memory sharp and bring order to your thoughts. The structure of the piece you’re reading can help clear your head and get rid of the intrusive thoughts. Also, it’s been shown that reading stimulates your brain and slows down memory loss. Cognitive activities like reading or writing can reduce mental decline by more than 30%2.
Furthermore, books can teach you how to deal with different issues. Whether fiction or non-fiction, books might hold the answers to your questions about life. Reading can also make you more understanding of other people as it enables you to see the world through the eyes of the characters and empathise with them.
So cosy up with a hot tea and a good book on a cold, winter evening!
Written by Milda (RA @ ERH)
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