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World Mental Health Day 2018: Reading Benefits Mental Health, Reduces Depression And Anxiety

World mental day: Reading sets a calm mood and clears mind off toxic thoughts. Read here to know some amazing benefits of reading on mental health and how it can even be helpful for people dealing with depression and anxiety.

World Mental Health Day 2018: Reading Benefits Mental Health, Reduces Depression And Anxiety

Reading can make us think and has a calming effect on mind

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Reading reduces stress
  2. Reading teaches empathy
  3. Reading makes you intelligent

In today's world of technology and gadgets, you all have somewhere forgotten your old friend, books. Each book and each novel has a unique story to offer. Books have been a prime source of entertainment and recreation for years. Additionally, they help in enhancing our language and grammar skills. The smell of a newly purchased book always lingers in your mind and each book takes us along a different memory lane. The fun aspect of reading is that there is no fear of the book running out of battery. What's more is that reading for even 20 minutes is like hiccups of vacation in the day. Reading sets a calm mood and clears mind off toxic thoughts. So today, we take a moment and talk about mental health benefits of reading books, especially in times when depression, anxiety and stress are constantly taking a toll on people's lives.

Also read: Are You Simply Bored Or Is It Depression? Know The Difference

Health benefits of reading on mental health: 


1. Reading reduces stress

No tapping, no switching apps and no swiping - yet so engaging! This is the magic of books. Stress can be released or reduced in various ways such as going for a jog, listening to your favourite songs, and even by cooking and cleaning. But did you know that even reading helps in reducing stress? Whenever you feel low, depressed or stressed, Just open your current novel or anything column that you enjoy reading and let yourself lose free in the words. Stories and words particularly hold a great deal of power to read and heal the human mind.

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Reading helps in reducing stress
Photo Credit: iStock

2. Reading teaches empathy

How many times have Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice been justified? Or understood exactly how Harry Potter felt? Or actually extended all our love to Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird?

When you read stories, you tend to relate to the traits of characters as your own or start looking for similarities between them and yourself. This makes you feel as if you are similar to a person who does not even exist. Despite the character's non-existence, you still understand them and root every bit for them. This teaches the human emotion of empathy. When you meet people who are somewhat similar to the characters you have known through books, you start to understand them and empathise with them.

Also read: Depression: 8 Early Signs And Symptoms

3. Reading makes you intelligent

Yes, reading does make you intelligent. Intelligence is not a term that is purely limited to academia. An intelligent person is also one high on creativity and tact. Reading makes your brain grow not only by increasing vocabulary but also by increasing your familiarity with real-life situations. Each genre of novels teaches something about life and makes you put on our thinking caps. Reading also helps to enhance your learning capabilities.

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Reading helps in reducing anxiety and depression
Photo Credit: iStock

4. Reading reduces anxiety

Reading helps in contain every anxiety-provoking thought in mind and has a soothing effect on the brain. As you move ahead in the story through characters, your thoughts and inhibitions travel with you. It's true what people say - when you have a book, you have a friend. Reading reduces feelings of alienation and loneliness. A reduction in these traits can help treat many mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

Also read: Here's Another Way To Cut Down Depression, Anxiety And Stress: Go Green!

5. Reading helps in improving sleep

Moving your eyes through the beaming light of laptops and phones all day makes your mind and body feel tired and fatigued. Books neither have harmful radiations nor do they have a damaging effect on nerves. Reading makes your brain relaxed and gets you to sleep sooner and faster. A good sleep leads to a healthy brain and thus keeps us mentally fit.

So, keep reading for there are thousands of characters eagerly waiting to meet you!

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information. 

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