You might think that books can take you anywhere. In fact, they can teleport you to a different land, planet or even galaxy. But did you know that reading can also help reduce stress and loneliness? Here are some reasons why reading can make a big difference in your life. We’ll take a look at some of the most well-known examples.
Reading can reduce loneliness
Reading is an effective way to combat loneliness, according to a study. It creates an imaginary bridge for readers to feel a sense of connection with others. Fiction also creates empathy and can lead to feelings of compassion in real life. This is a great way to fight loneliness and improve your own mental health.
Reading can also help you meet new friends. While you may initially feel alone while reading, you may find that you are drawn to other readers who share your taste in literature. Joining book clubs, participating in literary festivals, or taking continuing education courses can help you meet people who share your interests. This can be a safe way to talk about feelings and thoughts without feeling embarrassed. You can even use literary characters as personas in conversations with friends.
Volunteering can also be a great way to combat loneliness. According to a survey, seventy-five percent of people say they feel lonely at some point in their lives. However, one third of people say that volunteering helps them reduce their feelings of loneliness. Volunteering programs offered by organizations like Reading Voluntary Action can help you find a volunteer job.
In addition to physical activity, reading can also help to reduce loneliness. An initiative launched by the Reading Agency and funded by the Big Lottery Fund, Reading Friends, sees people reading one-on-one with volunteers. This allows people to connect and build relationships. It’s no secret that meaningful engagement with the world around us is a key to our wellbeing.
Reading can reduce stress
Besides the obvious benefits of reading for pleasure, it also improves your emotional intelligence and empathy. When you read books, you get inside other people’s minds and feel more sympathetic toward them. It can even improve your relationships. Moreover, reading helps you to relax and reduce your stress level.
Depending on the genre, reading can relieve stress in a variety of ways. For instance, self-help books can help you cope with stressful situations. There are books on general topics, and more specific ones that tackle your particular stress issues. You can even find wonderful resources at your local bookstore.
In addition, reading can help you get ready for sleep. Depending on the type of book you choose, it can help prepare your mind and body for sleep. It can even be part of your bedtime routine. But it is important to note that reading on a screen can expose your retinas to bright light, which suppresses the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.
In addition to helping you cope with stress, reading can also deepen your empathy. It can take you to places you otherwise could not, while expanding your knowledge of others. A study found that participants who read for at least six minutes a day reduced their stress levels by nearly 60 percent. Furthermore, it has been shown that frequent lifelong participation in “cognitively stimulating activities” such as reading reduces the rate of cognitive decline and delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.