READING FICTION IS GOOD FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH: Dr. Seuss once said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” This article has detailed information about the importance of reading fiction.
True enough, reading offers a myriad of benefits not only for our mental health but also for our overall wellbeing. It’s no surprise why a lot of people have found refuge in reading a few minutes daily.
Although the saying, “Different strokes for different strokes,” still rings true today, some people would prefer reading over working out, especially when it comes to reading fiction books.
And a lot of teen fiction authors have sworn by the benefits of fiction to mental health. Because fiction involves imaginary worlds, characters, and enthralling plots, it offers more benefits for our mental health than other literary genres.
If you’re not the type of person who’s into an active lifestyle, reading fiction books might suit you well. Without further ado, here are the top 5 reasons why you must pick up that fiction book instead of a best-selling romance novel.
It’s a Quick Stress-Reliever
People undergo several challenges daily. The problem of piled-up household chores, the staggering utility bills, relationship troubles, dealing with children and teenage fits, and lastly, having to kowtow to bosses at work continually.
While some people resort to other leisurely activities to battle these daily conundrums, some don’t have the time, money, and effort to do that. Even if you say listening to music or doing meditation techniques are fast and easy, reading fiction books is still the quickest way to relieve your stress.
The University of Sussex conducted a study in 2009 that proved reading can reduce your heart rate, relax your muscles, and pamper your brain. In fact, there is a 68% drop in stress when you engage in reading fiction books. If you are looking for an article which is about the importance of reading fiction then this is best for you.
If you’re a newbie reader, set aside a couple of minutes per day to read. Say, around 20 to 30 minutes should suffice. If you’re unsure that fiction might be your literary favorite, follow these four steps to support mental health:
Pick a genre that interests you. It doesn’t matter if the book isn’t a best-selling novel.
Avoid a genre that frustrates you. If you’re into thrillers more than romance, then go for it.
Write down how you feel after reading and gauge whether you want to step the genre up a notch.
If reading still doesn’t relieve your stress, take free online assessment tests, or talk to a friend or family member.
Allows You to Sleep Better
For some, reading before bedtime has become a nightly routine. If you haven’t integrated that in yours, it’s high time you should start now.
Joel, the CEO of a social media management software called Buffer, can attest to this and have since made reading a bedtime routine. Because we are so engaged in the daily happenings in our lives from the moment we wake up in the morning until we come home in the evening, we tend to forget to disengage and allow ourselves to soak up all the stressors that weigh us down.
Washington University Sleep Center’s associate professor of neurology Raman Malhotra said that reading puts our mind at ease before hitting the hay. It sets up this positive mindset before bedtime that allows us to sleep better, especially if we make it a bedtime routine. Looking for the importance of reading fiction on mental health, then you are in the right place.
However, this could be a disadvantage to the digital readers out there who are taking the impact of all the blue wavelength light from gadgets that make sleeping even more difficult. Try to read from devices with little to no blue light like Kindle Paperwhite or stick to the conventional way – paperback books.
Slows Down the Brain Deterioration Process
As we age, our brain functions also ride the wave of aging and deteriorate. When this happens, older people tend to experience Alzheimer’s or dementia later in life.
However, reading books can slow down the process because when we read books, especially those from notable teen fiction authors, we are bombarded with different information.
These authors take the time to create the most riveting plots, out of this world settings, and captivating characters. That said, when we read complex fiction books, our brains tend to create new brain pathways. Importance of reading fiction and its effects on mental health.
These pathways can help fend off the brain damage when we get to our 70s or 80s, which in turn Alzheimer’s at bay and improves our thinking and memory skills.
There was a study affiliated with the Rush Memory and Aging Project that gathered 294 senior males and females with an average age of 89.
When some of the participants passed away, the autopsy revealed that those who read and wrote in their early years showed a slower memory decline than those who didn’t integrate reading and writing in their younger years.
Enhances Objectivity and Empathy
Fiction books typically involve allegories that we can relate to various modern-day crises. These crises could relate to religion, politics, or socioeconomic issues.
And when we are introduced to different settings in fiction books, it opens up our minds and enables us to veer towards more objective thinking. In addition, this also develops our empathetic understanding of ostracized groups in society.
Because protagonists in fiction books could involve being marginalized in a way, we, as humans, tend to feel this affinity toward these characters which we can apply in real life.
The most crucial reason why reading fiction is good for your mental health is that overall, the activity makes you happy. You can ask any bibliophile out there and let them explain how they feel, especially after reading a good book.
Reading makes us relate to the plight of the characters, which can somehow comfort us even in little ways. This feeling of comfort encourages a boost in happiness because we know that we aren’t alone in our challenging journeys.
Plus, reading fiction books also open up doors to social networking. Avid readers join online forums or even book reading sessions and connect with other likeminded individuals. And that alone is enough to bring a surge of delight and fulfillment in our lives. Detailed information about the importance of reading fiction and how it is good for mental health.