“Reading helps reduce stress, decrease blood pressure and improve heart rate which will release tension in our muscles. A study from the University of Sussex shows that stress can be reduced by up to 68% with just reading alone, and it’s more effective than many other stress relievers out there.”
Reading is even more effective at reducing stress than walking, but don't stop walking, because walking is by far the best exercise for your health. Our mind and bodies need both.
Psychological Benefits of Reading
You may be saying, “that's great, but I simply do not have time to sit down and read.” The study, from the University of Sussex, found that as little as 6 minutes a day reduced stress by up to 68%. We all can manage 6 minutes a day, even children. Regular daily reading helps reduce depression or just feeling sad.
If your child comes home from school feeling stressed, after a snack and before you start homework, sit down and read together. If your child is old enough to read, have the child read to you. Make reading a daily habit. You may even expand 6 minutes a day to 30 minutes a day.
Reading has been found to be more effective at reducing stress than watching television, playing video games, or even listening to music.
Reading sharpens the mind, increases vocabulary, improves memory, and just makes the day a bit happier, more carefree. According to research, reading puts our brains into a “pleasurable trance-like state,” similar to meditation. Reading brings a sense of inner calm.
Research also shows that reading brings about a “heightened connectivity in the left temporal cortex.” This link is essential for teaching children to read effectively. No, reading to a child will not teach them how to read, but reading to or with a child will help them learn how important reading is as a lifetime skill.
For More about Teaching a Child to Read: Is Teaching Decoding and Encoding a Form of Phonics? No!
Reading uses the brain in ways that watching television or playing video games does not. Both children and adults need this brain stimulation that is only available through reading.
You may be saying, “I just can't afford to buy a stack of books right now, or I'm not sure it's really safe to go to the library, yet.” There are free books available for both children and adults.
For adults, look at: 11 Sites That Offer Free E-Books
For children, go to: 27 Ways to Get Free Kids Books by Mail & Online
I particularly liked “Goodreads” on the children’s list. Just click on the title, and it will give you all kinds of information.
So, It's Time to Read!
What are you waiting for? It's free, and it's good for you.
Stress is linked to numerous illnesses in our society. Stress related diseases increase medical costs. We all need to reduce stress, even children.
Go find a novel and escape into a world of relaxation.
Don't pick a book for your period of relaxation that makes you angry or upset. Choose a book that makes you feel happy. Save the sad stories or violent tales for another time. When picking a book for relaxation, pick a happy story that will help you totally forget about the stress and worries of the world around you. For just a few minutes, escape and let your brain and body relax.
Now available in paperback.