Monday, 11 December 2017

Why Reading Benefits My Mental Health

Why Reading Benefits My Mental Health

As a child, I was a complete bookworm. I loved reading so much. It would be rare if you ever found me without my nose in a book. I could not leave the things alone. Like most millennials, I grew up obsessed with Jacqueline Wilson. Jacqueline Wilson is to reading what Lady Di is to Britain. A well loved and appreciated icon. 

My life revolved around coming home to watch the latest episode of Tracy Beaker while reading one Jacqueline's books. I've actually still got all my books, and I will hold on to them for as long as I possibly can, as they were such important parts of my childhood that hold such dear memories in my heart. 

As I grew up though, I stopped reading. The internet came along, and suddenly reading took a back seat in my life. I was more interested in watching YouTube and chatting on MSN then reading. I found that as I got older, there weren't books suitable for my age group. I was getting too old for Tracy Beaker but too young for the chick lit in the adult section. I felt very lost when it came to my reading, and as a result, my reading journey ceased. 


That was until this year. I had read a few books over the years since my bookworm days in childhood, but I never was able to get back into my reading properly. On my holiday in the lake district back in July, I decided that I wanted to have a complete social media detox. Honestly, it was one of the best things I could have done for my mental health. 

As I wasn't on social media all the time, I had more time to read. In fact, A LOT of time to read. You don't realise just how much time you waste on social media until you don't go on it for a week. This break was what I needed to get myself back into reading. 

The book that for me back into reading was Nikki Dubose's memoir washed Away from darkness to light which I absolutely loved. Since then, I don't think I've been more than a few days without a book on the go. Taking up reading again has been one of the best decisions that I could have ever made for my mental health. 

Reading provides a sense of escapism on a whole new level. Books transport me to different locations, time periods and even new universes. The best thing is, you can travel across the world and sometimes out of this world all from the comfort of your own bed. When you have a mental health problem, sometimes leaving your house or even your bed for that matter is not always possible. You can really feel like your missing out on life's adventures. But when you read, you don't miss out at all.

Why Reading Benefits My Mental Health

Having a mental illness is tiring, to say the least. It's exhausting being trapped in your own brain every single day. I know there's been many a day when all I've wanted to do is escape my own thoughts. Reading allows that. I become absorbed in the characters thoughts and problems. So absorbed that it momentarily allows me to forget everything that is wrong in my life. How amazing is that? 

Books will always be more than just a few words bound between too pretty covers. Reading, for me is the best antidepressant out there. When I'm feeling low I can read a happy book, when I want to cry, I can read a sad book. I can jump and skip from book to book like I'm on the London Underground. I can read to suit my mood, and I can read to change my mood. 

Another magical thing I have discovered through reading is that it can provide me with new friends and companions. Life can be lonely sometimes. Reading allows me to relate to characters like they are my real life friends. Well described and developed characters give me a warm fuzzy feeling inside. Suddenly, I don't feel so alone anymore. 

For the majority of this post, I have been waffling on about how just reading, in general, has helped my mental health. However, it also goes without saying really that reading books about mental health help my mental health. Whether the character also struggles with OCD and depression and I feel like I can relate or the book touches on a topic of mental health that I'm not too familiar with, and it aids my understanding of mental health so I can become a more educated and informed advocate for mental health rights. Books about mental health and No I'm not talking the super preachy 'You can change your life if you just smile' rubbish will always be some of my favourites to read. 

If reading has helped your mental health. I would love to know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading, as always X

Check out my December advertisers here: Welsh Mum of one and Lylia Rose 
SHARE:

8 comments

  1. i read all the time as a kid but just don't have the patience for it anymore.
    i find writing helps with my mh, gets my thoughts out so I can make sense of it
    https://cloebeth.com/

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was never a huge bookworm until I got into high school. I didn't have many friends so I turned to books to escape during school hours (social media wasn't a thing yet). I haven't read that many books since then but after reading your post I feel like picking up and reading a book. ♥

    mooeyandfriends.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. i went through a dry patch of about, errr 5 years(!?), of not reading but am soooo pleased ive got back into it again. powered through 4 books last month!

    totally agree with you - its such a detox from social media. to just get wrapped up in a book gives me so much more enjoyment and pleasure than being 3 months deep in someone instagram lol.

    also we have the most riduclous taste in books apparently, ive read every single book in the pictures! TFIOS being one of my all time favourites ♥

    katie. xx lacoconoire.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice post! I agree that reading can do wonders for mental health. I have always been a reader, I may not read a lot but I enjoy it and I find it helps me sleep when I read before bed. Anyways it's nice to escape to a new world.
    Róisín
    totallyro.blogspot.ie

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have always been a massive bookworm and also have suffered from depression and anxiety for many years. In January when I started therapy my counsellor couldn’t believe I was still able to concentrate on reading as in her experience those with mental health issues find it difficult. For me though it is pure escapism and something I couldn’t live without

    ReplyDelete
  6. I couldn't help but notice Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon was in the photo! I love that book and Bryony is a huge inspiration to me - I agree with you on this entire post, being able to relate to someone, whether it's a character or an actual person, is comforting :)

    -Charlotte x
    https://myownblogofthoughts.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete



  7. จีคลับ Simple gambling games. The player would like to play.







    จีคลับ Gambling services are easy to play. The player to pay attention to the game online gambling games online. Online poker, online poker, horse racing, Texas Fantasies, gourds, crayfish, dragon, blackjack, roulette and other gambling games d; jk 300 gd, royo at the house of the gamblers. own Many gamblers who come to play gambling games with the online casino, we are gambling money every day at home.



    Online In the computer, tablet, iPad, notebook, mobile phone, ipod and many other accessories and games in our online casino games are open to the player. Enjoy online gambling games 24 hours a day.



    Make money with these players every day. However, when the player wants to make money with their own จีคลับ ผ่านเว็บ gambling games, the player immediately apply to join the game of online gambling all the time to make money for myself. How do I quickly apply to join the game with us.

    ReplyDelete

Blogger Template Created by pipdig