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How Picking Up a Book Can Help Mental Health

By Genevieve Cunningham

There may not be anything more important than your mental health. We often try to ignore this aspect of our health, but it affects us in much more powerful ways than we realize. Poor mental health can affect our sleep and our work and our relationships. It's a big deal! Most of us know the typical mental health tips: Get more sleep, see a counselor, journal your feelings. But for many, we just need a good, solid habit to include in our routine. Something that helps melt stress and that can be used on a regular basis. If this is you, there's good news. All you need is a book. If you need a very simple way to boost mental well-being, take a look at how picking up a book may be able to help.

It Gives You an Escape

Reading allows you to escape your current world and enter a new one. While your brain focuses on the book, it can't worry about what happened during your day or what's coming tomorrow. It can only think about the book. This allows you to get lost, to escape for a while. When you have too much stress and it threatens your mental well-being, get lost in a book until your stress comes down and you feel more calm overall. 

It Winds You Down

If you pick up a book at the end of the day, it may help wind you down before bed. Many find it soothing, and for some, it actually lulls them to sleep. It's a great activity to add to your bedtime routine, as it's good for your brain to be constantly challenged, and it's also good for your physical and mental health to be stress-free before bed. Choose a favorite, leave it by your favorite comfy chair, and make this a wind down habit that lasts your whole life.

It Might Give You Knowledge and Support

There are mental health books galore. And if you don't like mental health books, there are books for motivation and inspiration. There are memoirs that might make you feel less alone. There are self-help books that might combine all of these into one. Books are a great way to gain knowledge and gather support. Use them wisely. You never know how much a book can change your life until you give it a try. 

Reading is so good for you. It's good practice for the brain. It's soothing to the mind. And it may very well help your mental health over time. Skip the phone or the TV, and reach for a book instead. This good habit is one that can bring big benefits, so don't skip it, and learn to love it instead. 

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Porter Ranch, Calif.

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