They say reading is like an exercise for the brain. Experts say that when your mind is absorbed in a good book, it only takes about six minutes for you to begin to relax. Reading also reduces stress which also promotes mental health.
You can be able to find books that will keep you safe from stress and prolonged stress which could lead to depression. Reading is also good for the mental health because it helps you sleep. It also keeps your mind active which helps with slow memory. There is also a study that proves that reading can also reduce the chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease.
With all the benefits associated with reading and mental health, here are some of the ways you can cultivate a reading habit to maintain your mental health:
Set Reading Times
Set times during the day when you’ll read, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Setting time will trigger you to read no matter what. For instance, try and make it a habit of reading during mealtimes especially if you eat alone. You can also read when you go to bed.
Inclusive of three meal times, and bedtime, those are four times a day when you can read. It could be for 30 minutes, or more. That by itself is a great reading habit that you can develop daily. With time you will love it and look forward to those sessions.
Always Carry a Book
Carry a novel with you everywhere you go. While you make sure, you have your keys, wallets, driving license, and a book to that equation. Take the book everywhere. That will allow you to read everywhere. For example, you get to read in the waiting line, in traffic, in the elevator, anywhere! It will be a great way to pass the time.
Find a Quiet Place
Whenever you are at home, find a quiet place you can sit and curl up with a good book without any interruptions. Avoid being near the computer or television to minimize distraction. Also, try to stay away from noisy family members and no music. Create a quiet place if you don’t already have one.
Reduce Internet and Television
If you really want to start reading more, you need to cut back on internet and TV. This may prove very difficult for most people, but it is achievable. Use the time you spend watching TV and surfing the net to read. Doing this will create hours of book reading time.
Go to Used Book Shops
Used book shops give you discounts when you drop off all your old books and the books you find in the store as well. Reading doesn’t have to be expensive; they are not if you know the right channels. Plus, itsfun going through new books people donate.
Read Fun and Compelling Books
Reading boring books will cripple your desire for reading before you even begin. Find books that will have a grip on you and want you to keep going. The goal is to find books that make you want to read. Once you cultivate a reading habit, you will be able to move to the complicated stuff.
If you are a newcomer in this reading community, John Grisham, Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Nora Roberts, Robert Ludlum, Dan Brown, are some of the famous authors who are really great at telling stories. There is a very minimal chance you will be bored by their books.
Make it Pleasurable
Make reading your favorite time of the day. Have some good coffee or tea while you read. Get a comfortable sitting space and a good blanket. Read at the beach or during sunrise or sunset. Make it your pleasure moment.
Other Ways You Can Put Your Mental Health First
Express Your Feelings and Emotions
One of the things that will assist you topinpoint what triggers you is verbalizing your feelings, emotions, and thoughts. By being vocal, you will be able to figure out what you need to do to manage the triggers or stressors. Maybe a close friend, a colleague, or a close family member can be an outlet upon which you voice your feelings and thoughts to. If you are uncomfortable sharing with another party, use a journal instead.
Let Go of the Need to Be Perfect
Most people tend to feel depressed when they see how most of their friends or celebrities are living on social media. It can be easy to resent people who seem to walk in the light especially when you are experiencing a dark phase in your life.
Comparing casts an enormous shadow on your current reality and perspective which can be harmful to your mental sanity. To avoid that, stay away from platforms that will make you want to compare your life to that of others, and indulge in something you love and feel right about it. Try out a luxurious home spa, taking a stroll through the park, or a meditation session, anything that gives you time to love yourself.
Live a Healthier Lifestyle
Staying active, having a healthier diet, and cutting back on alcohol and cigarettes can have a positive impact on your mental health, and also minimize the risk of depression. Make realistic and small changes that will contribute towards a healthier lifestyle. You could start eating each food group in controlled portions, drinking plenty of water, get into a rehab for marijuana, and jogging in the morning.
Take a Break From the World
The world has a tendency of causing us to feel anxious, stressed, or depressed. Political instability, a volatile economy, and civil conflicts that are out of our control are some of the things that make us feel despondent. Set aside time to avoid news that will trigger emotional distress when you think it’s a bit too much to handle.
Be Present, Accept Who and Where You Are in Life
Some triggers cause you to feel anxious about what’s to come in the future and cause you to neglect your wellbeing in the present moment. Focus on the present, avoid worrying about what is beyond your control, and break your long-term plan into small achievable goals that you can reflect on without feeling overwhelmed.
Our mind and body, in most cases, are put into two categories and treated as two different entities. The benefits of exercise and physical health on your mental well-being are essential. However, putting ourselves first is a constant struggle in life. Reading will help you keep your mental health in check while relaxing and having a good time.