Reading is one of the most important activities that we can engage in. It’s not just a way to pass the time – it’s a way to educate ourselves, to learn about the world, to expand our horizons and to entertain ourselves. But the way we approach reading can have an impact on our health. There is such a thing as healthy reading, and it’s important that we recognize the value of this type of reading.
First of all, reading can be good for our mental health. If we choose the right types of books, we can find ourselves transported to other worlds, caught up in the adventures of fictional characters that become as real to us as the people we know. This kind of escape can be a welcome break from the stresses of our everyday lives. Reading can also be a great way to unwind before bed. Instead of scrolling through social media or watching TV, reading a book can help us relax and prepare for a good night’s sleep.
But not all reading is created equal. There are certain types of books that can actually be harmful to our mental health. If we find ourselves obsessively reading the news or social media, we can end up anxious and stressed out. Similarly, reading books that are filled with violence, abuse or other traumatic experiences can be triggering and harmful to our mental wellbeing. It’s important to be mindful of the types of books that we’re reading and the impact they’re having on our health.
Reading can also be good for our physical health. For one thing, it’s an activity that can be done indoors, making it a great option for days when the weather is bad or when we’re trying to avoid exposure to pollution or other environmental triggers. And because reading is a sedentary activity, it’s also a great way to reduce stress on our joints and muscles. But again, it’s important to be mindful of the types of books that we’re reading. Spending hours sitting in one position can have negative effects on our posture, and reading in dimly lit environments can lead to eye strain.
So, what does healthy reading look like? First, it involves choosing books that are aligned with our values and interests. If we find that a book is causing us undue stress, anxiety or discomfort, it’s important to put it down and pick up something else. We should also make sure to take regular breaks when reading. This can mean putting the book down for a few minutes to stretch, taking a quick walk or simply looking away from the page and focusing on something else for a few seconds. And if we’re concerned about the impact of reading on our physical health, we can make sure to read in well-lit environments, use ergonomic furniture and take frequent breaks to stretch and move our bodies.
In summary, reading is a wonderful activity that can have positive effects on our mental and physical health. But it’s important to be mindful of the types of books we’re reading and to take steps to make sure that we’re practicing healthy reading habits. By doing so, we can enjoy all the benefits of this wonderful activity without putting our health at risk. So, pick up a book, find a comfortable spot and spend some time getting lost in the pages. Your mind and body will thank you for it.