— By Peter Yurek, BSc.Phm.
I find reading a simple and inexpensive way to improve my quality of life. However, in this highly technological world, perusing books and other materials for pleasure is often a forgotten activity.
Leisure reading has been shown to reduce symptoms of depression and risk of dementia, improve wellbeing, increase empathy, improve relationships, and increase happiness.
Reading a variety of books and other materials helps me:
- Understand the world.
- Books that expand my horizons also increase my empathy by cultivating an appreciation of other people and cultures.
- Become more self-aware.
- Several types of reading materials assist in developing one’s identity. They increase the ability to see oneself in the world in diverse ways and opening up to new possibilities.
- Improve cognitive function.
- Reading keeps me mentally active and increases my knowledge and vocabulary. It stimulates thinking and problem solving and encourages creativity.
- Feel better.
- Enjoying a delightful book helps to calm me, to take me away from the daily grind and to relax me, often leading to a good night’s sleep. Bibliotherapy refers to a type of therapy that uses reading materials to help solve personal problems or even to treat mental disorders.
Reading is a straightforward way to improve one’s overall wellbeing. Just drop by your nearest library to borrow a book or two and get started on your way to feeling better!