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Get Reading: why reading is good for your mental health

If you didn’t know already, it’s Mental Health Awareness Week! During these difficult days of COVID-19, it is important to make time for your mental health and well-being, whether it’s walking yourself to work, making yourself your favourite breakfast or…you guessed it, READING!

It’s no secret that reading is good for one’s mental health, but new research published by Oxford University Press shows that “challenging language” can send “rocket boosters” to the brain and improve mental health. Here are a few more reasons why you should reach for the nearest book…

Reading relieves physical symptoms of anxiety

Anxiety has physical symptoms and triggers, including high blood pressure and increased heart rate, but studies show that reading lowers your heart rate and eases muscle tension quickly and effectively in any genre!

It provides escapism!

Reading can be used as a coping mechanism for dealing with anxiety. When you read, it takes you out of your own head and into someone else’s imagination, even if only for an hour. Anxiety can be constant and overwhelming so taking a break will do you the world of good!

It can literally rewire your brain to be more compassionate to yourself

Research has found that reading other people’s experiences can increase empathy, a skill that allows people to understand and share the feelings of others. It’s not always easy to be kind to yourself, but reading will help!

Whether you’re sinking into your sofa or diving under your duvet, here are a few books we think you’d love to read over the bank holiday weekend…  

A Single Journey by Frankie McGowan

 A moving story of love, loyalty and long-lost family

The Woman with Wings by James MacManus

A heart-warming tale of female empowerment

The Berlin Affair by David Boyle

Delve into the terrifying and perilous heart of Nazi Germany with Xanthe Schneider

The Dead on Leave by Chris Nickson

A fascinating tale of murder and deception

Reading isn’t a cure to anxiety, but it can help you feel better while doing something you already love. Coping isn’t simple, but at least with a book, it can be a little bit easier.

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