I can think back to being in school and not wanting to read the books that my teachers and professors asked me to read.
I am pretty much positive that I am not the only one that can remember feeling this way.
But, I can also remember reading with my parents as a kid and loving to read. So that leads to my question about the correlation between reading and mental health.
Reading intrigued me as a kid. I read mainly fictional stories but they felt so real. I could barely believe that someone just made this up. Now I know that they had inspirations from real things but they took those inspirations and made something new out of them. It made me so happy when my parents would read to me before I went to bed. I can see now that reading as a kid helped me develop a lot because I would hear new words and phrases, new ways of thinking, and become more curious and ambitious.
Reading and Mental Health
I bring up my childhood because I want to drive this point that reading benefits mental health in all of the ways that I just mentioned. I want to be able to help other kids have that same epiphany that they don’t even realize they are having because they are so entranced in storytelling, curiosity, and ambition. That is what reading can do even as we age and what we read changes. Then why do a lot of people not like to read? There could be a lot of reasons but I am just going to focus on one for now. Reading is not convenient. We live in a world that does not promote inconvenient things. Reading requires focus, fruitful thought, and critical thinking and analysis. I am sure that you have heard the saying that the “book was better than the movie”. The movie, while more optically stimulating, cannot compete with a book with just two hours to show everything that the book showed. Reading something every day is critical for the physical health of our body and mind, and the mental well-being of our souls.
Making Reading Fun!
Just like writing, reading is much more fun when you are reading something about a topic or genre that you enjoy or want to learn more about. A lot of times in school we are forced to read things we just don’t want to read. I mentioned that at the beginning of this article for a reason. And that reason is while reading itself is not convenient because it requires more effort than other activities, reading something we don’t even like is more inconvenient. So we either don’t do it at all or find ways around it like looking up summaries on google. That is why I am providing a link to a program for kids called Children Learning Reading as this program helps children learn how to read while keeping that same excitement for reading and learning through words throughout development. Reading has exponential benefits for every single person at every single age. We develop the most in our first 5 years and making sure that we expose everyone to reading is so critical to the development and mental health of our minds and souls. Reading is a big part of keeping the mind sharp because you can read anything you want at any time and about any topic under the sun.
2 thoughts on “Does Reading Benefit Mental Health?”
Thank you for sharing your experience from your childhood. I like the fact that reading is so affordable. We don’t have to break the bank to get a good book. and the benefits are so big. I have also tried to encourage my children to read. I remember 20 years ago, all the kids were reading Harry Potter. But nowadays they are not reading much. They are gaming.
I totally agree that reading provides an infinite return on investment and gaming definitely does not provide that same knowledge. I would say that people are doing things like gaming more because gaming is very stimulating in that it provides a lot more flash. But no one can put a price on the value you get from a book.