What is it about books that make people happy? Is it the captivating journeys they take us on? Is it the way they help us relax after a stressful day at work? Or maybe, there’s a scientific explanation behind why people love reading. There’s no doubt that reading can make us happier people, help us enjoy life, and make us feel more connected to our community, but have you ever wondered why?
Keep reading to learn more about the possible reasons behind why reading makes us happier and where to find great inexpensive books online.
Reading Can Reduce Stress Levels
In a study done by the University of Sussex in 2009, reading proved to lower heart rate and reduce feelings of stress only after six minutes. It showed that trial participants actually felt better after reading compared to when they drank a mug of tea or went for a walk. This is because when the mind is focused on a single, meditative task, it’s able to achieve an altered state of consciousness. On top of that, reading requires people to be at rest, and it also usually requires a calm, silent atmosphere which contributes to reduced stress levels.
Reading is more than just a distraction, though. Especially if you’re reading fiction or a funny book that allows you to escape into a story that interests you; this can be incredibly relaxing, which leads to less stress and a happier state of mind.
Reading Can Connect You to a Community
It’s been known for years now that community is key to helping us feel more connected with others, which enhances our mental health. By taking part in a community, we build relationships and meaningful connections that make us feel less alone.
While reading might feel like a solo activity, it can be a great way to interact with others and develop community. What is reading if not engaging with the arts? How does it differ from going to a museum or seeing a live concert? The answer is that there isn’t much difference. By reading a book that thousands of other people are reading, you’re taking part in an international discussion, even if you don’t realize it. Just take a look at some of the reviews of your favorite book—do the comments lead you to message boards or long-form reviews in literary journals?
A more local example of this is if you’re reading the same book as your friends, colleagues or family members, you’re able to talk about it with them. By joining a book club, you’re participating in conversations, enhancing your social connections and feeling connected to people on an emotional level. This can increase your confidence and your communication skills, making you feel happier.
Engagement in the arts and entertainment is important to your mental health as it creates connection and a sense of play. Reading is a wonderful way to do this.
Reading Can Improve Your Sleep
Do you know anybody who feels happy and ready to take on the day after getting no sleep? A good night’s rest is integral to our happiness because sleep allows for repair and rejuvenation. When we miss out on it, it shows.
By reading just before bed, you signal to your body that it’s time to rest and calm down. This can help you prepare for a good night’s sleep. Many people find that when they read before bed, they feel much more tired and are able to fall asleep faster. By getting a good night’s sleep, you’ll feel well-rested in the morning, which means you’ll be less stressed, which means you’ll feel happier.
Getting a good night of sleep will always improve your mood the next day. And if you regularly experience deep, uninterrupted rest, your mental health will improve in the long term. While reading on its own is not a cure for depression, insomnia, or any other health concern, it can help facilitate a better night’s sleep by calming your mind and helping you relax.
Reading Can Change Your Attitude
While reading isn’t a magic cure for the winter blues or the answer to all of life’s troubles, it can help with shifting our mindset. When we immerse ourselves in the lives of other people and see the world from a different perspective, this can shape the way we think and change our attitude on life. And we’re not just talking about self-help books or nonfiction. Reading fiction can help us achieve this just as well because sometimes it’s the way a story is being told, not the story itself.
One of the most famous, well-regarded novels of the 20th century is simply about a day in the life of one man. James Joyce’s Ulysses focuses on the main character, Leopold Bloom, from the moment he wakes up to the moment he arrives back home. He’s not famous. He doesn’t go on a grand adventure or fight dragons. He simply walks around Dublin. But what makes the novel so fascinating is the writing and the way in which the characters are portrayed.
How can a day in your life be talked about as if it’s an odyssey? What exciting things happened during the course of your week that you might think are boring but, to others, might be captivating? Seeing how authors turn mundane moments into riveting works of art can have a significant impact on how you approach your own life. It can ask that you stay present and not take things for granted. This can have a huge impact on how you view the world, yourself and others.
Depending on what you’re reading, you may find that this shift in perspective or attitude actually makes you feel more excited about life and less stressed.
Reading for a Happier Life
Reading is a form of entertainment, and as people, we need entertainment in order to have a happy, fulfilled life. But reading can also connect us to the community and have physical effects on our bodies. Reading is a superpower. It calms us, energizes us, connects us, and teaches us. Reading books is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
If you’re looking for new books or you want to get back into reading, then check out Book Outlet. They have a massive selection of inexpensive books that you can have delivered right to your door.