Recent research shows myriad reasons you should pick up a book, including improved physical and mental well-being. Studies have found a correlation between reading and mental stimulation and brain function, lower heart rate, decreased blood pressure and stress reduction. In fact, just six minutes of a page-turner is more calming than other de-stressors, such as a cup of tea or listening to music.
But with a plethora of people and things competing for your attention—electronics, children, streaming television services, Zoom meetings—how can you relearn your love of a good book?
Try these five ways to rediscover reading:
- Make time. You probably already have a running to-do list. Prioritize reading by adding it to that list.
- Cut distractions. Set aside screen-free time blocks every day. When you read, leave phones, remotes, tablets and other gadgets in another room.
- Be honest with yourself. If you’ve read a handful of chapters of a book and it just isn’t moving you, feel free to choose a different book.
- Take advantage of a book’s flexibility. You can read anywhere, including while standing in a long line to buy the newest iPhone, so make use of this fact. Make a boring commute or a long plane ride pass more quickly by cracking open a book you’ve been itching to read.
- Challenge yourself. It may be tempting to binge a book the same way you do “Bridgerton” or “The Handmaid’s Tale,” but think of reading the same way you do exercise, and ease back into a reading habit. Set realistic goals for how many books you’d like to read a month or a year. And remember that reading doesn’t have to be a solo journey; book clubs and reading challenges allow you to share literary adventures with your social network.
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