The Student News Site of Illinois Wesleyan University

The Argus

The Argus

The Student News Site of Illinois Wesleyan University

The Argus

The Student News Site of Illinois Wesleyan University

The Argus

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The benefits of incorporating reading into your schedule

Whether someone is a fan of hard copy or e-books, reading has wonderful, positive mental and physical effects on people. Reading can ease your mind and relieve stress, which in turn relaxes your body and helps it rest.

In Healthline’s article, “Benefits of Reading Books: How It Can Positively Affect Your Life,” written by Rebecca Stanborough, it states that reading just thirty minutes a day “lowered blood pressure, heart rate, and feelings of psychological distress.” In addition, it builds connectivity inside the brain, alleviates depression symptoms, and relaxes the body because the mind is at rest. Reading before bed is a good way to help you sleep deeply, which many have problems with.

In Lia Tabackman’s Insider article, “5 ways reading benefits your health—and how to make reading a daily habit”, Tabackman writes that a 2009 study showed students had more relaxed minds and learned better when they spent at least thirty minutes a day reading. They were more focused in classes, did better on assignments, and retained information more easily.

Some people might say  “I don’t have time to read” or “I don’t want to read a novel”, but there are many other ways to engage in reading.

By removing thirty minutes of watching TikTok, binging a show, or even scrolling on  YouTube, that is an added thirty minutes for reading time.. Even a small break during study sessions would be beneficial; instead of just plowing through for two or three hours straight. Students could benefit from reading immensely when it comes to schooling, negative emotions, and retention in class.

As for the focus on novels, there is no need to worry. Poetry, short stories, and smaller novellas are all examples of reading material that have the exact same effects as reading a novel. One could even read a comic book or graphic novel and achieve the same outcome.

It’s all about getting lost in the words, taking a step back from the stressors of life, and allowing your mind to relax. Reading allows you to step into a world of imagery. Poems allow you to interpret what’s there, what the “message is,” and make you think a little. With graphic novels and comic books, you actually have the imagery in front of you to push you into a world of anything you could imagine—fantasy, dystopian, sci-fi — whatever you want. 

It doesn’t have to be a bestselling book or an award-winning poetry book, so long as it is something that you enjoy.

So, next time you consider turning on your favorite show or scrolling through social media, remember how reading can relieve stress, relax the body and reduce depression symptoms.

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