How Books Help You Ease Your Worry

How Books Help You Ease Your Worry

Saying no” to worry is not an easy feat. A Sage once observed that worry is almost impossible to avoid when we live in a negative sea of human mental activity.”

Its true. Every day weve got millions of reasons to worry: Will my career outlook improve?” “Will I finish my project?” “Will I make it to my childs recital on time?” Though there are many worrisome circumstances out of our control—illness, the economy, tragedies—many others can be avoided because they are things we CAN control. Typically, these stem from human behavior.

The Tough News: To illustrate, studies have shown that on average four out of five people that engage in idle conversation will focus on the negative—the poor weather, ailing health, the bad economy, scary news headlines, or even a work-related concern. Engaging in this communication not only brings you down but affects your mental health. According to the University of Minnesota, in partnership with the Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing, negativity creates chronic stress.

Negative attitudes and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness can create chronic stress, which upsets the bodys hormone balance, depletes the brain chemicals required for happiness, and damages the immune system.” In other words, chronic stress decreases our lifespan.

The impact of your worries and negative dialogue can also have detrimental effects on others. Innocent topics intended to break the ice or build camaraderie often perpetuate others worries. And for those who entered the conversation optimistically, may suddenly feel their optimism makes them social pariahs.

The Good News: Reading is science-backed antidote for worry. It provides a healthy escape, increases empathy, connects you with a community, and serves as a great icebreaker in social situations. Most importantly, it helps combat worry and chronic stress associated with anxiety. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness:

Reading can even relax your body by lowering your heart rate and easing the tension in your muscles. A 2009 study at the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress by up to 68%.”

When it comes to books easing worry, theres a term called Bibliotherapy” which uses reading, dissecting, and discussing books in a structured setting to improve mental health.

According to PsychCentral, reading goes far in helping reduce worry and anxiety. It also eases depression, feelings of isolation, and grief.

Reading and discussing stories can help foster empathy, provide a connection to a bigger community, and increase feelings of hope and optimism for people of all ages.”

The Book News: Building a collection of books that help you combat anxiety is an excellent first step for easing worry. Start with fun reads that invite you to escape for an hour or so and carry one with you so on your lunch break, or when worry spikes, you’re ready to take a reality break.

In addition to fun” reads, add to your library books that help you reduce anxiety. Books that teach you relaxation, motivate you, focus on spirituality, or help you find a kindred spirit—fictional or real—will not only build your mental strength but also serve to remind you that you are not alone.

A few of my worry-easing favorites include: 

The Worry Cure: Seven Steps to Stop Worry from Stopping You by Robert L. Leahy

The Wisdom of Anxiety: How Worry and Intrusive Thoughts Are Gifts to Help You Heal by Sheryl Paul MA

Soul Searching: Tune Into Spirit and Awaken Your Inner Wisdom by Bill Phillips

Youll find the practice of reading helps you ease your worry, improve your health, and ultimately may help you live a longer life. Its certainly worth a try!

Readers, please share some of your favorites….

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