How Is Reading Relaxing?

Everyone knows that I am passionate about books. That wasn’t always the case as for almost a decade I lost interest in reading altogether. However, I started to realise that something was missing in my life and decided that it just happened to be reading books. As soon as I started getting sucked into novels again, I didn’t look back.

Reading is relaxing because it whisks you off to wonderful landscapes and allows your imagination to run wild.

I have heard some people suggest that reading is not as relaxing as watching TV or playing online games. Others suggest that reading is simply hard work. If you are lucky enough to know how to read, then I would say it is worth using that privilege and exploring the world of books. The more you explore, the more likely it is that the reading experience will become relaxing.

Here are some of my thoughts about why reading can be a very relaxing and entertaining experience:

Reading allows you to switch off.

As long as you have chosen a genre that maintains your interest, a book can be a good way to take yourself somewhere else. Some people say that you can lose yourself in a good book and I totally agree. There will always be books that let you down but usually, once you find some writers that entertain you, their novels become escape routes from the mundane repetition of every day life.

Books are fun.

Reading is definitely relaxing because it enables you to kick back and enjoy the rollercoaster of emotions that supplement a good storyline. When you become absorbed in a gripping narrative your body starts to loosen up and you find yourself enjoying the activity. I personally always feel better about myself after I’ve read a chapter or two of one of my current books.

Some books are quite intense, such as thrillers. Others are full of humour. Whatever you read, there will always be moments of laughter, distress and excitement. Often I find myself rooting for a character and looking forward to the next instalment of a drama. Generally the feelings accommodated with reading are pleasurable and satisfying.

Perfect for bed time.

I like to read a book just before I go to sleep. Nothing beats that feeling of being warm and cosy in bed with a lamp on, lapping up the latest chapter of a gripping story. If you are not so keen on fiction, then why not use that time to catch up on a non-fiction text? For me, a fascinating biography is great to read just before I close my eyes. Currently, for example. I dip in and out of a very entertaining and witty book by Mindy Kaling.

Reading is sociable

One of my favourite things about books is talking about them with friends. Many of the books that I read by new authors came to me from recommendations by friends. Similarly, many people enjoy belonging to book groups and sharing opinions about storylines and characters.

Goodreads is another way for friends to display their recent reads and review them. Looking at other people’s reviews can be very helpful when deciding between books, considering which book to read next.

Summary

Reading books is a wonderful way to have some time alone and enjoy narratives. Life can get very busy and stressful and there may be times when it is hard to set aside reading time, but the benefits of doing so are enormous. For some ideas about re-engaging with books, check out How To Regain Your Reading Passion. Most of all, pick up a book and relax.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I look forward to seeing your comments about reading as a relaxing activity. For similar future posts, please consider following my little blog,

That Sunday Feeling

The weekend is full of joy,

Much needed sleep and rest,

On Saturday I get stuff done,

For me that day’s the best!

The weekend is a chance to chill,

And watch TV and browse,

But Sunday brings its own delights,

Like cleaning half the house.

Take me back to the seaside.

On Saturday I shop and dance,

I try to workout and be fitter,

But Sunday brings a different vibe,

That sometimes makes me bitter.

Because Monday follows Sunday quick,

And preparations for the work week start,

I wish we had three day weekends,

More time for fun and art.

Reality brings chores and angst,

As ironing and planning fill my days,

But Monday you don’t own me,

With your taunting, stirring ways.

On Sunday I can still kick back,

And eat bacon sandwiches in bed,

I see you Monday, glare at me,

You’re messing with my head!

5 Ways to Relax

After a busy week, with all sorts going on, I wanted to take a moment to discuss different ways that we can take a load off our minds and unwind. For me, time to relax has to be factored in no matter what I am doing.

Some prefer to relax in company and others need time alone to properly chill out. I can do either but tend to lean more towards having some time and space to myself. The following are some simple suggestions for good ways to take time out of our busy lives and totally relax.

Nothing beats the countryside.

1) Relaxation techniques

Now we have all heard of these and they often link closely with yoga but I like to keep mine simple. I think I may have originally borrowed it from a sports class and now I regularly use it to help me unwind.

I start by laying on my back, eyes closed, and breathing deeply, in through the mouth and out through the nose. I then flex my feet so my toes point straight up and the foot muscles tighten. I breathe into that then relax my feet and move on to my calves. Working up my whole body, by the time I have clenched and let go of every pair or muscles and scrunched up my facial muscles I generally feel sleepy and chilled out.

2) Reading cosily

As a book reviewer I am always reading and for me it is something I enjoy a lot so it helps me to let go. Often I lay back on the couch with my feet raised slightly on a pillow, holding a book in front of me. Sometimes I devour my ebooks this way too and snuggle up sideways, resting the iPad on the edge of the sofa while I read. Reading in bed with a lamp nearby is also a comfortable alternative. The only trouble is when I end up feeling sleepy midway though a chapter. I then forget where I got to after I wake up, with the book strewn over the floor.

3) Fresh air

Nothing beats a walk in the countryside but I am not living right next to a mountain valley so I have to make do with what is nearby. Luckily there are a few small lakes within my area of the city and I am able to walk around them without needing to drive anywhere first. Being outside, away from screens and distractions, I can be alone with my thoughts and totally clear my head. Of course, having a walking buddy is good too, being able to put the world to rights in conversation whilst taking a brisk stroll in a park or whilst walking a dog.

4) Listen. Sing. Dance.

Sometimes I like to pop on some tunes and dance around the house a bit. At other times I enjoy singing along as well. Do whatever you need to do to feel good. Often a throwback piece of music can be just what’s needed to allow you to forget the stress of work and responsibility. As an alternative, you could do an online dance class. Equally fun and also really good for your body.

5) Duvet day

This sounds old fashioned doesn’t it? Well sometimes you just need a day to lay on the couch, eat chocolate and watch back-to-back episodes of your favourite TV series. I am not talking about when you are ill. I am just saying it can be worth planning one in every now and then.

These are just a few things that I do to unwind but please share your own ideas in the section below. If you enjoyed this post perhaps consider following my newish blog. Click here for a previous post that I wrote about how to improve your sleep.