Technotox is here to try and encourage each of us to switch off to the drains and distractions of digital technology – emails, social media, addictive computer games – we spend far too many hours devoted to our screens, in fact the average person now checks their phone 150 times a day and unsurprisingly, it’s affecting our mental health.
Being a slave to our phones can leave us feeling brain dead, overwhelmed and lost. So it’s time for a technology-detox and to rediscover more traditional activities that help promote our well-being, those which nuture rather than neglect our mental health.
Reading is one such activity and has lots of wonderful merits, here are my top 10 –
- Stimulates the mind
Reading keeps the brain sharp and the mind active. Unlike watching TV – a passive pastime, it stimulates our brain cells, helps build the memory muscle and gives our minds a workout.
- Reduces stress
Reading is incredibly relaxing and can help us unwind after a hard day. It’s proven it reduces stress levels; as an engaging activity that requires our full attention, it can provide an escape from life’s troubles and traumas.
- Improves sleep
The white light from iPhones and laptops inhibits our ability to relax and fall asleep because the light signals to the brain that it’s time to wake up! Reading under a dim light in bed however, tells the mind it’s bedtime and helps us unwind and prepare for sleep.
- Helps fight depression
Self help books can ease depression, make you feel less alone and offer interventions and advice on how to cope with anxiety and sadness.
- Helps gain empathy and understanding
Through reading about other’s life stories and gaining knowledge of the world and different cultures, reading builds empathy and a greater understanding. Helping us see the world from a multitude of perspectives.
- Vocabulary expansion and better writing skills
The more you read, the more words you discover and the more you appreciate good writing styles. You can then transfer these skills and vocabulary to your own writing technique and conversations.
- Improved focus and concentration
Reading requires discipline, you don’t always enjoy the first few chapters of a book but given a chance, a wonderful story can unfold in the later pages. The more you read, the easier it is to focus and improve your concentration.
- Builds self esteem
Reading builds knowledge and can therefore improve your self-esteem because it gives you things to talk about – to discuss with your peers and colleagues, boosting confidence in social situations.
- Improves your imagination
There’s nothing like getting lost in an imaginary world. When we watch big Studio movies, the worlds and characters are made for us, but when we read, we’re allowed to design these imaginary worlds for ourselves. This encourages creativity and in turn, boosts our happiness levels!
- Saves you money
The best thing about reading is it’s free. Every local borough has a library where you can access a plethora of literature for absolutely nothing. Unlike your monthly Sky TV fee!