Sunday, May 22, 2022

Reading the good stuff for mental well-being

Photo: Priscilla Du Preez/Unsplash

I say this from experience.

Reading is one of the most effective home-based therapies for mental well-being.

While serious mental health issues may require medical intervention and counselling, other concerns like stress, burnout, worry and anxiety that we often experience in our day-to-day lives can be managed—and even overcome—by reading books, and especially inspirational books, stories and essays.  

Personally, I find spiritual literature extremely uplifting—it does these four things, often within minutes after I start reading.

It elevates my mood
Soothes the mind
Makes me emotionally resilient, and
Fills me with a sense of calm.

Reading the good stuff makes me feel good about myself, my environment and my ability to make it through the passing storms of life, even though more often than not those storms are little more than blips on the radar or minor interruptions.  

This is not to say I don't read other books, like the mysteries, thrillers and westerns I'm fond of. It's only that, whenever I feel a bit down in the dumps, I know I can dive into books that fill me with a positive energy and make me happy. They're always on standby.

Does reading help improve your state of mind?

What kind of books do you read for inspiration and mental wellness?


  1. Reading for me whether its the serious stuff or light romcom, mystery murder, cozies well anything helps me definitely to ease any mental stress I am having. Right now as I am sure you are aware, our country is in chaos. It does spill over to our lives even though I am still not directly impacted by it. You cant help being affected when the people around you are affected.

    1. Mystica, I'm saddened by all that is happening in Sri Lanka and I really hope that the socio-economic-political situation returns to normal soon. Your country needs a solid dose of good leadership and governance. I'm glad that you and your family are not directly affected by the chaos.

      I agree, while reading in general is a stress buster, I often turn to spiritual (and not self-help) books for comfort and a fresh perspective on life.

  2. Hey Prashant. Glad to see your post. Well for me a twisty mystery is the best stress-reliever as while reading it I can forget abt my problems.

    1. Hey, Neer! Glad to be back, although I might not be able to post every day or even every other day. P.G. Wodehouse is one author I frequently turn to in times of stress. Few (humour) writers can make me laugh as much as he can. .