How to Safeguard Your Mental Health and Cultivate Better Reading Habits

Tara H

Tara H

Sep 20, 20234 min read

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How to Safeguard Your Mental Health and Cultivate Better Reading Habits

In today's digital age, social media has become an integral part of our lives. It allows us to connect with friends, share experiences, and stay updated on current events. However, it's crucial to protect our mental health from the negative impacts of social media. On the other hand, reading is a valuable activity that enhances our knowledge, empathy, and overall well-being. By implementing certain strategies, we can improve our reading habits and become better readers, ultimately leading to personal growth. In this article, we will explore ways to protect our mental health from social media and strategies to become better readers.

Comparing ourselves to others on social media can be detrimental to our mental health. We often forget that people mainly showcase the highlights of their lives, creating an illusion of perfection. As Theodore Roosevelt once said, "Comparison is the thief of joy." Instead of fixating on others' highlight reels, it's essential to focus on our own journey and accomplishments. By keeping this in mind, we can safeguard our mental well-being and appreciate our own progress.

To protect ourselves further, we must limit our social media consumption. While it's tempting to spend hours scrolling through feeds, excessive screen time can negatively impact our mental health. Setting boundaries and allocating specific time slots for social media usage can help maintain a healthy balance. Additionally, unfollowing accounts that trigger negative emotions or cause feelings of inadequacy can significantly contribute to our mental well-being.

Now, let's delve into strategies that can enhance our reading habits. One effective technique is listening to audiobooks at an accelerated speed, such as 2x or 3x. By doing so, we can absorb more information in a shorter amount of time. However, it's important to note that the purpose behind listening at a faster speed should be to read more and gain knowledge rather than simply showing off. This technique can be particularly useful when it comes to podcasts or YouTube videos, as it helps maintain focus and attention.

Reading should be an enjoyable experience, and forcing ourselves to finish books we don't resonate with can hinder our progress and enthusiasm. Life is too short to read books we don't enjoy. To remedy this, consider creating a "Did Not Finish" section in your books to read spreadsheets. This allows you to note down why you didn't finish a particular book, without feeling any shame or guilt. Over time, you may notice patterns or common themes that can guide your future reading choices.

Another valuable tip for becoming a better reader is setting a personal rule of thumb: 100 pages minus your age. For instance, if you're 30 years old, give a book a chance to captivate you within the first 70 pages. If it fails to do so, don't hesitate to put it aside. This approach ensures that as you age, you spend less time enduring books that don't resonate with you. Instead, you can revisit books that have already left a lasting impact and explore new stories that align with your interests.

Sometimes, starting a new book can feel overwhelming, especially if you've been out of the reading habit for a while. In such cases, consider going back to something familiar, like a book from a beloved series. This provides a comfortable starting point and gradually eases you into exploring new genres and authors. For example, if you struggled to pick up anything new, the release of the next installment in a favorite series can serve as a catalyst to begin reading again.

To summarize, protecting our mental health from social media and cultivating better reading habits go hand in hand. By prioritizing our well-being, setting boundaries, and focusing on our own journey, we can safeguard our mental health while engaging with social media. Simultaneously, by implementing strategies such as accelerated audiobook listening, setting personal reading rules, and starting with familiar books, we can enhance our reading habits and become better readers. Remember, the goal is to enjoy the process and gain knowledge, so embrace these practices and embark on a fulfilling reading journey.

Resource:

  1. "5 Ways to Protect Your Mental Health from Social Media", https://www.lifehack.org/922482/social-media-and-mental-health?ref=refind (Glasp)
  2. "6 strategies that will make you a better reader — and person", https://ideas.ted.com/6-strategies-that-will-make-you-a-better-reader-and-person/?ref=refind (Glasp)

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