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positive minds

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused major anxiety for millions around the world. Our mental health will take a serious hit due to self-isolation and social distancing, but one thing that will help is reading.

Studies have found that reading has a positive impact on your mental health. Natalie Phillips, who is an English scholar, teamed up with Stanford neurobiologists and radiologists to look at the benefits reading has on our mental health.

They found that reading increases the blood flow to certain parts of the brain. They asked participants to read a chapter of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park– both leisurely and analytically- as the participants read their brain was scanned by an MRI machine.

The team found that reading “requires the coordination of multiple complex cognitive functions”, meaning reading exercises underworked parts of your brain.

I would never have thought reading an old copy of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel The Great Gatsby would keep my anxious thoughts away, but it did. Reading is one of the things that has helped ease my symptoms the most.

Pick up a book and dive into a new world, meet new characters and learn about their lives. Reading is a great way to push the anxiety away. It eases your mind when it is full of doubt and fear.

It is the perfect form of escapism. Pop into your local bookshop or order a book online; whether it’s a classic like Wuthering Heights or the latest Sally Rooney novel.

It may not work for everyone, but something as simple as channelling your inner Matilda may keep those dreaded symptoms at bay.

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When life beats us down, we can do two things about it: accept our situation or try to change it.

A lot of the time, we blame ourselves for what goes wrong without realising the damaging affects the self-blame has on our health.

Here are more bad habits that damage our emotional health:

Self-criticism
We are the worse critics for ourselves and often demoralise ourselves when we fail. Remember, failure is a sign that you’re trying and it’s also a great teacher.

Unnecessary pride
Even when we know we should apologise, our pride doesn’t let us. If you want to gain the forgiveness of others, then admit your mistakes and take responsibility for what you did.

Internal-dialogue
This is probably the most damaging of the three. We often tend to use negative internal dialogue when we talk about ourselves. This monologue decrease self-esteem and self-worth.

Remember, positive minds live positive lives.

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