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Unwind and Uncover Your Potential: The Transformative Power of Reading in a Hyperconnected World

Unwind and Uncover Your Potential: The Transformative Power of Reading in a Hyperconnected World - The Sabi

By Hilary Metcalfe

Ding, buzz, vibrate, click, scroll, repeat. Notifications, alerts, chats, news, work and social threads and more. They constantly demand our attention, give fleeting and addictive dopamine hits that do more harm than good, and pressure us to stay plugged in 24/7. In our hyperconnected world, neglecting the simple yet profound act of reading is easily done. 

But, picking up a book isn't just a leisurely pastime or something you did to get through school, it’s a powerful tool with the potential to transform your mental and physical well-being.  Dive deeper with me as we explore the science-backed benefits of reading and discover how carving out time for a good book can be the key to unlocking a calmer, more creative, and connected you.

The Science of Serenity: How Reading Lowers Stress and Boosts Well-being

Modern life throws a lot at us. Work deadlines loom, social media anxieties simmer, and the news cycle spins on a relentless loop. This constant influx of information and pressure can take a toll on our mental and physical health, leading to chronic stress, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping. Thankfully, there's a simple, accessible solution with surprising power: reading.

Multiple studies have established a clear link between reading and stress reduction.  Getting absorbed in a story allows your brain to break from the daily worries swirling around you. The predictable flow of a narrative provides a sense of control and focus, in contrast to the chaotic nature of daily life. This mental escape acts as a stress buffer, lowering cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and promoting calm and relaxation.

Watching a Series is How You Normally Relax?

The benefits of reading extend far beyond simply taking your mind off things. Unlike watching TV, which may provide temporary relaxation while you're engaged with the program but can cultivate feelings of apathy (not caring) that linger even after you turn it off, reading actively engages your brain, strengthening cognitive function and boosting memory. As you follow a plot, connect with characters and process information, you're giving your brain a workout that keeps it sharp and agile. This mental stimulation can even help to ward off cognitive decline as we age (a.k.a. maintaining neuroplasticity).

The positive impact of reading goes even deeper.  By stepping into the shoes of fictional characters, we develop empathy and gain a deeper understanding of different perspectives.  This fosters a sense of connection to others, combating feelings of isolation and loneliness.  Reading can also spark creativity and imagination.  As you visualise scenes and characters, you're exercising your creative muscles, which can spill over into other areas of your life. Studies have shown that regular readers tend to be more innovative and problem-solvers.

The Hormone Bonus: We Knew You'd Ask!

Chronic stress? Hormonal imbalances? We get it – these are real concerns for many of us. And guess what? Reading might just be the secret weapon you've been looking for. Chronic stress is a real hormone wrecker, leading to issues like sleep problems, weight gain, and mood swings. But guess what?

By lowering stress hormones like cortisol, reading creates a domino effect that benefits your entire hormonal system. Reduced cortisol levels can lead to better sleep, which in turn regulates hormones like leptin (hunger) and ghrelin (satiety), making it easier to maintain a healthy weight. Additionally, the calming effect of reading can positively impact mood-regulating hormones like serotonin and dopamine, contributing to feelings of well-being and emotional balance.

So, the next time you indulge in a good story, know you're actively promoting hormonal harmony within your body too. Another great reason to get lost in a world of words!

Cultivating a Reading Habit: Your Gateway to a Calmer, More Fulfilling Life

Ready to rediscover the magic of reading?  The good news is, it’s easier than you might think. Start small: dedicate just 20 minutes a day, three times a week.  That's all it takes to read over 10 books a year!  Find a quiet corner, curl up with a cup of tea, and let yourself be transported.

Here are some additional tips to jumpstart your reading journey:

1. Ignite Your Reading Spark:

Here are some tips to boost your brainpower and enjoyment while reading from some of our favourite thought-leaders in the space:

  • Find Your Genre Bliss (Gretchen Rubin): Gretchen Rubin, author of "The Four Tendencies," suggests identifying your personality type ("Upholder," "Obliger," "Rebel," or "Questioner") to understand how you approach tasks. Matching your reading material to your tendencies can make it more enjoyable (e.g., Upholders might thrive on structured learning, while Rebels might enjoy fiction with a rebellious spirit).
  • Embrace Curiosity (Maria Popova): Maria Popova, curator of the blog "The Marginalian," emphasises the power of approaching reading with an open mind, thirsty for knowledge. Ask yourself questions about a topic, historical period, character study or human behaviours and let the reading experience lead you down unexpected paths.
  • Active Reading Techniques (Jim Kwik): if you are in for self-improvement then explore Jim Kwik. His simple speed reading techniques like underlining key points, taking notes, and mind mapping can boost comprehension and retention. However, don't let the tools become rigid as if you are back in school. Experiment and find what works best for you to stay engaged.
  1. Create a Relaxing Ritual: Craft a nighttime reading routine with SABI’s Calming Herbata. The act of laying out your book, preparing your cosy nook and pouring a cup of tea, inhaling its aromatherapy of lavender, oat straw and chamomile are the makings of a soothing ritual. The herb supports deeper, calmer sleep and reduced anxiety levels, when combined with a good book and performed routinely, it signals to your body that it's time to unwind and drift towards sleep. Science shows habits form in about six weeks, so stick it out for this period with consistency for maximum benefits and lasting change.
  1. Embrace the Journey: Each month, consider embarking on a themed reading adventure. For example, delve into romance or travel in April and self-help books in May. Complement your reading by journaling for 5-10 minutes after each session, reflecting on what you learned or how the content, subject or characters resonate with you.

Next time you crave a mental escape, reach for a book instead of your device. 
Remember, it's not just about getting lost in a captivating story (although that's a perk). Reading offers a powerful toolbox for stress reduction, mental stimulation, hormonal harmony, and personal growth. With each page you turn, you're cultivating a calmer, more creative, and more connected you.



Hilary is the Co-Founder of the SABI, a Holistic Nutritionist, natural, whole foods Chef, product developer and advocate for women getting to know their bodies, cycles and selves better. Born in Los Angeles, California and raised in Baja California, Mexico, she now lives in Amsterdam, The Netherlands with her partner Kees, a curly-tailed rescue dog, Flint and her rainbow baby, Paloma. 



Created as a brand to help women navigate the toughest moments in pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum — and practically every stage of life –– The SABI aims to change the narrative around our hormones from one of taboo, embarrassment, and loneliness to awareness and pride. As more than a wellness brand, The SABI offers a carefully-crafted line of products to carry you through your hormonal journey, including rituals, supportive tools, and ancient herbal remedies that have been tested time and time again by women and now come backed by medicine. The SABI is a blend of science and nature conceived by women who have experienced the joys and deep struggles of bringing a child into the world, the pains of a heavy, difficult period, miscarriage, and difficulty conceiving.

We offer you an invitation to get to know your body and its cycles better –– an invitation to really understand what is going on inside. Learn to use your hormonal cycle to your advantage no matter your stage of life, and know that you can support and balance your hormone levels. Look for the right sources of information. Know that there is help, and know that you’re supported.


The SABI blog and articles are not meant to instruct or advise on medical or health conditions, but to inform. The information and opinions presented here do not substitute professional medical advice or consultations with healthcare professionals for your unique situation. 


-Five studies evaluating the impact on mental health and mood of recalling, reading, and discussing fiction

-Reading activity prevents long-term decline in cognitive function in older people: evidence from a 14-year longitudinal study 

-Exploring the relationship of creative thinking to reading and writing 

-Watching TV soaps ‘makes you unhappy’, new study finds 

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Use code WELCOME15 for 15% off first purchase

Use code WELCOME15 for 15% off first purchase