Anxiety is something that a lot of people struggle with, and it is something that I in particular have been dealing with for the last couple of years. It is always difficult to find things that help me when I am dealing with anxiety, but reading is something that I have found, more than anything else, that helps keep me sane when my anxiety is particularly bad.

For me, reading is a kind of escape. I like books that envelop me in their story and create a new and special world for me to live in, if only for a short period of time. When I am reading I can practically imagine myself present in the characters that I admire most.

When I struggle with my anxiety it is generally something like a downward spiral of horribleness that I cannot imagine a happy way out of. I get caught up in the struggles or disappointments in my life and struggle to find a solution.

But when I escape into a good novel, I am no longer focused on the negative in my life. Instead, my energy is focused on the plot of the story where I can share in the characters' joy or consider their own struggless and challenges that are generally more complex than my own. It helps me to put my own life in perspective and even gives me hope to consider my life in a new light.

Life has so many possibilities and avenues that can bring change to a not so happy circumstance. Through reading we can find ways to explore just a few of these options.

The Harry Potter Series is an excellent example of the power of reading. How many of us were so enthralled with the stories that they forgot to stop reading? How many of us wished we could find and bring this magic into our own lives? These stories inspired so many people to become more than they ever had hoped. Evanna Lynch, the actress who played Luna Lovegood, claims that Rowling's novels gave her hope when she was struggling with her anorexia. Not only did Lynch overcome her anorexia, her life also drastically changed when she was cast to play the part of Luna, one of her favorite characters.

Reading has power. It has the ability to bring hope. It provides the possibility for inspiration. It causes you to imagine yourself in circumstances other than your own, helping to develop empathy as well as positvity for change.

There are millions of stories in the world with countless lives to be explored. Literature is one way in which you can leave your anxiety behind to enter a world where things are different. Use reading to inspire yourself in life. Take positive action to find the right stories that inspire you and help you to live your best life today.