Reading - A Therapy

Updated: Oct 2, 2021

These covid times have been tough on all of us. Not only affecting our physical and mental states but also our emotional outcomes. No doubt this has had a huge breakdown on our mental pathways. And no matter how much we try to embrace our dark sides, they will always surface up when we are alone. Most of the time, it's just frustration and you need therapy that helps you escape sitting in your comfortable living room. Many of us put our default reflex to switch on the tv or log in to Netflix or prime on our devices. But have you ever thought about the books lying on your shelves? As George R. R. Martin says, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” Books can help calm and transport you from pandemic stress. But many of us are finding it harder to read now.

Is reading considered a therapy?

Reading can benefit individuals of any age by increasing self-awareness, improving self-esteem, and aiding in the ability to face developmental crises. Studies show reading as a form of therapy to be useful in the treatment of depression, mild alcohol abuse, anxiety, eating disorders, and communication issues. Bibliotherapy (also referred to as book therapy, poetry therapy or therapeutic storytelling) is a creative arts therapies modality that involves storytelling or the reading of specific texts with the purpose of healing.

How are books therapeutic?

Books not only expand our sphere of knowledge but also provide for an escape, offering novelty, surprise and excitement, which gives a boost to the dopamine levels in your body. They broaden our perspective and help us empathize with others. And they can improve our social life, giving us something to connect over. Reading is well acknowledged to help the human brain enter into a pleasurable trance-like state, which is quite similar to meditation. It calms your inner mind and brings in the healthy benefits of deep relaxation.

Does reading make you better?

Regular readers sleep better, have lower stress levels, higher self-esteem, and lower rates of depression than non-readers. Researchers have also found that people who read regularly, are better than the rest. They are calmer, less stressed, have quick reflexes, can think better and make actively healthy decisions. Books help you fall asleep, lower your stress through laughter or tears, provide an escape from reality and most importantly, offer exposure to perspectives that might differ from your own.

Does reading make you calmer?

In a study conducted by the University of Sussex, individuals who had read for merely six minutes exhibited slower heart rates, less muscle tension, and reduced stress levels.

Centuries before, an essayist names Joseph Addison and Sir Richard Steele wrote “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body”. This stands true even in the 21st century wherein people are pinned to their smartphones and linked to the fear of missing out. Amongst all the daily social media feeds and running about our busy schedule we forget that we too need a rest from all the rush. And what better rest exists than a biblio-therapy!

Curling up with a good book along with your favourite brew on the couch is the perfect therapy you need. This will positively impact your emotional and mental health.

Here are four reasons to shut off your screen and open a good book:

1. Reading is proven to reduce stress and increase relaxation.

Books with genres like fiction, actively engage your mind in imagination, giving a spark to your creativity and helping you enter an altered state of consciousness. Any activity that possesses meditative qualities in which the brain is fully focused on a single task is proven to reduce stress and enhance relaxation.

2. Reading combats mental decline and Alzheimer’s with old age.

Apart from anxiety and stress, studies have linked a healthy amount of reading to a healthy brain even in old age. People who indulge in reading regularly tend to show an increased mental capacity as they age. Whereas, the ones who read less frequently throughout their life, experience a 48% faster mental decline than the ones who did.

3. Doctors have prescribed reading as a treatment for certain mental health conditions.

As seen in many places, a huge majority of people suffer from mental illness at some point in time. Reading self-help books are effective and help adults to cope with mental distresses.

4. People who read often, become more empathetic

Reading provides you with healthy brain functioning, thus making you more self-aware and empathetic. As you read and get engrossed in the storyline, you happen to empathize with characters and learn their motivations and behavior patterns.

Wish to consult an expert?

We at Homeopathic Curve are here for you. We understand how hard times could compensate for your health as well as your body, mind and soul. Worry not, we've got you. Reach us out on +919967472413 for your consultation today!

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