Reading books can be used not only for pleasant leisure but also for the treatment of your psyche. Scientists have found that reading can help you cope with stressful situations and, in some cases, reduce depression. If you forget about your troubles while reading, then the book is a medicine for you.
The modern science of human psyche offers various ways to self-help your mental health. Some psychologists recommend their patients use music therapy, interact with animals, paint, or work with sand. However, many activities can bring you peace of mind and improve your mental health.
But many psychologists forget about the health benefits of reading. Scientists have found that books can improve their emotional state.
The effect of reading on the human psyche has been known for a long time. Back in the pre-Internet era, people used books as a way to distract themselves from problems.
Over time, scientists began to research the effect of reading books on the human psyche and found that a book is a convenient and affordable way to improve your emotional state.
The specialist chooses the book that is right for you and can change your mind. Reading this book helps you to better express a thought or feeling, to see the possibility of a different reaction to different events in life, and to find a solution to the problem. Reading books is not a kind of therapy itself, but only its tool, but its effectiveness has been confirmed by practice. There are many book-based therapy options, and they are all effective and beneficial to your mental health.
Basic forms of book reading therapy:
- the specialists select a book for their patients, and ones read it independently, living the life of the main characters;
- interaction between the patient and the specialist. This is a more efficient and widely used method. The patient and therapist read the book aloud and then discuss it.
Reasons for using book reading as a therapy.
When you speak out loud about your feelings, fears, or worries, their negative impact on your psyche is reduced. The book helps you find the right words to help you express your feelings. You can also find similar feelings in the main characters and discuss them with your therapist.
A side view of similar problems.
When choosing a book for you, a specialist focuses on your problems. And when you read about them, you see yourself from the outside and can make a more informed decision. Plus, the experience of the heroes can help you with it, too.
The effect of reading on your mental state is divided into four stages:
At this stage, you realize that your problem is similar to that of the character. You start to identify with the main character and take her/his behavior as an example to be followed.
Living the life of a hero.
At this stage, you begin to immerse yourself in the character’s image and feel all his/her emotions.
At this stage, the patient recognizes his/her similarity with the character and begins to accept the behavior of the protagonist as the key to solving his problems.
Reading a book with a plot that resembles your life situation, you understand that you are not alone in this world, and some people experience the same problems as you. At the same time, you see that they cope with problems, which means that you, too, will be able to go through all life’s trials.
Reading affects your brain.
The secret to the effectiveness of book therapy lies in the way your brain works.
Scientists say that when you read a book, you perceive its plot as real events in which you are the main character. Thus, your brain is sure that it is you who overcome all stresses, problems, and challenges of fate. But at the same time, you live all these emotions being safe. As a result, you learn how to cope with problems in real life, and react to them in a completely different way, because your brain is already ready for them.
Scientists believe that reading books change people’s behavior. When you read a book about people of a different race or nationality, about people with a different sexual orientation, then you start to treat them better and empathize with them.
Thus, reading books helps you to get rid of negative emotions, teaches you to cope with all difficulties, and also makes you more humane and tolerant of dissent.