Library therapy: reading makes us happier (science says so)

Reading can be a great experience if we immerse ourselves in an exciting novel and it can also make us smarter if we use our time to read topics that give us new knowledge. Our readers know this, and that’s why they follow and visit us daily.

And can reading, besides entertaining, be a great source of information. But science wanted to go further and discover new benefits of reading: according to different research, reading makes us happier. Need more reasons to keep devouring the books? …

In today’s article, we’ll talk about the relationship between reading and happiness and the effect of library therapy on people. Interesting, isn’t it? But above all, we want to help you be happier, so we will recommend a few items you should not miss:

  • The 50 Recommended Books You Should Read Throughout Your Life
  • The 20 best psychology books you shouldn’t miss
  • 5 psychology books to read this summer
  • The 10 best self-help and personal development books

Science confirms it: reading makes us happier

But what exactly does science say about happiness and reading? In a nutshell, science says that reading improves our emotional and physical well-being and helps us cope with existence. Regular readers are happier and more satisfied, according to the results of a study conducted by the University of Rome III. Not only that, but they are also less aggressive and more optimistic. The researchers analyzed data provided by 1,100 interviewees. And to carry out the study, they used different indices: like the measure of the happiness of Veenhoven or the scale of Diener. The latter records the degree of satisfaction with life.

On the other hand, according to an article in the journal El País, which echoes research conducted by a team of neuroscientists from Emory University (Atlanta), reading helps reduce stress and increases intelligence. Emotional (mainly self-knowledge and empathy) and psychosocial development.

Library therapy: book therapy

“Regular readers sleep better, have lower stress levels, better self-esteem, and less depression,” according to a New Yorker article that discusses library therapy, a therapeutic method or resource based on it. encouragement of different skills that improve people’s well-being. -being and relation to others, taking into account that of the interpretation of the content of the book by the patients.

“Reading puts our mind in a pleasant mental state, similar to that of meditation, and brings the same benefits as deep relaxation,” states the same article. Those who enjoy reading books page after page may not be surprised to learn that reading has many benefits for mental and physical health.

Librarians understand the benefits of reading, which is why these professionals recommend different books to their patients. Library therapy can have different forms of application. For example, one-on-one in the patient-therapist relationship, or courses for the elderly with dementia or inmates. One of the most well-known forms is “affective library therapy,” which emphasizes the therapeutic power of reading fiction. And sometimes it’s hard to put yourself in other people’s shoes, but it doesn’t cost a lot to step into the role of a character fully.

Library therapy improves the capacity for empathy

Bible therapists Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin tell the New Yorker that IThis practice dates back to ancient Greece, where it could be seen at the entrance to the library of Thebes., A sign that said, “place of care of the soul”. So, for those who think reading is for lonely people, let them know they are wrong.

“We started to identify how literature can improve people’s social skills,” Keith Oatley, professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto in the United States, tells The New Yorker. Research has shown that “reading fictional literature improves the perception of empathy, which is crucial for theory of mind: the ability to attribute thoughts and intentions to other people.”

You can find out more about the theory of mind in this great article by psychologist Adrián Triglia: “Theory of the mind: what is it and what does it tell us about us?”

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