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Bibliotherapy: reading makes us happier (science says)

Bibliotherapy: reading makes us happier (science says)

June 24, 2021

Reading can be a great experience if we immerse ourselves in an exciting novel And, in addition, it can make us smarter if we spend our time reading about issues that bring us new knowledge. Our readers know it, and that's why they follow us and visit us every day.

And is that reading, as well as entertaining, can be a great source of information. But science has wanted to go further and has discovered new benefits of reading: According to different researches, reading makes us happier . Do you need more reasons to continue devouring books? ...

In today's article, we will talk precisely about the relationship between reading and happiness and the effect that bibliotherapy in people. Interesting, right? But first of all, we want to help you be happier, that's why we're going to recommend some posts that you can not miss:


  • The 50 recommended books you should read throughout your life
  • The 20 best books of Psychology that you can not miss
  • 5 books on psychology to read this summer
  • The 10 best books of self-help and self-improvement

Science confirms: reading makes us happier

But what exactly does science say about happiness and reading? Well, in summary, science says that reading improves our emotional and physical well-being and helps us cope with existence. According to the results of a study carried out by the University of Rome III, regular readers are happier and more satisfied. Not only that, but they are also less aggressive and more optimistic. The researchers analyzed the data provided by 1,100 subjects who were interviewed. And to carry out the study, they used different indices: such as the measurement of the happiness of Veenhoven or the Diener scale. The latter registers the degree of satisfaction with life.


On the other hand, according to a newspaper article The country, which echoed research conducted by a team of neuroscientists at Emory University (Atlanta), reading helps reduce stress and increases emotional intelligence (mainly self-knowledge and empathy) and psychosocial development.

Bibliotherapy: therapy through books

"Regular readers sleep better, have lower levels of stress, higher self-esteem and less depression," according to an article in The New Yorker that talks about bibliotherapy, a method or therapeutic resource that is based on promoting different skills that improve the well-being of people and the relationship with others, taking into account that of the interpretation that patients make of the content of books.


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

Librarians are aware of the benefits of reading and, therefore, these professionals recommend specific books to their patients. The bibliotherapy can have different forms of application. For example, one on one in the patient-therapist relationship, or courses for elderly people with dementia or inmates. One of the best known forms is "affective bibliotherapy", which focuses on the therapeutic power of reading fiction. And sometimes it is difficult to put ourselves in the shoes of others, but it does not take much to get fully into the role of a character.

Bibliotherapy improves the capacity for empathy

The biblipterapeutas Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin tell The New Yorker that eThis practice goes back to ancient Greece, where it could be appreciated, at the entrance of the Thebes bookshop , a sign that said: "place of cure for the soul". So for those who think that reading is for lonely people, let them know they are wrong.

"We have begun to identify how literature is able to improve people's social skills," he explains. The New Yorker Keith Oatley, professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto, United States. Research has shown that "reading fiction literature improves the perception of empathy, which is crucial to the theory of the mind: the ability to attribute thoughts and intentions to other people."

You can know more about the Theory of mind in this great article by the psychologist Adrián Triglia: "Theory of the Mind: what is it and what does it tell us about ourselves?"

What is Literature for? (June 2021).


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