It’s no secret that reading can be good for your mental health. In fact, it’s been used as a form of therapy for centuries. But what are the specific benefits of reading? And how can reading programs support youth mental health?
In this blog post, we will discuss the latest research on the mental health benefits of reading. We’ll also take a look at how conversation and connection can play an important role in supporting mental health. So if you’re looking for a way to improve your mental wellbeing, start picking up some books!
Bibliotherapy – the therapeutic impact of reading
Bibliotherapy, the therapeutic use of select reading material, has been used to alleviate many different mental health challenges. The term was first coined in 1916 by an English physician named Samuel Crothers.
Crothers believed that reading could be used as a tool to help patients deal with everything from anxiety and depression to insomnia and stress. In the years since, bibliotherapy has been used to treat a wide variety of mental health conditions.
One of the most well-known benefits of reading is its ability to improve social cognition and empathy. A 2012 study found that people who read fiction are more likely to display these qualities than those who don’t read at all. The same study also found that reading fiction can help improve your ability to understand other people’s perspectives. This is likely due to the fact that reading allows you to experience different lives and points of view. As a result, it can make you more open-minded and understanding of others.
In addition to improving social cognition and empathy, reading has also been shown to reduce stress levels. A 2009 study found that people who read for just six minutes a day had lower levels of stress than those who didn’t read at all. The participants in the study were also less likely to experience an increase in heart rate and blood pressure after a stressful event.
How can reading help my teen?
New research finds that reading programs can support youth mental health through conversation and connection. A recent study found that youth who participated in a reading program were more likely to have positive conversations with their peers and adults about mental health. They were also more likely to seek out help from adults if they were experiencing mental health challenges.
The study’s lead author, Dr. Sarah Slotnick, said that the findings suggest that reading programs can be a valuable resource for promoting youth mental health. She added that the programs provide a “safe space” for young people to talk about sensitive topics like mental health.
Conclusion – Reading for your Mental Health
If you’re looking for a way to improve your mental wellbeing, consider picking up a book. Reading can offer a wide range of mental health benefits, from reducing stress to improving social cognition and empathy. And if you’re looking for a way to support youth mental health, consider getting involved in a programme that encourages them to read. These programs provide a valuable resource for promoting positive mental health in young people.
Do you have any favourite books that you turn to when you’re feeling stressed or anxious? Let me know in the comments!