Books and Brains
Stop Scrolling and Start Reading
Remember when teachers and parents told us to read more as kids? There truly is something to that. With the increase in social media, technology, and computer games people are reading less and there are fewer people telling us to pick up books again.
I want to be the person to tell you to read more! If we let them, books can have a positive impact on our mental health.
"Reading is the most healthy escape for a mind in need of a getaway." -Brandi Jarrell
Bibliotherapy is the use of books in a therapeutic context and was first introduced in 1916 (Pehrsson, & McMillen, 2007). Diving into books helps us step outside of our own worlds and see life from other perspectives. It doesn’t matter if you like thrillers or romance, sci-fi or historical fiction. Books can be healing. Reading for pleasure has been known to increase self-esteem, help build more positive social interactions and relationships, decrease depressive symptoms, and even reduce symptoms resulting from stress and anxiety (Van Pelt 2018).
“Bibliotherapy can also be effective in promoting problem-solving, increasing compassion, developing empathetic understanding and enhancing self-awareness. Bibliotherapy encourages effective social behavior, clarifies values, and instills cultural identity and ethnic pride” (Pehrsson, & McMillen, 2007).
Engaging in reading more often can open up your perspective and prove that you are not alone in the world. The somebody somewhere has experienced something similar to what you are going through and you can relate to them in some way, thus making you feel more confident and less lonely. This is often a main goal in most therapeutic settings.
Bookshelves are also full of non-fiction as well. Finding something you are passionate about and learning more about it, investigating it further increases your passions and desires and fills you with a sense of pride and excitement around a specific topic, person, or time period. Even non-fiction self-help books can be an incredible resource to help you understand your emotions, feelings, or experience deeper. Having a better understanding of your own reality might provide you with a better understanding of how to live in it.
Blogging gives your site a voice, so let your business’ personality shine through. Are you a creative agency? Go wild with original blog posts about recent projects, cool inspirational ideas, or what your company culture is like. Add images, and videos to really spice it up, and pepper it with slang to keep readers interested. Are you a programmer? Stay on the more technical side by offering weekly tips, tricks, and hacks that show off your knowledge of the industry. No matter what type of business you have, one thing is for sure - blogging gives your business the opportunity to be heard in a way in a different and unconventional way.
Overall, books don’t have to be boring. They can be a great way to increase your mental health and awareness. So, please stop scrolling and start reading. If you need some inspiration on where to get started on your book journey, or want to be involved in a community of people who are holding each other accountable in growing their mental libraries join book enthusiast Brandi Jarrell as she inspires us all to be intentional with our brains! She has an awesome Facebook and Instagram account @The_Reading_bee (https://www.facebook.com/the_reading_bee-680864112358404/). Let me know what you all think!
Pehrsson, D. E., & McMillen, P. (2007). Bibliotherapy: Overview and implications for counselors (ACAPCD-02). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.