Bibliotherapy i.e. Reading to control Stress & Related Issues

Educated: A Memoir


Bibliotherapy is also known as book therapy or poetry therapy or therapeutic storytelling. Bibliotherapy i.e. reading to control stress and related issues like anxiety depression etc. has become very popular recently. Here we use books or some contents of a book to cure stress, anxiety, or any other form of mental illness. Also, studies have shown that just six minutes of reading one’s favorite books can help in reducing stress levels by up to 60 percent. This is 68 percent better than listening to music, 100 percent better than drinking tea. And above all, it is about 300 percent better than going for a walk. So we can conclude that reading could be one of the best solutions for stress and anxiety. These problems have magnified for most of us due to prolonged lockdown.

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Why So Important Now  

The strain of being confined at home, concern about loved ones, or fear of losing a job. The COVID-19 crisis may make us feel more depressed, anxious, stressed, or all three making our lives hell. Further experts say that this feeling may not pass once social distancing or lockdown norms are removed. Also, it may not be so even if a vaccine is available. It will take a long time for people to heal from the trauma of COVID-19. Again anxiety, apathy, loneliness, etc. are some of the mental health consequences that will persist long after the crisis ends, the European Public Health Alliance said in a March statement.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said the world faces an economic recession. And it could be as much as the great depression in intensity which may last for several years. Research shows that recessions create huge mental health challenges. But for book lovers, there is a silver lining in the form of Bibliotherapy i.e. reading to control and manage stress and other related issues effectively.

It has been found in various research that anxiety and other mental disorders can be cured by reading books. It is more suitable in the present situation of lock down. The impact of reading could be as follows:

Reading lowers our heart beat that relaxes physically:  

Anxiety may be a mental disorder, but it has physical symptoms like high blood pressure and increased heart rate. Reading books of one’s choice provide immediate relief and relaxation.

 – Reading lets us escape reality for a little while:

  It’s true that we can’t hide our problems, especially that of mental health but taking a break from them can do us a world of good. Anxiety can be constant and overwhelming, and it can impact us in various ways. However, when we read we can escape from reality. Getting lost in a story is doing just that, losing ourselves, forgetting our troubles, and our anxieties, if only for an hour. Sometimes, that hour is all we need to get through the bad feelings. That is how Bibliotherapy i.e. reading can help us in controlling stress and other related mental health issues.

Reading can teach our brain to be more compassionate:


Stress can enter into our minds due to things that we can not control and feel helpless about. For many people, shame and anxiety go hand-in-hand. According to various studies empathy can be inculcated by reading suitable materials. It changes the way we look at ourselves and also others.

 – Reading can help us improve our thought process:  

Bibliotherapy i.e. reading can control stress by taking us away to other people’s experiences. Further, it does not matter whether they have a close resemblance to us or completely unrelated. It is one of the easiest ways to try walking in someone else’s shoes. By looking through someone else’s eyes in stories, we can gain a perspective. It is the thing we couldn’t otherwise find in our everyday life. The shift in our thinking can also shift the quality of our life. It can help us work through our own problems by working through someone else’s problems. And in doing so, we can alleviate our stress and anxiety.


Reading isn’t a complete cure to stress and related issues. But it can help us feel better while doing something we already love and enjoy. Coping with stress and anxiety during these difficult times is not simple. But with a book, it can be made much easy. Any avid reader will approve of the emotional high that occurs when reading a book that beautifully describes their exact predicament. This emotion takes the reader along with flow taking him away from this world to a world of one’s dream.

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