How Reading Can Help With Addiction and Recovery
Many people turn pages to help them through life’s many struggles. Books can give us a feeling of safety and offer an escape from the world around us. They also offer a magical effect for increasing self-awareness and battling internal complexities. Many recovery centers use bibliotherapy to help patients through the recovery process.
While reading books may not be a do-all, end-all solution for freeing yourself from addictions, they can be a useful tool to get you through tough times. In this post, we’ll talk about how reading books can improve your mental health, especially when trying to free yourself from substance abuse.
Books Increase Empathy
A good book allows the reader to relate to one or more of the characters. According to Master Center, a leading Virginia center for addiction medicine, empathy and understanding are essential tools to use toward recovery. In many cases, a reader can relate directly to the struggles and pain of a character to help them better understand their own battles. What’s more, a book can help a patient understand the feelings and emotions of people closest to them (friends, family, etc.).
Given the context and genre of the novel, the reader may expand their viewpoint, which allows them to bring up difficult topics that may otherwise be hard to talk about.
Books Bring People Together
One of the most significant problems people struggling with addiction tend to have is a deepening feeling of isolation. While it’s no surprise that thousands of people struggle with substance abuse in the United States alone, a lot of the internal stress is unique between patients. However, reading can bring people together since it can educate people about real-life stories of those going through a similar battle.
Books Are Self-Paced
People going through recovery can feel an extensive amount of pressure to succeed. As a result, they’re highly likely to crack under pressure and revert to their old habits. Books, on the other hand, are self-paced and allow the reader to use them how they wish. A patient can put a book down for a few days and come back to it whenever they have the time. There aren’t any limitations on how much reading they can do. Furthermore, a book can act as a way to distract patients from any temptations or negative influences that may cause them to relapse.
Choosing a Book for Recovery
There are several ways a patient can find a good book to help them through addiction and recovery. For starters, they can ask one of their rehab center therapists for a recommendation. On top of that, the internet is chock-full of book enthusiasts that know how to guide someone toward a great read.
What’s more important than the type of book they choose is the reader’s general interest. While finding a book about addiction and recovery may be more educated about their specific struggle, a patient can still benefit from reading any kind of story. Some people can get lost in fantasy novels where others love to bury their face in a riveting mystery or lengthy autobiography of their favorite celebrity or historical figure.
Reading is an incredibly powerful tool for anyone looking to improve their mental health. Not only can it help patients get through addiction and recovery, but it also comes with a wide range of other benefits. According to Healthline, reading can strengthen the brain, build vocabulary, reduce stress and anxiety and improve sleep quality.
The best part is it’s never too late to get into reading. You can benefit from a good book no matter your age. Some of the answers to life’s greatest mysteries are hidden in the pages of a great novel.