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Reading is a form of escapism

Reading is a form of escapism

People often wish they can escape from their reality. Sometimes, we tend to turn our back on our struggles and our problems. Meanwhile, when this happens, we seek the best form of escapism.

Escapism basically revolves around the tendency to seek distraction and relief from unpleasant realities. This comes especially by seeking entertainment or engaging in fantasy. Many argue that any form of escapism isn’t healthy.

It isn’t recommended to seek mental diversion, distraction, and relief when faced with unpleasant realities. it remains ideal to face your problems and struggles and try to solve and overcome them.

However, escapism is still a form of coping mechanism and even if it isn’t recommended, it still happens.

Personally, I believe that there are many forms of escapism that are not healthy such as drinking alcohol, drugs, and online game addiction. But, there is still a form of escapism that is healthy, reading.

Reading is a form of escapism

Most of us love to read and enjoy reading as a form of hobby. Maybe, you even grew up loving books. Yet, you may find yourself in a book slump once in your lifetime. And, it may be difficult to get back to reading when you are faced with problems in your everyday life.

Despite that, you eventually find yourself reading again and enjoying it. If you enjoy it because you feel like you are in another world and away from reality, you are now using reading as a form of escapism, not just a hobby.

Why is reading a healthy form of escapism?

I mentioned earlier that many argue that any form of escapism is not healthy as it does not make you grow as a person. But, reading as a form of escapism is healthy.

Reading helps you to relax.

A 2009 study by researchers from Sussex University showed that reading reduces stress by as much as 68 percent. Unlike other forms of escapism like addiction, reading is beneficial for your mental health.

Cognitive neuropsychologist David Lewis​ told in an interview with a British broadsheet newspaper:

“It really doesn’t matter what book you read, by losing yourself in a thoroughly engrossing book you can escape from the worries and stresses of the everyday world and spend a while exploring the domain of the author’s imagination.”

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Reading helps you gain knowledge.

This is one of the things I love about reading, as it helps me escape reality and it also helps me gain knowledge. Remember, the more you read, the more things you will know, and the more you learn.

Reading improves one’s ability to empathize.

Understanding others’ mental states is a great help when you are ready to face reality again. If you love reading literary fiction, for sure you are very empathetic. There are studies that show people who love reading have the ability to relate to others.

Books, especially literary fiction, help their readers to understand what others are thinking by reading other people’s emotions. And, empathizing is a crucial skill needed in social relationships in real life.

Reading will bring you to another world and will help you escape your reality. But, as soon as the book ends, your reality begins again and you need to face it. No matter how far you go with books or any other form of escape, you will always need to return to your life.

It is alright to escape as you gather courage but often escaping will not help you win, facing your reality and fighting will.

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