The Great Escape: How Books Help You Stay Sane

The Great Escape: How Books Help You Stay Sane

Recently, I was surprised when my seat-mate on a flight home stated,Wow, that must be a good book.”

So absorbed in reading a new release, a thriller novel, I hadnt noticed my reaction, nor had I realized an hour had passed. Once I came back to the present, I was grateful to discover I hadnt embarrassed myself by gasping or crying. Only a swift intake of breath, a deep frown, coupled with subtle mutters, provoked their observation.

Hence, the great escape.

When a book is this good it helps you stay sane during times of trials and tribulations by providing a temporary escape from your reality. Yeah, this is a large claim—Sanity! No one individual can escape moments of insanity, and no one book can help curtail them. But books, movies, stories, and music have been proven to provide a temporary escape hatch when things start spiraling out of control.

Recently, I experienced a double loss—two immediate family members passed within months of one another. Being a sensitive individual, an empath, coupled with the relationship proximity, I took these deaths hard. While others in my family found their way back into the light through mental maturity, frank conversation, and levity, I struggled. When in their company, I plastered on a brave face, smiled, and repeatedly assured them of my strong disposition, but to be honest, it was all a lie. I needed to grieve in my own way and that includes time alone for thoughtful reflection and yes, escape.

Thats why I turn to books as a doctor-recommended prescription for crazy times.” Seriously.

Scientists share why this great escape works and is certainly healthier than a lot of other alternatives. Simply put, Oxytocin is the biological instrument that puts people in thrall to a story. According to the leading expert in the field, scientist, author, and public speaker Paul J. Zak, Ph.D., shares how storytellers have always known that attention and emotion are important to develop during a narrative.”

For me, when a book draws me in and provides a positive emotional hit of oxytocin, its the antidote to sadness, stress, depression, and yes, days filled with unending insanity. Now if I started listing out the books that have been my great escape” there wouldn’tt be enough room on the site. But check out my fictional favorites. What about you?

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