Books are always man's best companions. Many read books to relax, but certain self-help books may increase your stress levels and make you more depressive, revealed a new study.
In a study published in the Journal Neural Plasticity
, researchers at the University of Montreal in Canada raised doubts about the effectiveness of self-help books.
‘Is reading books your favorite hobby? Then take note! Self-help books may actually increase your stress levels and depressive symptoms.
They analyzed 30 participants who were randomly divided into two groups based on the their interest of books namely, problem-focused books and growth-oriented books.
Researchers measured several elements such as stress reactivity (salivary cortisol levels), openness, self-discipline, extraversion, compassion, emotional stability, self-esteem, and depressive symptoms.
The results showed that people who read problem-focused self-help books had greater depressive symptoms and those who read growth-oriented self-help books presented increased stress reactivity compared to non-consumers.
"In reality, there seems to be no difference between those who read and those who do not read these types of books. However, our results show that while consumers of certain types of self-help books secrete higher levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) when confronted with stressful situations, consumers of another type of self-help books show higher depressive symptomatology compared to non-consumers," said first author Catherine Raymond.