It calms me. Puts me into someone else's shoes. Instead of thinking about how much I despise my step-sister or how much I wish my mother was alive and how different my life would be or how I wish I could gain a bit of weight or how I don't belong in my family or how I wish that I could live forever in my dreams and how I wish I had better memory or how I wish that I could feel like I actually fit in with my friends... I'm thinking about my protagonists and antagonists. About what would happen if a character dies. What would happen if a character is diagnosed with a disease or a disorder. What would happen if two characters fall in love? How does my character feel when it rains? When it's sunny or cloudy? When his/her aunt comes out of the closet? When destiny(basically me) plans their fate?
It keeps me away from me. Which I'm very grateful for.