A 2009 study at the University of Sussex reported that, after participants read for just six minutes, their stress levels dropped by up to 68%. Moreover, as a stress reducer, reading works better than listening to music or drinking a hot cup of tea.
Most of all, reading lets your mind enter a literary world that is free from the stresses of daily life. In addition, when you read, your mind is pulled away from everyday worries and anxiety. Furthermore, reading causes your muscles to relax. Also, research shows that reading leads to improvement in brain functions. And these improvements include significant increases in connectivity between neurons, that last for several days.
However, reading doesn’t work for everyone. Most noteworthy, if you don’t like to read and you don’t enjoy the activity, then reading is not the stress reducer you need.
First of all, you have to be comfortable when you are reading. So find a comfortable place to sit that is preferably away from loud noises.
Also, it doesn’t matter what book you read. Above all, by losing yourself in a thoroughly engrossing book, you can escape from the worries and stresses of the everyday world. And your mind enters the domain of the author’s imagination.
Furthermore, the type of novel to read depends on you. For example, if you enjoy a novel that lets you forget your worries, anxiety, and stress then its right for you. For some, it could be reading a horror novel while for others it may be fantasy or science fiction.
Most of all, reading relieves stress by:
- First of all, forcing you to slow down and relax. Moreover, reading, even for only 10 minutes slows you down and helps you relax.
- Next, offering you a way to escape. For instance, if you are in the middle of a stressful situation, all you need is to step away and escape. And, a great book does that. So, choose a book for its ability to take you away from your current problem.
- Also, making your real world problems look small. For example, in a book of historical fiction you can read stories of survival under overwhelming odds and facing extreme dangers.
- Next, offering you a chance to unplug from your current situation and take a break.
- Finally, letting you use your imagination. And, a good book lets you use your imagination to visualize characters, settings and more.
Other popular methods to get relief from stress are illustrated in the infographic.