Whether you kick back with your tablet on your lap or a treasured book in your hand, the simple act of reading can help you reduce your stress. Reading helps you focus your mind on the task at hand and forget about the stress that you experience at home or on the job. Stressful situations can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke and other medical conditions. Reading a book lets you have fun and improve your life.
Reading and Stress
A group of researchers released their findings in 2009 after looking at the link between reading and stress. The study examined different stress reduction techniques and monitored the feelings of participants. Researchers found that those who read a book decreased their stress levels by nearly 70 percent. Taking a walk, drinking a cup of tea and performing other popular stress reduction techniques only decreased the stress levels of participants by 60 percent or less.
What Reading Does
The same study found that the stress levels of participants decreased within the first six minutes after they sat down and opened a book. Their heart rates lowered, their breathing evened and they felt calmer and more relaxed. Researchers believe that those involved in the study experienced less stress because the simple act of reading let them focus their mind and worries away from the stressful situation.
You Can Read Too
No matter where you read or how you read, you can still get the benefits of reading. Reading a treasured book that you love can take you back to a moment in time when you were happier and keep your brain focused on that event, while reading a new book lets you get caught up in that story and turn your brain elsewhere. If you live a high stress life, it might be time to add some new books to your collection and find a few minutes to sit down and read every day at work and at home.