How Reading Helps Reduce Stress
April is Stress Awareness Month, a month set aside by the Health Resource Network Inc. to recognize the role that stress plays in many of our daily lives. Stress comes in many different forms and often results from issues related to work, family, relationships, school, the news, and more. While it’s important to identify times when we feel overwhelmed with stress, it’s equally as important to know a few effective coping solutions. One great way to reduce some stress at home is through reading. Let’s discover a few ways that diving into a good book can help alleviate stress.
Reading Helps You Relax
A 2009 study found that reading for just six minutes each day can help to reduce stress by up to 68%. In fact, reading was revealed to have a more relaxing effect on participants than listening to music. Unlike other forms of relaxation, reading is more than a simple distraction because it requires readers to become more engaged with the plot and storyline. When you get invested in a good book, your mind starts to get absorbed in the storyline of the novel, allowing you to devote less energy to worrying about daily stressors.
How it Works
Reading helps reduce stress by decreasing your heart rate, focusing your mind, and relaxing your muscles. When you’re reading through the storyline of a novel, your brain shifts to a different area of consciousness so that you’re able to focus on the plot and characters. Now that your mind isn’t stressing out, your body will relieve some of the tension it was holding.
Way to Incorporate Reading for Less Stress
- Exchange the news for a novel a few times each week.
- Read out loud to your children, if you have any.
- Find a new book or sign up for a book subscription box.