Turn on any news channel and you’re almost guaranteed to elevate your stress level within seconds. We’re sucked into war zones, witness shootings, listen to political arguments, and are drawn into sights and sounds that raise our blood pressure and hurt our hearts. What’s more, few of us escape personal stress at work or in our family lives as we strive to make good decisions, juggle all the balls, and do our best.
By now, we all know that exercise, enough rest, healthy eating, socialization and consistent routines can help ease stress; no one needs a reminder. In the quest to find a simple solution to a common problem, may I suggest (drum roll) reading!
Take a minute and think about the last time you were immersed in a book. It’s a magical experience and, research shows proven benefits. Did you know that…
- In 2009, researchers from the University of Sussex found that reading for as little as six minutes reduced stress by as much as 68%.
- People who read just thirty minutes a week, were 20% more likely to report greater life satisfaction. (Quick Reads)
- In an article entitled, “Surprising Reasons Reading is Good For Your Health,” by Sarah Thebarge, lists five health benefits of reading: Improved sleep, cardiovascular health, mental health, and brain function, and a study conducted by the University of Michigan found that people who read 30 minutes or more a day, lived two years longer. https://www.gohealthuc.com/library/surprising-reasons-reading-is-good-for-your-health
These are just a few of the mind-boggling benefits of reading I discovered. It’s easy to get distracted and forget how beneficial it is to still ourselves with a good book. If time is at a premium, audible books offer another option. Sometimes, it’s actually more enjoyable to listen. I’ve discovered how great it is to plug in my air buds and lose myself in a great story while I’m folding laundry, cooking, walking, driving, and especially, trying to fall asleep. Hoopla and Libby are two sites you can easily download to your phone if you want to access a plethora of free texts.
There’s no need to belabor the point. If you’re looking for a cost-effective and convenient way settle down, relax, calm your nerves, begin your day on a positive note or unwind at the end of it, try grabbing a book (either physically on online) in lieu of the remote. You’ll reap the rewards.
Here are a few of my recent favorites reads. Care to share yours?
Daughters of Erietown by Connie Shultz – Novel that span several generations
The Five Wishes of Murray McBride by Joe Siple – Heartwarming tale
On a Quiet Street by Seraphina Nova Glass – Intriguing psychological thriller
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus – Unique tale about a woman scientist forging her career back in the 1950’s
The Enchanted Hour – Provides insightful evidence about the power of reading aloud to your child
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown – Brown offers compelling, compassionate advice based on her research.