Do you ever just want to escape? I don’t mean escape forever to an unknown place, just for a little while to relax and take a breath. If you are a stay at home mom, a busy executive, a college student flooded with school work deadlines or just needing a break from a mundane life; one way to escape is to pick up a book.
The University of Sussex wrote a study in 2009, in this study they discovered that reading a book and escaping into a literary place you can reduce your stress level up to 68%. The study showed that reading a book relaxed you faster than listening to music or drinking a cup of hot tea. I myself do not doubt this information, a book has always been my go to place when I’ve become overwhelmed with life. If you are not convinced, neuropsychologist Dr. David Lewis, explains that “subjects only needed to read, silently, for six minutes to slow down the heart rate and ease tension in the muscles.”
He discovered through his study that reading was the fastest and best way to lower your heart rate. He goes on to expound upon the research by saying, “Listening to music reduced the levels by 61%, having a cup of tea or coffee lowered them by 54% and taking a walk by 42%. Playing video games brought them down by 21% from their highest level but still left the volunteers with heart rates above their starting point.”
So what makes a book the best place to go when you need a quick stress reliever? When you open a book, you enter into a story that distracts you from your own life temporarily. Movies and Television are too stimulating and do not allow your mind to relax. So, how do you fit this relaxation time into your busy schedule?
- Find a quiet comfortable spot away from distractions
- Choose a book or magazine that peaks your interest
- Choose a topic that won’t upset you and will allow yourself to escape
Prove to yourself this relaxation therapy works. Check your heart rate and blood pressure before you spend 30 minutes reading. Once you have finished, before getting up, check your heart rate and blood pressure again. How important is relaxing? It’s important to understand that the below list shows you how you can improve your health just by relaxing and avoiding stress.
- Lower blood pressure, thus lowering the risk of a stroke
- Help your body fight infection
- Improves Memory
- Prevents Depression
- Helps Us Make Better Decisions
- Controls Appetite, thus helps us avoid over eating
- Delays progression of disease
Picking up a book is not only beneficial to your health, but you can gain knowledge as well. Another bonus to consider, if your child sees you reading a book, they are more likely to pick up the habit of reading themselves. Which ultimately improves their intelligence, imagination, and creativity. The next time life gets you down or you are completely stressed out, remember to take time for yourself and pick up a book.