Is Reading the Best Way to Reduce Stress? A British Study Investigates

Posted on 13. Jun, 2011 by in Blog, Press/Events

Those of us who read to relax knew this intuitively but now it’s official: according to a study conducted by the University of Sussex in England, reading is better for reducing stress than music, having a cup of tea, or taking a walk.

Dr. David Lewis, cognitive neuropsychologist, discovered that subjects only needed to read, silently, for six minutes to slow down the heart rate and ease tension in the muscles and, in fact, it got subjects to stress levels lower than before they started.

Psychologists believe this is because the human mind has to concentrate on reading and the distraction of being taken into a literary world eases the tensions in muscles and the heart. The Daily Telegraph article also reports that not only is reading the best way to relax but in addition, even six minutes can be enough to reduce the stress levels by more than two thirds.

“This is more than merely a distraction but an active engaging of the imagination as the words on the printed page stimulate your creativity and cause you to enter what is essentially an altered state of consciousness.

“It really doesn’t matter what…you read, by losing yourself in a thoroughly engrossing book you can escape from the worries and stresses of the everyday world and spend a while exploring the domain of the author’s imagination.”

For ten minute escapes of the free or paid variety, please visit eChook’s SHOP.

One Response to “Is Reading the Best Way to Reduce Stress? A British Study Investigates”

  1. Gabi Coatsworth 16 June 2011 at 2:12 pm #

    Reading has saved my life more times than I can count. In moments of extreme crisis, it’s Georgette Heyer’s Regency romances. Predictable, but well written, they always have a happy ending. In times of regular stress, I find almost any mystery will help. Kate Atkinson, Denise Mina, and Michael Rowbotham are some of my favourites. And I see that the popularity of mysteries is on the rise. No wonder. They always find a solution to the problem of murder, and give us hope that our smaller problems can be solved too.


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