I recently read a study claiming that reading reduces stress levels by 68%.
"Reading worked best, reducing stress levels by 68 per cent, said cognitive neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis. Subjects only needed to read, silently, for six minutes to slow down the heart rate and ease tension in the muscles, he found."
Six minutes! That's it! I'd believe that. In fact, I'll see your 68% and raise you another 10% for *writing* as a stress-reducer.
I haven't really talked about this, because, really, who wants to be a downer, but I've been going through some pretty relentless anxiety over my dad's health in the past few weeks. He has a mass on his lung that we just found out is not malignant (thank God) and it took a long, loooooong time to get any kind of answer. He'll still need surgery, but in case you weren't aware, lung cancer is a REALLY FREAKING BAD ONE.
So I'd like to thank Beth Hoffman for writing a book that buoyed me up and away from my dark thoughts (check out Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt, it's excellent.) I'll also thank my current main character Valerie for being such an unpredictable smart ass. It was a relief to retreat into her crazy world for a few hours each day. (Yes, I know she's not real. I promise I'm still sane.)
I'd love to create a book that helps someone else out like this someday. Return the karma favor, or whatever.
How do you reduce stress?