Wednesday, February 17, 2010

It's either this or Xanax.

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?


Ladybird World Mother said...

Oh, how good to read that reading is good for me!! Now that is a result... thanks for that. xx

Beth Hoffman said...

Oh, Wendy!

Thank you for your kind and generous words about my novel. I'm so glad that CeeCee and the gals of Savannah helped soothe your stress for a bit.

I was saddened to read about your dad but so glad the mass wasn't malignant. I'll send extra special thoughts his way -- and yours too!

And to answer your question about stress reduction -- like you, I turn to books, and a half hour of pilates or a long walk helps too.

Anonymous said...

Good news about your dad! I'll be even better when he is fully recovered.

Books are a great escape from stress, so is a large glass of wine. If you can have both, even better! ;)

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

i vote for xanax :)

hey how about reading while on xanax! cool!

Anonymous said...

I end my day with reading a chapter or two (or more if I have time). It relieves my stress and helps me sleep.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Frequent nappage does the trick for me.

Jennifer Walkup said...

great to know about reading. so so sorry about your dad stress. hope its looking up soon.

Debra Lynn Shelton said...

So glad your dad's result was good. How terrible the waiting must have been. Hugs to you and your family.

PS: Nothing wrong w/Xanax!

Janna Leadbetter said...

Unplugging... from the computer, from home, from life, even just for a little bit.

Great post, wise words. Thanks for sharing this, Wendy. So glad for your dad's results.

Sharon K. Mayhew said...


Sorry to hear about your Dad. I'm glad that he's going to be okay. I hope you are taking care of yourself. Stress does terrible things to us.

ChristaCarol Jones said...

My prayers are with your dad!

And to answer your question: dark chocolate. Lots and lots of dark chocolate. And coffee. And chocolate. And oh-my-gracious I don't wanna know what I'm going to look like in ten years. :P

Books, yes, and movies, too. What would really be nice would be a hotel room a weekend away from the kids!

Emeila said...

I enjoyed reading your blog and my heart goes out to your Dad. When I was diagnosed with Bipolar, my Mom suggested I journal. Me, write HA!!

Well, 6 notebooks later and here I am telling the whole world my story.

Writing, yoga, and walking redues my stress. Thank you for sharing your blog. "oh" and chocalate hehe


Have a wonderful day

Melanie Hooyenga said...

I recently wrote an article about lung cancer and you aren't kidding. I hope he continues to heal.

Reading is a great stress reducer for me, too. I crave it during the day and sometimes withhold pleasure books if I feel like I'm not accomplishing enough during the day (I'm doing that now) but it just ends up stressing me out even more.

theseus_1618 said...

I sit and stare at my fish tank when I'm getting to my boiling point. And then when that doesn't work, I eat...and eat until I pass out in a Carbohydrate-induced coma, chocolate dripping from my cheeks. Usually I wake up, completely oblivious to what caused my stress to begin with.

Allie said...

So glad to hear the mass is benign! I can't even imagine the weight that must have been!

Cee Cee Honeycutt was such a great read!