Life is stressful. Even the good parts of life can be a bit stressful — at a couple FNMs I’ve gotten really bad headaches from the tension (I think) — and when add work stress, blog stress and moving stress to that you get one really stressed out Bale.
Everyone handles stress differently. Lately, my secret weapon has been a combination of yoga and reading. It’s a surprisingly effective combination.
And, according to this article, reading is definitely a good weapon to have in your arsenal against stress. It makes a lot of sense, too.
As the article points out, technology is a big source of stress that is almost impossible to avoid. With smart phones, social media, email, news alerts and other updates follow us around all day. (I have a love-hate relationship with mine..) Even ‘relaxing’ often involves screen time: watching Netflix or Hulu and browsing Reddit are big culprits. (I am happy to report, though, that I have successfully reduced my Netflix and Hulu time quite dramatically since my post proclaiming I would.) And even though Reddit is awesome, and can entertain me for hours, it’s not the best way to actually relax. More often than I’d like to admit, though, I find myself browsing Reddit way too late, which cuts into both my sleep and reading time.
But I always find that I sleep better when I read before bed. When I get a chance to step into another world, at least for a few minutes. The study the article cites, supports my claim, too:
It took only six minutes of silent reading to slow down their heart rate and relax their muscles. Reading decreased the subjects’ stress levels by 68%, follwed by listening to music (61%), tea or coffee (54%), taking a walk (42%) and playing video games (21%).
Basically reading is just awesome, and great at relieving stress. So if you like me, and have nights where you can’t really get to sleep because of all the thoughts going through your head, apparently taking six minutes to read will do you all sorts of good.
Plus, imagination rocks.
All for now,