How to reduce stress by reading

How to reduce stress by reading

May 6, 2020 Off By carolc

An infallible remedy to reduce and even eliminate stress is reading. Although it is not an obvious method for many, it is one of the most effective and quickest to take effect. In fact, reading is the best way to relax – even six minutes may be enough to reduce stress levels by more than two-thirds, according to new research.


In addition to many other benefits that reading brings us, this healthy habit also allows us to minimize and banish stress from our body. Make the most of this solution.


The best way to reduce stress


The University of Sussex – Falmer in the UK carried out research the results of which indicate that reading can reduce stress levels by 68 percent. The research was carried out in a group of volunteers and was carried out by the Mindlab International consultancy at the University of Sussex.


According to that research, reading works better and faster to calm nerves than other methods such as listening to music, going for a walk, or settling in with a cup of tea. Psychologists believe this is because the human mind has to focus on reading, and the distraction of being brought into a literary world relieves tensions in the muscles and heart.


Research tests and exercises


The stress levels and heart rate of the research volunteers increased through a series of tests and exercises before a variety of traditional relaxation methods were applied to them.


After applying relaxation methods, including reading, it worked best, reducing stress levels by 68%, as indicated by cognitive neuropsychologist Dr. David Lewis: “Subjects only needed to read silently, for six minutes to decrease heart rate and ease muscle tension. In fact, subjects had lower stress levels than before they started. ”


For their part, traditional relaxation methods yielded the following results:


  • Listening to music reduced stress levels by 61 percent.
  • Drinking a cup of tea reduced stress by 54 percent.
  • Take a walk at 42 percent.
  • Playing video games reduced them by 21% from their highest level, but still left volunteers with their heart rate above their starting point.


Dr. Lewis, who runs the tests, commented on reading as a relaxation mechanism:


“Losing yourself in a book is ultimate relaxation. This is particularly poignant in uncertain economic times when we are all eager for a certain amount of escapism.


It doesn’t really matter what book you read, by getting lost in a completely absorbing book, you can escape the worries and stress of the everyday world and spend some time exploring the author’s domain of imagination. This is more than just a distraction, it is an active participation of the imagination, as the words on the printed page stimulate your creativity and bring you into what is essentially an altered state of consciousness. ”




A good book can transport your mind to another carefree world, allowing your body to relax. The effect that a good reading has on your mind, will be reflected almost immediately in each of your muscles, including the heart.


The aforementioned is what was achieved thanks to the research carried out by the University of Sussex, which positioned reading as the best and most effective method to reduce and eliminate stress in people. Reading was much better than traditional methods, yielding much higher rates of stress reduction than listening to music, taking a walk, having a cup of tea or playing video games.



Another benefit that reading brings us has been proven, so when you get home after a busy day, there is nothing better than a good book to download and free your body from all the accumulated stress.