In her article “Commit to Reading More in 2013″, Claudia Chan suggests readers should “perceive books as your most luxurious way to learn, a guilt-free way to unplug and relax, or a cozy way to quiet the rampant conversations in your mind.”
It’s already been established that reading helps people relax. The University of Sussex discovered years ago that reading is a better stress-relief method than listening to music, going for a walk or drinking a cup of tea.
This study also proved that a person could reduce their stress level by more than two thirds after reading silently for only six minutes. What was even more surprising is that the test subject’s stress level after reading was lower than when they started the test.
Cognitive neuropsychologist Dr. Lewis who conducted the test said, “Losing yourself in a book is the ultimate relaxation.”
There is also research that suggests re-reading is even more beneficial. Scientists at the University at Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions found that there are restorative powers and stress relief when re-reading a book. Jaye Derrick who conducted the study believes that escaping into a familiar and fictional world is a social surrogate. Not only does it take less effort to re-read, but it also helps the reader build up their self-control and regain a positive mood.
So the next time your friends or family complain that you always have your nose in a book, let them know it’s good for your health.