It will take you to faraway places with white sandy beaches and clear azure skies in the blink of an eye. It will take you back in time to the days of prehistoric monsters or thrust you forward to the Big Brother world of tomorrow. It can even fill your eyes with tears one moment and make you laugh out loud the next.
Reading a good novel or story will open a window to the world and give you a vision of things you never dreamed possible. And the side benefit is, reading is one of the best ways to reduce your stress level and can even help you solve whatever problem is ailing you.
Reading is the great escape and it also works well as a way to relax. When you curl up with a good book, you put the rest of the world and all its troubles out of your mind as you are taken to distant places to learn about different time periods, and to expose yourself to new ideas and philosophies. You are essentially taking a vacation of the mind -- but one that can be virtually cost-free, especially if you live near a library.
Of course, reading is also a great way to reduce stress by gaining the knowledge you need to solve problems. For example, let's say you're overweight and this is causing you stress. You find that the more weight you gain, the more stressed you become, which just causes you to eat more. Instead of getting stressed out, why not read a good book about nutrition that will teach you how to plan meals better, so they're low-cal and low-fat. This could very well result in reducing your weight problem and it could even disappear altogether along with the stress that is bringing you down.
Reading can also be a source of great hope, giving you ideas and inspiration that will relieve your stress. Biographies and rags-to-riches stories about famous people will teach how they overcame their struggles. These stories of triumph might even inspire you to seek ways to overcome the challenges in your life.
Of course, there are also times when reading can increase your stress level. For instance, if you are studying for a test, or reading about tragedies in your local newspaper, you might find your stress levels skyrocketing. That's why it's important to choose your reading material carefully. If you're feeling stressed, why not pick up a book that will relax you. A good travel book, or cookbook, or book of poetry are far better choices than news magazines filled with stories about all the things that are wrong in the world.
Self-help books are also a very effective way to help reduce stress. They encourage you to explore your feelings and they recommend such techniques as listening to soothing music, learning how to play a musical instrument, or just engaging in deep breathing in order to deal with stressful situations.
One of the best stress reliever is reading a good novel. It's the best medicine there is without the side effects of drugs. When you read a good story, whether it be a historical fiction or a mystery thriller or a comic novel, it almost always transports you away from anxieties and frustrations. It allows your imagination to run free and then leaves you feeling refreshed and invigorated. When you are reading it forces you to concentrate, to exercise your mind in a way that passively watching TV or a movie can never match.
In the long run, it doesn't matter what you read but how much you read. Try reading while standing in the grocery line, or at the bank, or while pedaling your stationary bike. The more you read, the more you will want to read because you will quickly discover its short and long term stress reducing benefits.