According to a 2009 study in the Journal of College Teaching & Learning, a 30-minute leisure reading session is an effective method for reducing stress (i.e. a lunch break at work or even time spent before the start to a busy day). Spending time zoned into a good book has shown to decrease blood pressure and heart rates as well as significantly reduce stress levels.
Why is this important?
Stress affects physical and mental health which can lead to a variety of problems including:
- Unhealthy eating and sleeping habits
- Risky behaviors such as smoking and heavy drinking
- An increase in anxiety and depression
- A decrease in positive relationships with our peers, co-workers, or family members
- An overall decreased and dissatisfying quality of life
I don’t believe it’s a long shot to say everyone would like to live a happy, healthy, and long life. Reading may not be the answer to all of our problems, but if it can help reduce some stress while entertaining and inspiring, why not?
Grab your favorite book and read on my friends.
Rizzolo, D., Zipp, G. P., Stiskal, D., & Simpkins, S. (2009). Stress management strategies for students: The immediate effects of yoga, humor, and reading on stress. Journal of College Teaching and Learning, 6(8), 79-88.
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The House on Mango Street is a quick read revolving around the author, Sandra Cisneros, life on Mango Street, after moving into her family’s first owned, little red, home. The book is certainly a coming-of-age work highlighting a few individual’s lives in heavily Latino populated neighborhoods of Chicago. In short poetic chapters, she narrates her family and neighbors lives, bringing to light some of the more dark experiences including those of manipulation, sexual abuse, and violence. She features predominantly the women of Mango Street in her chapters, patiently observing and reflecting each of these woman’s lives both inside and outside of their homes. She comments on the oppressive nature of Mango Street; how she yearns to get away, embarrassed by her own home’s dilapidated appearance and contrary aesthetics to what her family envisioned, pre-moving in. A message that is made apparent, but that I think is important, is to never forget nor abandon your roots. Return to them every now and then to be with the people who are not able to leave. It is a part of your life that you can’t whisp away and that you shouldn’t, for it made you who you are today.
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Can You Believe It?!
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the first novel of the captivating Harry Potter series, was published 20 years ago on this day. The author, J. K. Rowling, shares with book lovers a magical journey following the life of a boy not yet aware of his magical talents. The seven-book series is certain to inspire and educate individuals of all ages, around the world. Themes and traits such as honesty, courage, adventure, friendship, love, and more, pervade the narratives of Harry and his friends.
You are certain to discover a little bit of magic in yourself by reading these books.