Deet’s Life-Reading for Mood Altering and Stress Relief

I reviewed a book on Tuesday that although well written made me sad and agitated.  Then I managed to plunge right into another book that was almost as disturbing.  To top the week off I went to the movies to see not an agitating movie, but a really depressing film “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World” (I know….what did I expect, right?).  All of this led me to grab the first feel-good book I could find in the TBR stack.  And it worked.  I felt better almost immediately.  So my point is….not only do books relieve stress, they can alter mood and depress us or lift us.  So be aware of your mood and avoid those “downers” when other “downers” are plaguing your life.  Grab a feel-good book and lose yourself for a few hours to calm your frazzled nerves.

Doctor Deet has spoken, no remuneration required.  Take a happy book and comment in the morning.

I’m reposting this article from the University of Minnesota.  Go there for additional de-stressor advice.

Reading for Stress Relief

It is a proven fact that reading can help reduce stress. Many of us take this simple act for granted, because we have so much “required” reading in our daily lives-the newspaper, traffic signs, emails, and bills. But how often do we read for pleasure?

Reading can be a wonderful (and healthy) escape from the stress of everyday life. Simply by opening a book, you allow yourself to be invited into a literary world that distracts you from your daily stressors. Reading can even relax your body by lowering your heart rate and easing the tension in your muscles. A 2009 study at the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress by up to 68%. It works better and faster than other relaxation methods, such as listening to music or drinking a hot cup of tea. This is because your mind is invited into a literary world that is free from the stressors that plague your daily life.

Find a book or magazine that piques your interest-a romantic paperback, gardening magazine, or even a cookbook. Set aside 30 minutes to read every day in a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • The book you choose doesn’t have to be on any “best-seller” list. The important thing is that the subject matter has captured your interest and will provide a space for your mind to relax in every day.
  • Reading only helps reduce your stress if you pick something you enjoy that won’t upset you. Reading the news may not be the best choice if it makes you feel angry or helpless. Pick a novel where you can escape into another world. Or read about an activity that you enjoy– a hobby, travel, cooking.
  • Take note of how you feel after your reading break. Have you been able to let go of some of your stressors? If you still feel overwhelmed, take our Stress Assessment to explore the source of your anxieties and take charge of your wellbeing.


Filed under Books, Deet's Life, News, Opinion

4 responses to “Deet’s Life-Reading for Mood Altering and Stress Relief

  1. Edyta

    That’s a good point. As you know I do like to read books that some would call downers. I really do enjoy the fact that they are a more realistic representation of life (even if it is UF). That said, there are times when I just know that reading a book like that will be a bad idea. I have to say though that I have almost zero tolerance foe silliness, even in my feel good reads.


    • I agree about silliness in novels. But I also think there are well written silly and the other kind. Well written silly leaves you thinking “how clever, wish I could think of that, perfect” the other kind leaves you thinking “good grief! this got past an editor? If this is publishable then I should start writing cause I can write silly better.”

      In spite of its usually dark undertones, Urban Fantasy is not usually a downer for me. Literary Fiction seems to have the market cornered on downers. I gave up on Oprah’s Bookclub after the second book.


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