Research shows reading helps reduce stress. What books do you enjoy for soul rest?
Writers step through all kinds of funny rituals as they approach their blank page of the day. Steven Pressfield who wrote the War of Art says he drapes his lucky hooded sweatshirt over a chair.
As a Christian writer, I start with prayer. From there, I reach into a grab bag of tricks to coax my mind out to play. I allow it to think we’re not doing anything at the beginning. I nonchalantly brew up a pot of coffee and take my first sips while reading for a few minutes. In this relaxed state, I walk my fingers to the keyboard. Without much fanfare, we start the work of creativity.
I choose reading as a form of relaxation intuitively. It’s just what I’ve always done. No matter how out of place I’ve found myself, I’ve always felt at home with a book. Whether waiting for the bus to turn the corner, spending a quiet evening in my dorm room, or relaxing at the end of a busy work day, reading has brought me a measure of soul rest from stress.
The habit of reading to unwind apparently isn’t just good for my soul.
There are health benefits to reading.
“Reading is the best way to relax and even six minutes can be enough to reduce the stress levels by more than two thirds.”
“Reading works better and faster than other methods to calm frazzled nerves such as listening to music, going for a walk or settling down with a cup of tea.
Reading works best reducing stress levels by 68 per cent….
Subjects only needed to read, silently, for six minutes to slow down the heart rate and ease tension in the muscles.”
No wonder we love our books so much. We lug them with us on vacation and keep them near us, by our bed. They give us joy and comfort.
Now you know why I have to be careful what I read before bedtime. Turning a few pages can help me fall sleep. But sometimes, I’ll find myself mysteriously tapping away in the dark, words spilling onto the computer screen.
What books do you enjoy reading for soul rest?
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