I was having lunch the other day with a good friend that I haven’t seen in a while. Life got busy, and our monthly lunches decreased to a quarterly if not a bi-annual event. After we caught up on the usual family, work, friend details, my friend mentioned to me that she has ‘re-discovered’ a good form of stress relief.
She asked me to recall the last time I read a good book. I responded by saying, “Well, I read all the time….personal development books, subscriptions, notes, Facebook posts, blogs, professional development books and publications, etc.”
She asked me again, “When did you read for pleasure?” Ah, I sat back, thought about it and couldn’t actually recall – it has been that long…
There are many forms of stress relief out there, and not all will benefit the same with people, but if you look and match them to your own personal values, the benefits will be there.
The suggestion did not resonate with me at first, as I thought I’m way too busy to find time for that. However, after a few weeks, I remembered what she shared and decided to give it a try. My friend couldn’t describe enough how different it made her feel and how beneficial it was. I’m not a big television watcher, so instead of getting back on the computer, I went to Borders and bought 3 books to ‘just read’.
I had forgotten that reading is one of the simplest forms of relaxation for the mind and body. Picking up a book and allowing our minds to use our imaginations to add colour to the black and white pages can be a form of stress relief that modern life places upon us.
The pressures of the modern working day, the television and the computer game culture we live in, often hide the pleasure and benefits of reading. Although we can read, or even listen to books on the internet, a book can open a whole world of escapism and adventure for the reader, as our imagination is guided by the author.
The choices are virtually endless. It’s no different than choosing a DVD! If it is a difficult choice, the ‘best sellers’ list is always a good place to start. The reader may find a book that inspires them elsewhere like at the library or by recommendation from family or friends. Actually, you may even be lucky enough to stumble upon a book which literally changes your life!