Listening to music has been known to be one of the best stress busters. But a new study has now claimed that reading works better and faster when it comes to calming frazzled nerves.
Researchers have carried out the study and found that reading is the best way to relax and even six minutes could be enough to reduce the stress levels by more than two-thirds,’The Daily Telegraph’ reported.
According to the researchers,this is because the human mind has to concentrate on reading and the distraction of being taken into a literary world eases the tensions in muscles and the heart.
Lead researcher Dr David Lewis said: “Losing yourself in a book is the ultimate relaxation. This is particularly poignant in uncertain economic times when we are all craving a certain amount of escapism.
“It really doesn’t matter what book you read,by losing yourself in a thoroughly engrossing book you can escape from the worries and stresses of the everyday world and spend a while exploring the domain of the author’s imagination.
“This is more than merely a distraction but an active engaging of the imagination as the words on the printed page stimulate your creativity and cause you to enter what is essentially an altered state of consciousness.”
The study,by consultancy Mindlab International at the University of Sussex,focussed on a group of volunteers whose stress levels and heart rate were increased through a range of tests and exercises before they were tested with a variety of traditional methods of relaxation.
In fact,it found that reading emerged as the best stress buster. Subjects only needed to read,silently,for six minutes to slow down the heart rate and ease tension in the muscles,the researchers found. It got the subjects to stress levels lower than before they started.
Listening to music reduced the levels by 61 per cent,have a cup of tea of coffee lowered them by 54 per cent and taking a walk by 42 per cent. Playing video games brought them down by 21 per cent from their highest level but still left the volunteers with heart rates above their starting point.
Reading worked best,reducing stress levels by 68 per cent,Dr Lewis said.