Exam time is one of the most stressful times in the school life of any students. Preparing and sitting exams can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety – so it is vital to find ways to help reduce these to be able to perform at your best.
Studies by the University of Sussex have shown that reading is one of the best ways to relax and even reading for just 6 minutes can be enough to reduce stress levels by more than two thirds. Reading works better and faster than other methods, such as listening to music, exercising or having a cup of tea or coffee.
Losing yourself in a great story is one of the wonderful aspects of reading and it thought that the human mind has to concentrate when reading and the distraction of being taken into a literary world eases the tensions in muscles and the heart.
Dr David Lewis, who conducted the study said “Losing yourself in a book is the ultimate relaxation.” The research subjects only need to read, silently, for 6 minutes to show a reduction in heart rate and an easing of tension in the muscles. It even showed that the study subjects got to a lower level of stress than before they started the test.
By comparison, listening to music reduced the stress 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.
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,” says Dr. Lewis.
“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,” says Dr. Lewis.
“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 Telegraph, Reading ‘can help reduce stress’.
HuffPost, Five ways reading can improve health and well-being
Here’s some fun reading suggestions, available in the library, to get your started:
What to say next by Julie Buxbaum
Love, lies and spies by Cindy Anstey
Anna and the French kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Everything everything by Nicole Yoon
Amelia Westlake by Erin Gough
Emergency contact by Mary H. K. Choi
Truly wildly deeply by Jenny McLachlan
36 questions that changed my mind about you by Vicki Grant
All these – and more – are available in the library. Why not come and pick a new book out today?