Often we have so much dry, boring, technical information we have to read at work. It can be mentally and emotionally exhausting. It’s hard to belief reading can relieve stress.

However, reading can reduce stress, especially if you pick something you enjoy. The University of Sussex found that reading for just six minutes has been shown to reduce stress by 68 percent. Reading relaxes the body by lowering the heart rate and easing the tension in your muscles. Dr. Lewis, who conducted the study said, “Losing yourself in a book is the ultimate relaxation.”

Personally, I like to read before bedtime; it helps me relax and I fall asleep quickly.

You don’t have to choose a best seller or a classic, but if you do, a friend of mine just informed me you can read Shakespeare for pleasure, no really, you can. The book entitled, “No Fear Shakespeare” has the original test and follows it with a page written in contemporary English. You can give Macbeth and Hamlet a try.

Sure, reading reduces stress because it is a distraction, however, it is more than that. Reading engages the mind and requires your full attention. When full attention is given, your mind doesn’t think about those things that are causing you stress. Not only that, reading enhances memory skills, increases vocabulary and improves our writing skills, too.

Reading can be enlightening and exciting. And who knows, you might even learn a thing or two.

Put together a library of fun stuff to read such as joke books and silly sayings that will enhance and support your sense of humor. Paw through that pile of books or magazines that you enjoy reading, set the clock, read for six minutes, and see how it feels.

If you need to find a keynote speaker, plenary speaker, breakout speaker, concurrent session speaker, seminar leader, or workshop facilitator who can deliver in-person, virtually, or via prerecorded session, Kit Welchlin, M.A., CSP, CVP, is a nationally recognized professional motivational speaker and author and can be found at www.welchlin.com or www.SeminarsOnStress.com.