I Know You’re Stressed Out, I Can Read You Like a Book

The Secret to Stress Relief

Now that I’ve given you the great secret to dealing with your stress, just do something, let’s continue to explore different “somethings” to do.

Read a book

Reading a book at the beach
Read a book

Pick up a book and lose yourself in it. One of the greatest problems we have with our stress is that we cannot escape it. We suffer input overload, too much motion, noise and information. We live in a media environment where whatever the saturation level was yesterday; today it’s a little higher.

I wrote about the problem of our News Media’s new business model being to keep us in a constant state of panic. Provocative stories, attention-grabbing headlines, flashing, brightly coloured graphics and opinion “leaders” who seek not to inform, but simply to shout at us, to shock us into tuning in, and staying tuned in.

They’re not the only ones. Have you seen an action movie lately? Non-stop motion, be it car chases, foot chases, fights, shoot outs, whatever. No time to slow down and have actual dialogue move the plot along, if there even is a plot.

Action movies? What about the “superhero” movies? Same. Even the cartoons are doing it. I assume horror movies do, too, although since the genre has been completely consumed by the idiocy of zombies and the jump scare, I decline to partake.

At work we are completely wired in and connected and then when we get home we foolishly decline to unplug. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, whatever, pinging our phones to get us to tap the link and PAY ATTENTION.

Stop Paying Attention

If you want to get your stress under control, you absolutely must stop paying attention to all this crap. Your first step to doing this is to unplug, even for a short while, and a perfect way to unplug is to pick up a book. Not an iPad. A book. You know, a stack of pieces of paper bound together with words permanently set on them.

Reading on a screen just isn’t the same. Forget the light frequency that messes with your eyes, your brain waves and your sleep.

When I was your age, television was called “books.”

William Goldman, The Princess Bride

There simply is no substitute for a paper book. Luckily for us, there are buildings which act as a repository for these “books,” open to the public, which will lend you a book for a fixed period of time. For free. That’s right, you don’t even have to spend any money.

Take an hour, or two, or even three, if you can. Go read a book, and feel the stress melt away.