Reading to relax
Syeda Fatima Hasan Gilani
Senior Vice Chairperson, Read Pakistan
Learning to relax through reading could be the strongest defense against its debilitating effects. Relaxation is a relative term as that of stress itself still it does not lessen the importance of it. The existence cannot be denied even though most of the times it is self-created or self-illuminated. Thoughts hover over the negativity of life more often than it lays limelight over positivity. Each one of us is an escapist and each one of us a fantasizer. The extent and depth may vary person to person. The important object is the tool through which we learn the tactic of relaxation. For a thinking mind that tool is reading. Stress is of multiple forms where brain wave patterns change, reading brings calmness to the mind, serenity to the soul and a feeling of gain and relaxation. Researches prove that the heart rate decreases causing a drop in blood pressure which in the longer run keeps blood pressure normal. Reading is also a muscle relaxer and eases stressed muscles. Medical research states that the skin temperature rises which causes muscles to relax. Saliva production increases once you are relax, stimulating the digestive system which fixes stomach problems. Let us not forget what is said of reading, that it longevities age, now we know how.
World health organization (WHO) defines stress as `the reaction people may have when presented with demands and pressures that are not matched to their knowledge and abilities and which challenge their ability to cope´. We all go through such situations often. Reading can aid a stressed mind and can even heal inner wounds. The challenges life crafts are a work of perfect craftsmanship and thus need and require a skill set of knowledge, new levels of abilities and the finest way of coping. All come from the experience jolted down by people ahead of us, sometimes by fate, sometimes by age and sometimes by knowledge. Books bring to us finest marbles of wisdom which are not otherwise achieved.
I used to say, Reading is to mind what exercise is to body till the time I realized that reading is to mind as well as for the body. It is important that in today’s world of information we may try to attain some knowledge and better so if we attain wisdom. The shortest best possible manner to gain wisdom is through reading. Fifteen minutes of daily reading can instill the habit of reading in us in 20-25 days as per latest developments in the reading world. One promise can change our world, and that should be a promise of reading every day. The reason is simple, we demand stress relief mentally as well as physically. Let’s keep a book in our hand and feel relaxed each day, making life worth living and this world a better place to live.