Discover the stress-busting benefits of books (and our top three picks for you)

Some of us learn to love books from a young age, some of us discover the pleasure of reading later on, while some of us may still not be convinced that books are worth their while… If you consider yourself a book worm, we’ve got some great news for you – and if you don’t, you may be willing to give reading another shot soon after you’ve read what we’ve got to tell you…
The many benefits of reading books
Can you guess what reduces stress more efficiently than taking a walk, listening to music or sitting down for a cuppa? Of course, we’ve already given that away… But you may still be surprised that according to research a mere six minutes spent reading a book can reduce our stress levels by a whopping 68%. And the benefits of reading books don’t stop there. As well as reducing our heart rates and easing muscle tension, regular reading is believed to stimulate imagination, develop critical thinking, sharpen memory, increase empathy, have protective effects against mental decline and even help us live longer.
How to fit books into your life
We hope the above has convinced you to make books a part of your daily life (if they weren’t already). But what if you just can’t find the time? These days (thank you, technology), books are more accessible than ever. We can download e-books and audiobooks to a device of our choice at home (sometimes even free if we make full use of library services) and have them at our fingertips (or headphones) whenever we can find a few minutes to spare. And if having hit a reading rut is your challenge, reading communities like the Goodreads will quickly guide you to your new favourite reads.
Inspired? Check out our favourite reads…
Our top three picks 

 1. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
This little gem of a book has sold millions of copies, and for a good reason: it’s the ultimate guide to achieving mental freedom from the past or future mindset. In simple words, Eckhart Tolle demonstrates how to live a healthier and happier life by living in the present moment. And if you’ve already read the Power of Now, then try his next, equally life-enhancing book: A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.
Why we love it…
-It leads us to greater awareness of how our thinking habits influence our life experience.
-It empowers us to be in charge of our own happiness and wellbeing.
-It teaches us ways to surrender to the present moment that we can put into practice immediately.

2. Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed
Cheryl Strayed’s memoir is a powerful story of how one woman pieced herself back together – literally one step at a time – after the trauma of losing her mother, a painful divorce and a string of self-destructive coping mechanisms left her feeling utterly lost. She portrays her journey on foot alone from the Mojave Desert to Washington State with honesty, humour and warmth, and by the time you finish the book, you’ll feel like you too have been on a hope-renewing journey.
Why we love it…
-It shows us that there’s an endless reserve of courage within us, ready to be accessed when we most need it.
-It demonstrates that we can heal and find our way again even if we feel completely lost.
-It gives us a taste of what hiking the Pacific Crest Trail is like – without the blisters…

3. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
If all you want is to be completely absorbed in a story, Sue Monk Kidd’s novel has it all and more. This multi-layered tale of a motherless girl who runs away from home and is taken in by three beekeeping sisters keeps you emotionally engaged and intrigued to the very end.
Why we love it…
-Lily’s story is beautiful, moving and totally addictive – a book to get lost in.
-It’s both funny and heart-aching.
-It’s deeply spun with the magic and mysteries of honeybees symbolising the ups and downs of life.

 

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