Stress -- it's one of the most harmful forces in our lives. It can damage our health, our relationships, our careers, our marriages and even curb our creativity. That's why I'm happy to announce that all 13 of our lifestyle sections -- from Travel and Parents to Weddings and Divorce -- have an editorial mission to help our readers travel with less stress, parent with less stress, get married with less stress and, yes, get divorced with less stress. And today our books section is launching "Turn the Page on Stress," a HuffPost Books project tapping into the de-stressing potential of books and storytelling, opening up the conversation to HuffPost editors, our community of bloggers and authors with insights on the written word's unique capacity to transport and transform. Even with all the high-tech gadgets at our disposal, the timeless act of reading is a way to connect with ideas and with the past, but also with ourselves.
What if every book had a synchronized soundtrack that matched each event in the story with music, ambient sound, and sound effects?
Setting aside time to curl up in a chair or stretch out on your bed with a good, slow, smart novel is a comfier way to reflect than, say, Zumba class.
Reading time is me time, and depending on what I'm reading, it may relax me, make me laugh, or exercise my brain. It really doesn't matter. The point is that it offers a little mental break -- a mini siesta, if you will.
With a metaphor we may "switch on a light" and realize that we have been trying to "plant flowers in a tornado" or have been "drifting aimlessly at sea." These simple images can help us change our automatic thought patterns to healthier and more adaptive thinking.
It wasn't until I had crossed the threshold into motherhood that I came to understand the healing potential of writing. I needed all the coping strategies I could find to manage the overwhelming experience of new parenthood.
Welcome to the sardonic comedy of our time: Rushing to Relax. Do you have symptoms of "Time Deficit Disorder"? Can you relate?
Stress is not something that happens to us as a result of outside influences. We can choose how we react to outside stimuli when they occur. We can either find a way to change a situation, or we can accept it.