How Books Lower Your Stress Level

/ posted in: Reading

I went to the doctor for a check up the other day and she asked me what my stress level was on a scale of 1-10.  She was shocked when I said one.  She said no one has ever said that before.  I don’t feel like I handle stress well so I avoid it.  It seems like a logical life strategy to me.

I was talking to my mother about this later and said, “I mean, it’s not like I’m a political prisoner in a prison camp.  I think if that’s a 10 then I’m correct in saying that my life is a one.”

She said, “I don’t think most people take that into consideration on their scales.”

What?  They don’t? Really?

Have they not read The Fault in Our Stars and know that you have to save your 10 for something so bad you can’t even imagine it?

I said, “What if the vampire has gotten a hold of me and is about to kill me?”

“Not on most people’s list.”

“What if I’m being kicked out of my house with my dog and a suitcase and am going to be homeless?”

“Also very bad but not on most people’s lists.”

“Maybe I read too much.”

Maybe reading has put some serious worst-case 10 out of 10 on the stress level scenarios in my mind.  I’ve never died of cholera, had to flee an orphanage with 27 toddlers due to a war , lost a leg in an accident, had police dogs turned on me, turned into a tree, lost my job for being a rabble rouser, or had an entire species turn against me.  Those are just a few of the books from the last 6 months.  My life is pretty darn good compared to what I read about all the time.

Does anyone else think this is true?  What would be your level 10 based on your reading?