An article in the Telegraph about how reading reduces stress--even six minutes can be enough to reduce the stress levels by more than two thirds:
And it works better and faster than other methods to calm frazzled nerves such as listening to music, going for a walk or settling down with a cup of tea, research found.
Psychologists believe this is because the human mind has to concentrate on reading and the distraction of being taken into a literary world eases the tensions in muscles and the heart...
The most interesting part of the article, for me, was that the study was commissioned by Galaxy chocolate who are planning a promotional giveaway of one million books. (I happen to really like Galaxy--creamy, silky stuff--though almost impossible to find in this country)
So before you read your 401(k) statement, make sure you have a book handy. Then read, and read, and munch on a bar of chocolate. Remember life is good.
[** edit: and don't forget you can reduce stress by writing, too **]