You don't see many people reading poetry anymore - most of us are too busy catching up on the latest Netflix show or flipping through this summer's hottest beach read. Today, we save poetry for song lyrics because it seems "old-fashioned" or "boring" to read it from a book.
Also, due to the hectic our hectic lifestyles, we often don't have time to read at all. But are we missing something?
According to American Psychological Association, stress levels in the U.S. have been on the rise since 2014. More people are reporting feeling "highly stressed" and more people are visiting their doctors for stress-related issues.
L. John Mason, Ph.D., author of Guide to Stress Reduction, wrote: "70-90% of visits to medical doctor’s offices are for symptoms that are either caused or made worse as a reaction to this primitive stress response."
The problem is becoming critical, and shows no signs of slowing down. As technology becomes more advanced, there are more opportunities for distraction than ever. The pressures of everyday life are growing, as everyone is expected to do more, buy more, see more, and be more.
So, what can we do about it? How can we stop ourselves from becoming hopelessly stressed out?
Almost everyone will tell you there's a magical formula. Exercise more! Practice yoga! Eat better! Try meditation! See a therapist! Finding a solution to the problem can almost be as stressful and time-consuming as the problem itself.
While there's no perfect solution, one of the best ways to begin is very simple: go back to the basics. Poetry is a great way to appreciate the small things in life and slow down your racing thoughts. People have also reported many benefits to reading poetry, because the hidden meanings engage your mind in a meaningful way.
It has been shown to improve memory, communication skills, critical thinking, and much more. Reading poetry also helps a person "see the bigger picture" and improve their outlook on life. If you're stressed out and need a boost, it's a good starting point!
Go to the next page to take the quiz and find the poem you need right now!
Have you ever wondered why there was so much focus on the arts 200 years ago? Life was seen as a thing to be enjoyed, not a time to accomplish as much as possible. Beautiful buildings, paintings, and literature were born out of this ideal, and can still be appreciated today.
Bring your mind back to the beauty of life by starting to read a few poems. No matter what you're going through in life, you'll find a poem that relates to your struggles.
Take the quiz below to find out what poem you need to read, and scroll to the bottom of the page to find yours!
"But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears."
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass."
"If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise..."
"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth..."
"For oft, when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils."