Why reading books is important? How to read mindfully?

Reading books take you to another world. It’s a noisy world out there and I tell you reading a book is one kind of meditation. A turn of a page can make your brain network calm and free you from the chatter that you’re currently present in. It helps boost dopamine making you empathize over people, providing ways to socialize and broaden our perspectives.


The power of reading helps in healing trauma, virtually transport you to another world or even help you build new qualities. There is no better teacher than a good book. Books can be an escape from the reality, the mundane day to day demands in front of us. All avid readers would agree with me that reading books is self-medicating and it is no surprise that reading books offer many more benefits.


A survey by the NPD revealed that the book sales went up in 2020, increasing print volumes much higher post 2004. While this was the trend it was also noticed that they were buying more but took much more time to complete because they were doing it slowly. The reason being they were distracted.


The mind doesn’t stay calm, holding a book in hand and screaming out ‘can’t you see I’m busy’ would show that you are not completely into reading. The lack of concentration in turn made it harder for them to proceed with reading. The anxiety in us that makes the brain constantly scan for threats around is becoming a roadblock to the reading. It releases stress hormones that is consuming more energy that people find it hard to concentrate on reading.


Here is how you can practice mindful reading. These habits will ensure that reading benefits you.


Begin with a short read


Our brain loves it and releases happy hormones when it is given a reward. And finishing a book that you started with is definitely rewarding that your brain wants to continue doing it. So pick up a short engaging read that you can finish sooner.

Meditate before reading


Reading needs a calm mind for it to happen naturally. Sit down and clear your mind away from thoughts. Close your eyes and do a deep breathe or even meditate with a prayer.

Reading to relevancy


Sometimes reading about what’s happening around you or what’s happening with you an make you stay glued. It will make you more attentive to what you read. Reading fiction, memoire also helps in making you show empathy on others.

Familiarity


Uncertain times can be handled when you return to something familiar that gives you solace. There are two types of readers: One who wants to keep reading to discover and learn about new things, and one who rereads just to comfort themselves and give them stability.

Read first thing in the morning


It is a great thing to start the day with. It can in putting your phone away and spend more energy on reading.


Put your phone away


Phones are a main distraction especially when it comes to reading. Give it to someone who wouldn’t give in for your please or in another room. The best would be even kept it in another floor.


Make it a habit


Relax yourselves in a comfortable spot, make yourself a hot cup of chocolate or your favorite beverage and try reading at the same time every day.

Read like a child


Read under the blanket, under the bed or a cozy corner like how we used to when we were kids. It gives a whole new perspective to the reading habit.

Stop reading if you cannot concentrate


Life has uncertainties that make you stress and let reading not be one. So, whenever you feel like that thought creeping in put down your book.


Listen to audiobooks


During solitary times it is comforting to hear a voice is your mind that is not yours. GO for an audiobook if you cannot read yourself and let the narrator take the stage while you relax.


Be prepared for the next.


Once you finish a book or you are almost going to complete it, keep another one ready so that you will continue to read. Do not give a long pause.


Here are reasons why reading can be a therapy. It’s called bibliotherapy.

  • Sometimes stories can hold deeper meanings in us than the real situations we live in.
  • Rekindling the interest in reading can make you feel connected and alive.
  • Switching of the stress buttons, giving yourself some me-time and helping you relieve from stress.
  • It will make you feel that you are not alone and there are people going through similar situations.
  • It gives you a sense of creativity and even make you start writing probably a journal which might further help to understand what you are going through.

I hope these benefits will definitely give you that positive push to get back to reading. But a reading challenge can even push you further to make it more interesting when you have a goal set for the number of books that you look forward to complete. I am taking part in blogchatter’s #TBRChallenge and aimed at completing 30 books this year. If you would want to know more and like to participate you could check here and sign up.

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