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Reading is a gateway to mindfulness

Reading is a gateway to mindfulness

In this digital age where we are constantly glued to our smartphones, tablets, notebooks for all our needs be it search engines or paying bills to online shopping  or socializing. Reading has really taken a back seat in our lives. I have yet to come across someone who says they take out time for reading. And by reading I mean hard-core stuff like reading a novel, book or compendium. Yes, those thick backed full fledge 300 pagers and not your digital versions of kindles and kobos. Although there is no harm in those at all but the idea behind mindfulness is to minimize screen time.  The idea is to go for a digital detox.

Reading is Easy:

While we feel it is taxing to carry a book around it is convenient as it needs no tech prep like charging or safe keeping- a book can be taken into any environment with no hassle at all. Nothing beats the smell of a freshly printed and newly bought book. It’s therapeutic. It reminds you of printing presses and ink and all those things from medieval times when things were slow and leisurely.

It transports you to a different dimension:

Reading a book with deep concentration can actually transport us mentally into a different dimension. It is a great stress reliever and helps us move out of the painful reality at times. Without having to do much you can easily pick a book of your choice or rather your choice of dimension and within the comforts of your home you are transported away from your worries into a different world.

Reading helps us focus:

This is not news to us as reading actually builds stronger cognitive skills. In fact, the reason scientists have stressed the importance of introducing reading to children is so they develop their cognitive skills early on. These skills include retention of information and memory, stronger focus and attention to details and longer attention span.

Even in adults, our brains are constantly re-wiring.  This means we are processing new information and compartmentalizing old information and discarding what’s not needed. Reading books helps us with this process as its new information going in and making the brain re-wire each time we repeat this process.

Helps with sleep disorders:

People with insomnia are known to benefit with reading as it helps their mind calm down and slows the hyper-active brain to a tranquil state. This not only leads to better sleep quality but also improves the REM in our sleep.  This is the first step towards mindfulness as good sleep leads to mental and physical wellbeing.

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