Reading is one of the most important—and least recognised—wellness practices, not often acknowledged as a form of mindfulness, it is one of the most science-backed forms of meditation.
Meditation has become a dominant trendy force in the wellness space, with studios opening and many classes available even online. But reading is so easy, you can read anywhere at any time!
When you are using other forms of entertainment that use multiple senses, you can split your attention and still get the gist of the content, so you are not really concentrating on one thing. How often have you seen people on their mobile watching the TV?
Reading….requires your full concentration. – If your mind wanders away from what you are reading, you have to go back to where you were before you lost focus, paying attention again on the words in front of you. Sitting and reading a book for 20 minutes means you have really done a 20-minute meditation, benefitting from the many benefits of the practice.
Reading also helps build the neuro-networks that reduce sugar cravings – this has a huge potential to improve our lives immeasurably! David Perlmutter, M.D. said recently “100 percent of humans have a sweet tooth. It’s an ancestral trait that allowed humans to survive. Our sweet tooth is a legacy, and now it’s catered to 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, which leads to obesity.”
The problem? “When we’re catering to this notion of stimulating the reward part of the brain with sugar, we strengthen that pathway to those reward areas of the brain that are involved with a neurotransmitter called dopamine, and it tends to distance us from connecting to the parts of our brain that aren’t involved in rewarding us moment to moment but are involved in our ability to be empathetic, to make long-term plans, to understand the long-term consequences of our day-to-day choices. We live in a society where we’re catering to the reward system of our brain moment to moment.”
So, when we strengthen the parts of our brain that are involved in being empathetic (reading hs been shown to do this), the neural pathways to the reward areas of our brain that make us crave sugar are weakened.
“Reading has also been shown to help prevent Alzheimers and a study at the University of Sussex found reading reduced stress by 68 percent, more than listening to music (61 percent), having a cup of tea (54 percent), or taking a walk (42 percent).”
Nothing but better health and happiness awaits so pick up a good book and start reading!