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Is reading a form of meditation? Self care tips for readers. Self care ideas for a new you. Blogs for readers, bookworm and bibliophiles.

Is reading a form of meditation?📚

Is Reading a form of Meditation?

What is meditation?

Meditation isn’t about becoming a different person, a new person, or even a better person. It’s about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective. You’re not trying to turn off your thoughts or feelings. You’re learning to observe them without judgement. And eventually, you may start to better understand them as well.
- Headspace

Reading unlocks characteristics and states of mind within us that lend themselves very well to mindfulness and meditation. One of the activities most associated with mindfulness and meditation is breathing and visualisation. When we lose ourselves in a book, we have the amazing capability to block out the world around us. This is what makes reading so beautiful. 

Authors, or at least some authors, do a magnificent job of touching upon all of our senses to help build a picture and narrative. It is interesting to note at this point that one of the most common grounding techniques for anxiety and depression is the “54321” exercise. Find 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. Understanding how your body and mind work during these episodes can help you develop a healthier response to frightening situations. Which leads us to the therapeutic effects of reading.

We begin to allow ourselves to imagine how the character might look and what accent they have. We use the little voice in our minds to playfully reenact the character's tone of voice, also known as our internal dialogue or 'inner voice'. Perhaps they are softly spoken and lungs are breathing heavily. Perhaps they are gritty and raw with a wicked sense of humour. The beauty of reading is being open to interpretation. This practice of focus is helping us develop a stronger sense of perception. 

So why have some of us become unable to concentrate or meditate? Do you often find your mind beginning to wander as you read, or you can no longer read as much as you used to? A new study published in the journal 'Scientific Reports' lends support to a body of research suggesting that reading on electronic devices reduces comprehension. The study found that reading on a smartphone promotes over-activity in the prefrontal cortex, less frequent sighing, and lower reading comprehension.

In conclusion, the beauty of owning paperbacks and physical copies is so much more than just the texture or smell of printed ink on paper. It is supporting a positive mental attitude as well as developing our comprehension and a healthy mindful perspective. 

Here is a quick guide on how you can take your mindful reading to the next level.

- Are you reading from a printed copy or a handheld device? Consider the device you are reading from. How big is the screen? Is it clean? How cluttered is your browser; have you got an abundance of tabs open? Notice the brightness of the light coming from the screen.

- When you begin to read, pay attention to the movement of your eyes as they scan the text. Experience the sensation of the action.

- Throughout the activity, notice your breathing and your heart-rate. Do they change in reaction to the content of your chosen text? If they do change, try to relax and keep your breath steady.

- Read with intent. With each sentence consider, ‘Have I read all of the words properly? Have I understood everything?’

- How did this article make you feel? Notice this and ask yourself why this is so.
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Jemma - January 1, 2024

this was very useful Thank you…

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