The Shine Project

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Mindfulness and Reading

Anne ClarksonComment

These days, whether on a screen or on paper, we speed read and have learnt to quickly process more information than ever before, like a race to finish the text than a search for meaning.

Mindful reading is radically different. It slows the reader down and offers a have of quiet reflection that which helps us let go of distracting thoughts. This slower, mindful reading can create space in our minds for ideas, creative inspiration, happiness, relaxation and wisdom.

Get lost in the words in a book and lose track of our own daily worries. Thoughts, emotions and problems are forgotten, while we are transported into the world of our imagination. It detaches us from the emotions of our own past or worries about our future and empowers us by allowing ourselves time to just ‘be’. 

Reading books before bed (rather than screen time), can relax the mind and lead to more peaceful night’s rest.

Top tips for mindful reading:

Make some ‘me time’ for yourself to read a little each day.

Before starting, sit quietly for some minutes. Bring your attention to your breath, and let go of thoughts.  Repeat this at the end of your reading a take as few moments to consider what you’ve learned from the text/story.

When reading a short piece, maybe a page long. Does a phrase stands out to you? Repeat it to yourself, perhaps several times. Do any images or ideas or memories arise and what feelings are evoked. Do any particular words have special meaning and does this change the meaning of the piece when you re-read it?

Slow, mindful reading is a truly beneficial experience, radically different from racing to cram information in.