By Marilyn Halpern, LSW, MSW ~
“Reading is so much a part of our everyday lives that we take it for granted – text messages, the banners that run across our televisions, the ads that pop up. And yet, reading can be a crucial opportunity for mindfulness — the ability to be in the present moment, aware while withholding judgment, both inside and outside of yourself. This winter, take a break from passive reading, skimming, reading-as-multitasking, and try mindful reading.” — Marcella Frydman Manoharan
Reading for pleasure in a mindful way can be the gateway to a more joyful new year. On average, Americans spend just 15 minutes reading each day. The polls are mixed on exactly how much Americans are reading but the overall consensus is we are reading less for pleasure than in the past. Many are consumed by “screen reading” as electronic devices drive our attention and devour our time.
The National Literacy Trust confirms that reading is helpful in all the ways we might guess: reading improves grammar, comprehension and writing. Yet, the study also reports it improves insight into making decisions. The research further cites that reading fiction increases creativity, empathy, and emotional intelligence. Reading boosts cognition, which can help memory, word retrieval, and overall self-improvement.
Ready to curl up with a great book? Here are a few tips for encouraging or supporting your resolution to make reading part of your healthier, happier new year:
Joseph Addison reminds us, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” May your new year bring many adventures and insights between the pages.
Marilyn Halpern is the founder and executive director of Aspen Care Services. This locally owned business provides medical power of attorney, care management and professional guardianship services in the Denver Metro area. For more information visit www.aspencareservices.com or www.aginglifecare.org. Photo credit: Roland Halpern