While we all know the physical and mental benefits of reading, there is a new secret to enhancing your reading experience further, and that’s choosing to read mindfully.
No matter how much you love reading, it can be hard to make time for it. We often find ourselves reading while on public transport, waiting for an appointment, or if you’re really crazy, reading while walking. It’s sometimes difficult to find the time to sit down, shut everything else out and just immerse yourself in a book.
To give you some inspiration, we compiled a list of our top five places to read mindfully:
What is mindful reading?
The concept of mindfulness works by taking your focus to the present moment and away from other thoughts. Mindful reading is where you combine reading with mindful meditation by slowing down while reading and engaging with the text in a meaningful way. It encourages you to get lost in the book and feel a sense of peace, similar to meditation. It’s done a lot slower than your usual rushing to find out what happens next: you have a clear intention to understand the text and take your time with it.
How to practise mindfulness when reading
There is no right way to practise mindful reading, it’s whatever works for you. However, here are some popular techniques to get you started:
Meditate before reading
Practising meditation before and after reading can help you get into that peaceful state and really take in every word. You can also switch between the two by reading until you need a break, then practising some deep breathing exercises, then back to reading again.
Set an intention before reading
Setting an intention before reading is different to setting a reading goal. It helps you to focus your energy on what you want to do and writing it down can also help. Your intention can be something like ‘I want to fully understand this chapter’ or ‘I want to immerse myself in this chapter.’ It also helps to turn your phone off and put it in another room.
Read out loud
Reading out loud is a great way to read mindfully. You take in every word properly as you’re hearing it as well as reading it, helping you immerse yourself in the experience.
Set your environment
Put on some low lighting, light a candle, get into your comfy clothes. Mindful reading is where you make reading an intentional relaxing activity, not a secondary task.
Make sure to follow us on social media to keep up with our new mindfulness campaign #ReadForYourMind.
If you liked this post then read Teen Sick Lit: A genre of the greated loves turned greated tragedies or “Reading helped me understand my mental illness” Why mental health representation in books matters next.
Maddy is a journalism student who enjoys writing about culture, entertainment and the arts. If she’s not reading a book, you’ll find her listening to Taylor Swift. She’s passionate about books that reflect what’s going on in society and lead us to ask important questions about the world around us.
Favourite genres: Contemporary Fiction and Romance.