You’ve probably been encouraged to read more at some point in your life, but did you know that reading can have long-lasting positive effects on the way your brain functions? Reading has been shown to be a fantastic workout for your brain in improving communication and memory. Because so many brain functions are activated when you’re reading, the increase in sustained brain activity can not only train your brain in processing narratives, it also keeps your memory sharp and increases your attention span. Just think of it like lifting weights for your mind. Reading is also so helpful for lowering stress levels. In 2009, a research study showed that 30 minutes of reading lowered stress just as well as yoga or humor did. So if you’re not feeling up to that morning yoga practice, pick up a book instead — your mind and body will be grateful.
Reading is something I deeply value and encourage in my clients as well. It’s helped educate me, teach me about myself, and strengthen my mind — so I wanted to share 3 books that have been impactful for me:
1. Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie
I send this book to every single one of my one-on-one clients, because it has played a huge role in my development! It’s a collection of daily meditations that are great little snippets to boost morale and help you along the path to spiritual growth. Melody Beattie just makes the world come alive with possibility — and sitting with her writing is the best way to start your day, connect with yourself and the world around you.
2. Becoming Supernatural by Joe Dispenza
I’m reading this right now — and am loving all of the neuroscience-backed material! This is perfect for the science nerd. It’s a great mixture between scientific information and ancient wisdom — showing you how to rewire your mind to live a more expansive, mystical life. Super recommend!
3. The Book of Delights by Ross Gay
Ross Gay is a treasure — as is this book of short essays. He wrote this book as a year-long meditation in making space for, noticing and documenting delight. Sometimes it’s delight in painful things, sometimes it’s in easy-to-enjoy things. He mainly just trains himself to see the beauty around him and experience gratitude for it all — and it’s very effective in inspiring the same in the person reading it.