6 Science-Backed Reasons To Go Read A Book Right Now


Source: Huffingtonpost.com
Laura Schocker
October 12, 2013

In a world of omnipresent screens, it can be easy to forget the simple pleasure of curling up with a good book. In fact, a HuffPost/YouGov poll of 1,000 U.S. adults found that 28 percent hadn’t read one at all in the past year.

But the truth is that reading books can be more than entertainment or a high school English assignment. A study released earlier this month suggests that enjoying literature might help strengthen your “mind-reading” abilities. The research, published in the journal Science, showed that reading literary works (though, interestingly, not popular fiction) cultivates a skill known as “theory of mind,” which NPR describes as the “ability to ‘read’ the thoughts and feelings of others.”

And that’s hardly the only way being a bookworm can boost your mind and well-being. Below, six more science-backed reasons to swap the remote for a novel.

reading canva

Reading can chill you out.

Stressed out? Pick up a paperback. Research conducted in 2009 at the University of Sussex showed that reading was the most effective way to overcome stress, beating out old favorites such as listening to music, enjoying a cup of tea or coffee and even taking a walk, The Telegraph reported when the findings were released. Measured by evaluating heart rate and muscle tension, it took the study participants just six minutes to relax once they started turning pages.

“It really doesn’t matter what book you read, by losing yourself in a thoroughly engrossing book you can escape from the worries and stresses of the everyday world and spend a while exploring the domain of the author’s imagination,” study researcher Dr. David Lewis told The Telegraph.

It could help keep your brain sharp.

meaningful work

A lifetime of reading might just help keep your brain in shape when you reach old age, according to research published in the online issue of the journal Neurology. The study, which included 294 participants who died at an average age of 89, found that those who engaged in mentally stimulating activities, such as reading, earlier and later on in life experienced slower memory decline compared to those who didn’t. In particular, people who exercised their minds later in life had a 32 percent lower rate of mental decline compared to their peers with average mental activity. The rate of decline amongst those with infrequent mental activity, on the other hand, was 48 percent faster than the average group.

“Our study suggests that exercising your brain by taking part in activities such as these across a person’s lifetime, from childhood through old age, is important for brain health in old age,” study author Robert. S. Wilson of the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago said in a statement. “Based on this, we shouldn’t underestimate the effects of everyday activities, such as reading and writing, on our children, ourselves and our parents or grandparents.”

And it might even stave off Alzheimer’s disease.

According to research published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2001, adults who engage in hobbies that involve the brain, like reading or puzzles, are less likely to have Alzheimer’s disease, USA Today reported at the time. However, the researchers identified only an association, not a cause-and-effect relationship: “These findings may be because inactivity is a risk factor for the disease or because inactivity is a reflection of very early subclinical effects of the disease, or both,” they wrote in the study.

“The brain is an organ just like every other organ in the body. It ages in regard to how it is used,” lead author Dr. Robert P. Friedland told USA Today. “Just as physical activity strengthens the heart, muscles and bones, intellectual activity strengthens the brain against disease.”

Reading may help you sleep better.

summer reading

Many sleep experts recommend establishing a regular de-stressing routine before bed to calm your mind and cue your body up for shut-eye — and reading can be a great way to do so (as long as the book isn’t a page-turner that’ll keep you up all night). Bright lights, including those from electronic devices, signal to the brain that it’s time to wake up, meaning reading your book under a dim light is a better bedside bet than a laptop.

Getting lost in a good book could also make you more empathetic.

According to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE, losing yourself in a work of fiction might actually increase your empathy. Researchers in the Netherlands designed two experiments that showed that people who were “emotionally transported” by a work of fiction experienced boosts in empathy.

“In two experimental studies, we were able to show that self-reported empathic skills significantly changed over the course of one week for readers of a fictional story by fiction authors Arthur Conan Doyle or José Saramago,” they wrote in the findings. “More specifically, highly transported readers of Doyle became more empathic, while non-transported readers of both Doyle and Saramago became less empathic.”

So go ahead, let yourself get caught up in a particularly compelling story, or swept away by a powerful character — it’s good for you!

Self-help books, on the other hand, can ease depression.

depression

Self-help books may really help you help yourself. A study published in the journal PLOS ONE showed that reading self-help books (also called “bibliotherapy”), combined with support sessions on how to use them, was linked with lower levels of depression after a year compared to patients who received typical treatments. “We found this had a really significant clinical impact and the findings are very encouraging,” study author Christopher Williams of the University of Glasgow told the BBC. “Depression saps people’s motivation and makes it hard to believe change is possible.”

Self-help books may even work in cases of severe depression. According to a University of Manchester meta-analysis published in 2013, people with severe depression can benefit from “low-intensity interventions,” including self-help books and interactive websites, as much or more than those who are less severely depressed.

Read More At: HuffingtonPost.com

Book Review: Speed – Facing Our Addiction To Fast & Faster And Overcoming Our Fear Of Slowing Down by Dr. Stephanie Brown Ph.D.

Speed
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
March 26, 2017

Speed – Facing Our Addiction To Fast & Faster And Overcoming Our Fear Of Slowing Down by Dr.  Stephanie Brown Ph.D. is a thought-provoking and timely book.  The author’s premise is that society is addicted to the fast-paced-no-matter-the-consequences type of lifestyle and this has caused many individuals to become addicted to the high speed of modern times.

This book is split up into two parts.  Part one covers much of what addiction entails and how this modern issue has come about.  Part two offers a pragmatic approach for individuals to regain control of their life by employing proactive solutions.   However, initially, the individual must be willing to change.  Without the acceptance of a problem, no solution can ever be had, no matter how perfect that solution may be.

With a sensible and practical approach, Brown not only shows a healthy dose of examples about how addiction to speed plays out in everyday life, but also hones in on many things individuals can do to take back control of their life.

Streamlining her approach using the concept of AA, Brown carries out a veritable top-down, user-friendly [syn.] process in which individuals can be their best helpers, become their best selves.  Not only does the author consistently speak about the perils of instant gratification that modern fast-paced life brings about, but she’s also cognizant of the limits that we all have.  But mainly, Brown makes it a point to show why the immediate access to information [i.e. phones, cpus, google, etc.] has made many individuals addicts more than they know.

Dr. Brown herself cautions that the addiction to Speed:

“…is outstripping people’s ability to manage, to fulfill all of their responsibilities, and even to cope.  The idea that we literally have at our fingertips the tools to do so much more than we actually have the capacity to do well has created an impossible bind that leads to chronic stress and a sense of failure.  You do not have the ability to be on 24/7 like a computer, but you believe you should be able to keep going, and that you will be able to do so if you only try harder.  And so you push yourself incessantly, creating an addictive spiral.”[1]

Likewise, this kind of addiction has spawned what is called dichotomous thinking, which is best exemplified by:

“The belief that you are either a success or failure, a winner or loser, will drive you to stay in motion.  If you are caught in dichotomous thinking, you might think you are being asked to embrace the opposite of frenzied speed with no limits.  You’ll tried to do everything before you so you’ll do nothing.  This thinking, often believed to be the way smart people operate, is actually false and dangerous when you’re growing up living in a complex world.  Very few complicated decisions can be boiled down to yes or not without careful thought to multiple factors involved and the potential costs.”[2]

Such are the perils part of modern fast-paced society is fraught with, and individuals that need help, if they are to regain control of their lives, not only need to pump the breaks, but need to reset – create a whole new approach.

Dr. Brown doesn’t pretend that it’s going to be easy either, as she cautious the reader to be mindful of the fact that relapse does take place.   That said, being cognizant of what to expect is one way to be ready for what life throws at you, and those preparations will definitely help bring about change as long as one stays the course.

All in all, although the book can be quite repetitive at times given that it speaks of addiction, it does have ample information from which individuals can gain insights from.  In a world where nigh nobody ever stops to take a deep breath, and smelling the roses might make some people give an individual askance glances,  we stand much to gain from the knowing of this book.

If part of society doesn’t realize that the go-go-go fast-paced life that never stops for anything has addiction at its core, then it stands to bottom out once it blindly torpedoes into the next obstacle.  That’s why it would be prudent to keep in mind the information in this book, because odds are we ALL know at least ONE person, if not many, that would benefit from this information.
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Footnotes:

[1]  Dr.  Stephanie Brown Ph.D., Speed – Facing Our Addiction To Fast & Faster And Overcoming Our Fear Of Slowing Down, p. 5.
[2]  Ibid., p. 277.

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This article is free and open source. You are encouraged and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
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About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

Book Review: Art Of War

art-of-war

TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
December 12, 2016

The Art Of War & Other Classics Of Easter Philosophy showcases some of the most timeless and meaningful eastern philosophical classics to exist.  The best part is that the book is as beautiful outside as the knowledge is endless in the inside.

With ivory white paper, and a solid binding and spine to boot, the Cantebury Classics offer a LOT of value in a leatherbound book.   In fact, out of all the Cantebery Classics its hands down my favorite one –  aesthetically pleasing and content-wise.

To get a broader perspective of what the book contains, the Table Of Content Follows:

The Art Of War [Without Commentary]
The Art Of War [With Commentary]
The Tao Te Ching
Confucius Analects
The Great Learning
The Doctrine Of The Mean
The Works Of Mencius

Having recently read the Tao Te Ching and Confucius’ Analects, it was a pleasant surprise to see them here again.

The gems of wisdom contained in those books is much to ruminate upon, so having those books, along with The Art Of War and others was just like having Christmas seven days in a row.

If you are interested in any of the above books and also plan to venture into the other books covered in the table of contents sometime, do yourself a favor and get this book.  You will NOT regret it.  It will also save you money when you add the prices of all six works.  Even if purchased all used they will cost more than this one.

Having been given multiple copies of Art of War it still didn’t detract me from getting this one.  Wouldn’t hesitate getting one again, and in fact am considering purchasing one for posterity’s sake since this one’s getting highlighted and written upon with notes to the hilt.

The smorgasbord of insights within the pages in this book is as lucid as it is prodigious.

And for the record, for those curious, the picture looks kind of flat on Amazon.  In person, this cover is much more beautiful and vibrant.

Rose: Recovery from Depression after 25 Years of Psychiatric Medication

Source: Dr. Kelly Brogan M.D.
November 4, 2016

Dr. Kelly Brogan sits with one of her patients, Rose, as they discuss Rose’s journey through depression and 25 years of psychiatric medication. http://kellybroganmd.com/rose-recover…

For a review of her landmark book, A Mind Of Your Own, please read this.