Are sugar cravings anyway related to reading? Let’s find out here. You might be thinking that fiction has been dying slowly with all those articles available on the Internet, including memes and podcasts. But, that is not the case!
Fortunately, fiction is back again and in a big way with an all-new purpose. Celebrities are now picking up their favorite novels and asking their fans to do the same. Oprah Winfrey’s famed book club and the one led by Reese Witherspoon, an American actress, are among some popular clubs that are encouraging people to read more and more.
If you regularly find books stashed around your city’s subway, it might be a work of someone, who is trying to compel people to read, which in turn, would help them to empower themselves more for the rest of their life.
All across the globe, people are gathering to read and discuss books. Surprisingly, the benefits of reading aren’t just speculative but are also backed by science.
How is Reading A Mindfulness Practice?
While meditation and mindfulness have become a trending topic in the wellness webspace, reading hasn’t been widely acknowledged as a form of mindfulness. If you indulge in various other entertainment platforms that consume multiple senses, you can still multitask easily and understand what they are trying to convey.
Reading, on the other hand, requires your full attention and concentration. If your mind suddenly drifts away from the words while reading, you will have to again find your way back to that position, from where, you have to make sense out of those words.
Now, replace the words on that page with a suitable mantra and all you have got is the very basis of Transcendental or Vedic Meditation. You should sit and carefully read one book for around 20 minutes rather than skimming through different articles.
This is equivalent to engaging in a 20-minute meditation session. Amazingly, you will reap myriads of benefits from this practice, including reduced inflammation, becoming more empathetic, increased immunity and more.
Besides being a form of mindfulness, reading also helps in building the neuro-networks, which somehow improves our life in many ways, including significant reduction in sugar cravings.
David Perlmutter, M.D., explains that all humans have a sweet tooth, which is primarily an ancestral trait that helps humans to survive. He further states that we cater to our sweet tooth every single hour of the day and every single day of the year.
Obesity is an inevitable consequence if we keep on fulfilling the demands of our sweet tooth. While we try to stimulate the reward part our brain with sugar, we somehow strengthen the pathway to those reward areas of our brains that are directly involved with a neurotransmitter, known as dopamine. This in turn distances us from connecting to the parts of our brain that are not specifically involved in rewarding us from moment to moment, but are considerably involved in our ability to empathize, to plan for long-term periods, to understand long-term results of our daily choices.
We, unfortunately, live in a society, where we cater reward system of our brain, i.e., basically rewarding us moment to moment. If we strengthen the parts of our brain that are involved in making us more empathetic – like reading fiction has shown to do – we would eventually weaken the neural pathways to the reward areas that make us crave for anything sweet or sugary.
Reading can also help in preventing Alzheimer’s. A study, conducted at the University of Sussex, revealed that reading reduced stress by 68%, much more than listening music (61%), having tea (54%) or walking (42%).
We hope you would now download your favorite genre from the online bookstore or buy one and start reading. What awaits is a fitter you.