When it comes to peace of mind the advantages of reading can be very underrated. Reading slows down the pace of life. It creates an oasis in the desert of our lives. It gives us the time to sit quietly and breathe, activities known to calm shattered nerves.
But, to be effective in developing inner peace, our reading must not be hurried. Take time over it. Savour the words and phrases. We need to imagine ourselves in the scene. Even if our reading material is academic we can still drift into the picture by imagining that we are explaining the material to someone else.
Most importantly, spending time reading forces us to spend time on ourselves without the distractions of pampering to other people. This does not have to make us selfish. Bringing peace and calm to our own lives gives us the strength to radiate that peace to others. How?
When we are not anxious we are in a better position to be in control of any situation. And such control reduces our own anxiety. It’s a wonderful spiral to be in. That spiral then becomes a vortex, pulling our companions in and helping them to see that things are seldom as bad as we might think. And, if others around us are too stressed to find the way out, we are better able to offer the leadership that they need to find their own path.
Reading also gives us something on which to meditate, rather than letting our minds drift aimlessly. We learn new skills and principles that we can utilise in our daily lives.
One word of caution, though. To be refreshing and beneficial our reading must be of the best quality. Read material that makes you think; that challenges you to change; upbuilding material. Don’t read anything that will incite the wrong emotions. Especially do not read material that encourages anger, violence, or depravity. These things only add stress.
So, read widely and often. Try to spend some time each day reading upbuilding material. And feel the peace that develops in your own life and in the lives of those around you.