December 21, 2021

Reading as a mindful activity

This ‘Reading as a mindful activity’ blog article was written by Pat Jewell, Program Manager in the Parenting and Early Years team, at Australian Childhood Foundation.


I have always enjoyed reading and as a child was often found with my head in a book. I read for pleasure, as a form of escape and use reading as a procrastinating technique!

I have been in a book club with the same group of friends since 1989. This group of people are very special to me as is our connection through reading the same book and then meeting in person to discuss the book. Book clubs are being described as providing mental health benefits, the opportunity to take care of self in the connection with others.

It is only during this pandemic that I have realised how important reading is to me on a completely different level. I began to read as a grounding activity. When nothing else in the world seemed safe and I was exhausted with the new world of online everything. Retreating into a book at the end of the day became my sanctuary where the world in the book was safe and secure, predictable, and satisfying.

I like the idea that reading can be seen as a mindful activity. When engrossed in a book you are focused on being in the present. Your brain is getting a break from the mental clutter of the day to day. You are not thinking about the past or worried about the future. They are for another time.

Reading as a form of mindfulness enables, at that moment, when you are immersed in another time and place, another life experience the chance to re-energise and emerge from the reading experience calm and positive.


Want to be more mindful? Try reading.