Travel Tuesday: Desert Island Beauty & Wellness - Part 7 Literature

The seventh Beauty & Wellness item I would take on my desert island adventure, if I wasn't allowed a fully loaded kindle, would be a book. It's a great way to switch off from life, get absorbed into another place and relax.

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tsu is a book that can be read again and again. Every time I read it I have grasped something else from it depending what's going on in my life. I've included a picture as there seems to be several editions printed, but this is my favourite. It was introduced to me by a friend in high school and it's been a book I've turned back to many times over the years.

If we were stuck on a desert island it would be important to still strengthen and develop our mind; reading has so many benefits for mental and physical health

Below are eight benefits of reading:

  • increases your vocabulary and comprehension - did you know that children who have over 20 books at home achieve 3 more years of schooling that those who don't?!

  • improves brain connectivity - Emery University's study Brain Connectivity proves that reading improves memory and critical thinking

  • empowers you to empathy - Emery University published a study called Brain Connectivity, which states that when a person reads fiction their ability to empathise improves.

  • aids in sleep readiness and relaxation - in a study, Cognitive Neuropsychologist Dr David Lewis found that 'reading worked best' to help prepare people for relaxation and sleep

  • reduces stress - reading for 6 minutes a day reduces stress by 68% (Mindlab International at Sussex University)

  • lowers blood pressure and heart rate

  • fights depression symptoms and improves wellbeing - researchers in the UK have found that book clubs can help people engage with others and share social engagement, providing a good support network and better quality of life.

  • prevents cognitive decline as you age - if you read for 20 minutes a day, you will learn 1,800,000 words a year and exercising your brain keeps you younger - yes please!

Consumer Behavior Researcher Cristel Russell states, "rereading is especially good for you. In a study about 're-consumption' — the practice of rereading a book, rewatching a movie, etc. The researchers found that re-consumption is not merely a nostalgic attempt to retrieve the past, but rather an active search for new meaning, and one that has great emotional value."

Researchers have found that people who engage in a book for a second time weren't just looking to enjoy their favorite book or film over again, but were instead trying to find new meaning in them. By revisiting something familiar, a new perspective is obtained along with therapeutic benefits and an opportunity for self-reflection.

Reading is the ultimate form of self-care. What's your favourite book, a book that you can read again and again, yet gain new insight from each read?

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