“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.”
At Wild Foods, we are big believers in the importance of the connection between mind and body. To us, fitness is as much a mental thing as it is a physical.
Our favorite way to train the mind is reading.
Reading fiction, non-fiction, essays, blogs, articles, whatever.
Reading expands one’s awareness of not only the world but of oneself as well. And that is where the true benefit lies.
Sure, it’s great to be able to be a great conversationalist—which is a benefit to being an avid reader—but it’s what you learn about yourself that provides for the greatest results.
Socrates said to, “Know thyself.” We agree.
After all, how do you find true happiness in life if you don’t know what brings you true happiness?
That’s not a trick question, not at all. It’s an absolutely necessary one, and one that you need to ask yourself.
We all struggle with knowing thyself. It’s one of the most difficult things in life.
Reading is one way we try to do this.
Of course, there are a list of other benefits that come from reading. Just do it.
For optimal physical health, move as often as possible—walk, exercise, run, lift weights, climb, crawl, swim.
For optimal mental health, exercise your brain as often as possible—read, learn, converse, experiment.
That was going to be the end of this piece, but then I stumbled on this quote:
“ Many of us are slaves to our minds. Our own mind is our worst enemy. We try to focus, and our mind wanders off. We try to keep stress at bay, but anxiety keeps us awake at night. We try to be good to the people we love, but then we forget them and put ourselves first. And when we want to change our life, we dive into spiritual practice and expect quick results, only to lose focus after the honeymoon has worn off. We return to our state of bewilderment. We're left feeling helpless and discouraged. It seems we all agree that training the body through exercise, diet, and relaxation is a good idea, but why don't we think about training our minds?”