• Akshita Rai Shrivastava

How Giving up on Reading Effected my Well Being



I became extremely fond of reading two years ago and since then I had made it a point to start every day with an article. Recently, I found another Hobie to get to right after my workout and it turned out to be disastrous. The entire lockdown period caused due to the pandemic has been filled with a lot of ups and downs. My decision to replace reading with watching television in the morning was the worst of them all.


How did it begin?


It started when I took up a job that I had no intention of continuing. Why I did it is a tale for another day, but what is relevant here that I did that job for an entire month. Most importantly, it required me to get up early. I hated working, so I didn’t wake up hours before my shift to get ready. I woke up half an hour prior, resulting in my morning schedule going down the drain. So, reading was now replaced by working.


After I quit the job, I was not as happy as I thought. I hoped that getting rid of working a soulless job would be more fulfilling. To my surprise it wasn’t, so I took it upon myself to make my life enjoyable henceforth. Which meant watching my favourite childhood sitcom first thing in the morning. This went on for another two months before I realised that, I haven’t read anything meaningful in 3 months and how that is destroying me.


The effect of giving up on reading


For the past 3 months, I was just doing aimless tasks without consuming any new insight. I was writing a lot but without any prior reading. As a result, my content suffered and so did my well being. I was confused and I couldn’t concentrate and I couldn’t find out why. So, I decided to binge on another show and then another until this emptiness left me. It didn’t, and I made things worse by being so engrossed in shows that I ignored my friends. I was becoming asocial and I hated that, but yet again I didn’t know why.


Realisation


I was finally out of my mystery one day. The day when I finally read again first thing in the morning without any intention to do so. I read and read until I felt alive again. I didn’t read random things, but somehow I found the material that was written for everything I was going through. I found answers to all the questions that have been feeding on my brain for months. Suddenly, all of my problems were gone and it was all because I read.


I was choosing short term pleasure for the past few months, which made me happy at the moment and miserable in the long run. I wasn’t learning anything and was just switching between Netflix, TV and my phone. I was doing all the activities that made me happy only to feel miserable. The reason this was happening is that I underestimated the power of reading on my wellbeing. I forgot that it was reading that got me out of depression and which made me start writing to process my thoughts and the reason why I started this blog.


How I learned the importance of little things like Reading





Reading in the morning motivated me to read even more throughout the day. Which helps me with not only in learning but also creating. Not utilising my energy in fixating to the television also gives me a lot of energy for the day. The best thing about reading would hand down be the fact that when I am reading, I am only thinking about reading. My mindful activity has always been and will forever be reading. Hence, giving up on reading caused me so much misery.


I am sharing this with you not to motivate you to read, but to prevent you from making the same mistake I did. There could be an activity in your life that makes a huge impact on your wellbeing and if you have suddenly lost touch with it. You might want to consider going back to the activity, especially if you love it as much as I love reading. Every human is different and your idea of a mindful moment can be miles apart from mine, but if some activity makes you forget about everything else don’t give up on it.




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