Have you ever spent time online, and then been unable to recall most of what you read? That's what happens when you consume large amounts of disparate information in a relatively short space of time. During one online session, many of us will consume more information than our ancestors would have consumed over several weeks.
This steady stream of incoming information can easily become mentally exhausting. And much of the time, it distracts us while providing little in the way of substance and value.
Leaving the online world and spending time in a book can do wonders for your mental and physical health. Here are 3 compelling reasons to get offline and into a good book.
1. Disparate Information vs. Meaningful Knowledge
Good books don't just provide bits and pieces of information; they're a source of meaningful knowledge. They offer depth and breadth. Good books are timeless; they can be read repeatedly. In fact, they often provide even more knowledge on subsequent readings, as you spot things you missed the first time around.
Sure, you'll need to invest more time, discipline, and concentration than it takes to read a 5-minute soundbite online, but the pay-off is worth it. You'll come away with useful, relevant knowledge that you can draw on. And far from forgetting what you've read immediately afterwards, a true classic will leave a lasting, perhaps even life-changing, impression.
2. Less Exposure to EMFs (Electromagnetic Fields)
Everyone should be concerned about the potentially harmful effect that exposure to EMFs are having on us. It's been known for decades that electrical currents associated with EMFs are able to dramatically affect biological processes. With that in mind, consider that you have countless tiny electrical currents constantly firing within your body. Nerve signal transmissions, biochemical reactions from digestion, brain activity, and even your heart are all electrically active. EMFs have the potential to impact all of those processes, and more.
What are the long-term, cumulative effects of all this exposure? No-one can say for certain, since we've never been exposed to the EMF levels that we're experiencing today. What we do know, however, is that there's a cumulative affect on the body. In addition, some individuals will naturally be more sensitive than others and more susceptible to ill effects.
We're continually exposed to EMFs every day – this is largely unavoidable, given that our modern world runs on electricity. In recent years, this exposure has increased tremendously due to people's constant and direct physical contact with electronic devices. Getting offline and picking up a hard-copy book is one way you can reduce your EMF exposure in order to protect your health and well-being.
3. A Better Night's Sleep
With its steady flow of information and feedback, the online environment is both highly stimulating and highly addictive. Having your mind wound up in this way is hardly conductive to a good night's rest.
The blue light from electronic devices is also an issue when it comes to sleep, due to its impact on your body's production of the hormone melatonin. Increased melatonin production signals to your body that it's night-time (and, consequently, time to go sleep.) Blue light throws off your sleep patterns by suppressing your body's production of melatonin.
Turning off your devices a few hours before you plan to turn in will help your body adhere to its natural wake-sleep cycle. Spending some of that time reading will provide added benefit, by helping you shift your focus from the worries of the day. As you read, your mind slows down and enters into a less agitated and more relaxed state, leaving you better prepared to drift off to sleep.
On top of the above benefits, good books, whether fiction or non-fiction, can allow us to travel back in time. This has enormous value, as it provides context and a different viewpoint from what we're routinely exposed to. Whereas much of the information we consume online is churned out rapidly and focused on recent events, books that were written decades or centuries ago can change your perspective, enabling you to connect the dots of life and human behaviour in unique and important ways.
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