Relaxation comes naturally to the lucky among us. The rest of us mere mortals have to work hard to stay present and calm every day. Fortunately, there is an answer. Boosting your mindfulness could be as easy as flipping open a book. If you’re new to this practice, reading about how it works and getting some handy advice is the first step. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best mindfulness books and why you should read them.
1. The Mindful Day – Laurie J. Cameron
If your lifestyle is feeling a tad hectic, finding the time to slow down and be present can be tough. Luckily, this first book has you covered. Combining neuroscience and positive psychology, The Mindful Day is a simple introductory guide to the realms of mindfulness. The easy-to-grasp book is packed with all the advice you need to introduce mindfulness into your life, no matter how many things you currently have on your figurative plate.
Author Laurie J. Cameron has spent twenty years working as a mindfulness meditation practitioner, making her the perfect person to distil its mysteries. Should you be looking for straightforward ways to become more mindful in your everyday life, this best-selling book may be the guide for you. There’s no room for wishy-washy advice here. From how to lead mindful meetings in the workplace to how to eat breakfast mindfully, each tip is golden.
2. The Little Book of Mindfulness – Dr. Patrizia Collard
Short and sweet, The Little Book of Mindfulness is what it says on the tin. At under 100 pages, the bite-size guide is perfect for keeping in your desk at work or slipping in your bag. Throughout the book, Dr. Patrizia Collard offers a selection of five or 10-minute practices you can try for yourself. The next time you need a little more ‘zen’ in your life, flick to a random page of the guide and follow the activity that you find in there. It couldn’t be easier.
There’s a whole selection of practices you can choose from. Whether you want to try a full body scan (it’s not as medical as it sounds!) or working on your self-compassion, there’s something in the book for you. What’s more, the tasks are split up into handy sections from ‘Being in the Now’ and ‘Mindful Eating’ to bigger topics, such as ‘Gratitude and Compassion’.
3. The Resilience Toolkit — Linda Graham
Picture the scene: You sleep through your alarm, realise there’s no coffee in, miss the bus, and end up missing an important meeting. Simply put, the day is not off to the best start. While you can’t control what happens to you, you can control how you react. That’s what resilience is all about. Fusing elements of mindfulness with a balanced approach to stress, it means that you can manage whatever life has to throw at you without losing it.
Luckily, this is a personality trait you can master over time, with a little work. The Resilience Toolkit by Linda Graham should help you do just that. Filled with a load of practices you can use when life’s little stresses get you down, the book is an actionable guide. Whatever crisis you’re currently facing, there’s sure to be a chapter that will help you weather the storm. Highlights include tactics to manage relationship stress and banish negative thoughts.
4. What Now? — Yael Shy
Whether you’re in your early twenties or beyond, What Now? is a worthwhile mindfulness book. Filled with everything from the Buddhist framework of meditation to real-life mindfulness practices you can try for yourself, the guide is ideal for mindfulness newbies. While it’s aimed specifically at young adults navigating newfound responsibilities and the anxiety that comes with that, the book has something for readers of all age ranges.
Author Yael Shy knows better than anyone the struggles that come with early adulthood. When she was in college, she battled extreme anxiety which led her to start meditating. Flash forward in time and she helped start the MindfulNYU program for students just like her. Within her book, you will find a mixture of theory, advice, and activities to get you started.
5. The Art of Rest — Claudia Hammond
When was the last time you felt well-rested? Between working hard, seeing your friends, and managing other commitments, you may not have all that much time to chill out. Forget a holiday on a tropical beach. Simply taking the time to calm down and still your mind could be the break you need. Increasing your everyday mindfulness could lower your stress levels.
If you’re ready to boost your relaxation game, The Art of Rest is a smart place to start. Shortlisted for the British Psychological Society Book Award for Popular Science, the guide is based on Claudia Hammond’s research ‘The Rest Test’. The survey of 18,000 in 135 different countries revealed a strong link between rest and our well-being. Within the book, the author lays out the science on restfulness and gives advice on how to use it in your life.
There are plenty of ways to learn more about mindfulness—from engaging podcasts to apps. However, if you’re a self-confessed reader, diving into a guide is sure to suit you. Now that you’re well-versed in the best mindfulness books out there, why not get reading?