In its most basic form, mindfulness is the ability to present in the moment while being fully aware of where we are and what we’re doing while not becoming overwhelmed by the things happening around us. This is easier said than done. We live in a world where we are constantly stimulated and distracted whether it be by a text message, unusual noises outside, or co-workers speaking loudly around you.
It can be hard to be fully present and not be thinking about your to-do list or anything else that may cause a person stress. So how do we combat these stressors and distractors in a time when everything seems to have the sole purpose of adding stress or stealing focus? By practicing mindfulness, you can reduce stress, be more focused, and engage more with others. Whether it is a breathing exercise, incorporating yoga into your life, or finding a new way to relieve stress, there are many different ways using mindfulness can improve your life. Here are a few great books to get you started.
10% Happier by Dan Harris
This book relates the way the author incorporated meditation to increase his compassion and sense of fulfillment in his life.
The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer
Everyone is their own biggest critic and has undoubtedly struggled with the constant voice inside their head rambling about this and that. This book helps its readers get out of their heads and realize that thoughts, however odd or unappealing, do not define who you are.
Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn
The author does an incredible job of explaining mindfulness while showing readers how to be comfortable in their own skin and with their thoughts while letting go of negative aspects of their lives.
The Headspace Guide to Meditation and Mindfulness: How Mindfulness Can Change Your Life in Ten Minutes a Day by Andy Puddicombe
This is the perfect starter book for those hoping to incorporate a little bit more mindfulness on a daily basis. The author is a former Buddhist monk and shows how everyday people with lots on their plates can incorporate mindfulness within a short period.
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.
While some books try to beat you over the head with why mindfulness is right for you, this book subtlely provides you with a guide for living a mindful life and imparts the four fundamental values of not taking anything personally, not making assumptions, be truthful, and always do your best.
Mindfulness: An Eight Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Mark Williams and Danny Penman
If you’re the type of person who likes a plan and lots of structure this book may help you with your mindfulness journey. Each day the book guides its readers on simple steps to take to reduce the stress of everyday life.
The Power of Now by Eckart Tolle
While this book does not provide anything groundbreakingly new, it does offer more insight into the practice of living in the now, which is a concept with which many beginners struggle.
The Mindful Path Through Worry and Rumination: Letting Go of Anxious and Depressive Thoughts by Sameet Kumar.
Readers will find this book exceptionally interesting if they also suffer from anxiety and depression. The book is highly relatable and focuses on disrupting destructive thoughts and tendencies to live a healthier and happier life.
Self Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind To Yourself by Kristin Neff.
We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t think something negative about ourselves at one point or another. This book delves into how to let go of debilitating self-judgment to gradually learn to be kind to ourselves, especially in difficult circumstances.
The Craving Mind by Judson Brewer
This book puts a new spin on mindfulness by showing readers how addiction can be managed or removed by identifying the triggers of addiction and combating them with mindful practices.
You Are Not Your Pain by Vidyamala Burch and Danny Penman
While this book is more specifically geared towards those relieving those who suffer from severe physical pain, the basic training in mindfulness is a valuable lesson for everyone.
I Need Your Love–Is That True? By Byron Katie
The author is masterful in his way of showing readers how to transition to a productive and non-manipulative way of connecting with and loving others. The book tackles subjects such as how to not live in fear and shows ways readers can battle depression and loneliness.
Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom by Rick Hanson
This book focuses more on the science behind why mindfulness works by exploring the neuroscience of how thoughts can sculpt the brain and influence you on a daily basis.