Learn How To Live In The Moment More Fully By Reading Any Of These Books:
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Mindfulness has become a very popular term in recent years. You may think that you want to be more mindful, but how do you begin? Your life is so chaotic that it may be difficult to find time to meditate or slow things down. These 5 books on mindfulness that I have compiled can help give you the motivation and reasoning as to why mindfulness is important and helpful in improving resilience, physical health, and increasing feelings of calm.
My Top 5 Mindfulness Books:
1. Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace In A Frantic World by Mark Williams and Danny Penman
This is a great structured beginner’s plan for beginning to introduce mindfulness in your everyday life. It is based on Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) which is an evidence-based treatment utilizing mindfulness techniques. The authors begin by introducing how stress and negative thoughts affect our daily lives, and then dive into an 8-week plan increase awareness and not get stuck in negative ways of thinking. They cite many promising benefits of meditation to help you understand why it can be so effective. Each chapter that follows is then an outline for one week and includes guided meditations, examples, and a link to audio recordings of the meditations.
I would recommend this as an excellent book if you are brand new to mindfulness and would like to jump in with 10 to 20 minutes of meditation daily. It is also excellent if you have some knowledge of mindfulness and are looking for a structured program to integrate into your daily life.
This is a very powerful book on the importance of being in the present moment. “The more you are focused on time – past and future – the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.”
Eckhart Tolle begins the book by describing how he transformed from a person with suicidal depression to a person living in “deep peace and bliss.” He made this transition by being fully conscious in the present moment. My copy of this book is so highlighted and dog-eared because of how important each and every sentence is.
I recommend this book if you are feeling anxious, depressed, or lost. It is a good way to refocus on what truly matters in your life, and embrace every moment. It is also good if you are looking to refocus from feeling stressed or burnt out.
Jon Kabat-Zinn is the founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). The title of this book itself reminds us that we cannot escape ourselves. This book dives deeply into the study of the present moment. It includes many suggestions for what to “Try” at the end of chapters in order to be more fully present in the moment. He thoroughly explains how to meditate, the challenges, the why’s, and many different types of meditation. Jon reminds us that our problems do not lie externally, in our jobs, relationships, or location. Our problems are within ourselves and we must wholly face them through mindfulness.
I would recommend this book for you if you would like to dive deeply into mindfulness and self-improvement. It is helpful for those who would like to learn to be more present with difficult emotions. This book is also chock-full of small tips to practice every few pages to further deepen your mindfulness practice.
Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist. This book is an excellent beginner’s guide to mindfulness that focuses on embracing each moment. There are many examples and metaphors that he uses to illustrate his teachings. Thich Nhat Hanh encourages everybody to devote a day to mindfulness, moment by moment, while engaging in your daily activities. He also includes many exercises in mindfulness while doing things such as cleaning the house and drinking tea. Some of the themes of this book are compassion, detachment, and focus.
I recommend this book if you are interested in studying mindfulness from the perspective of a Buddhist. I would also recommend it if you are interested in integrating mindfulness into daily activities, beyond just a sitting meditation. This is a great book whether you are a beginner or experienced in mindfulness.
Yes, I have two books by Jon Kabat-Zinn on this list. This book is a giant. It describes the Mindfulness-Based Stressed Reduction program (MBSR). A large focus of this book is on the relationship between mindfulness and physical health. Jon describes that mindfulness an improve physical health, decrease inflammation, and reduce the perception of pain. In addition, a large focus is on stress. Name a type of stress and it is probably addressed in this book. This book is very detailed and includes a structure for following an MBSR program, specific exercises to follow, and helpful commentary on how to cope with our daily lives.
I would recommend this book for you if you are interested in getting a taste of an MBSR program. As I said before, this book is long at almost 700 pages, so you should be willing to commit some time to reviewing it. I would recommend this book especially if you are coping with pain, illness, or stress.
Mindfulness is a practice and can be a different experience for every person. That is why learning about it from multiple sources can be a good way to use what is most helpful and relevant to you.
Please leave a comment with your favorite books on mindfulness!