Books that will help you get mindfulness
So I wanted to share books with you that have been written to help people like us understand mindfulness, try it, get to grips with it and to practice it more once we have. All the books below are either books I’ve personally read, or have been well reviewed, or recommended to me by other people who practice mindfulness. Go forth and find the book (or books) that’s going to ring your bell and get you moving forward with mindful living…
General mindfulness books
Finding Peace in a Frantic world – by Mark Williams and Danny Penman. A practical book with a CD which offers a mindfulness programme for creating peaceful in busy lives.
Why I like this book – this is one of the ultimate mindfulness books for beginners. The CD has a different meditation for each chapter, and it covers all the different aspects of mindfulness from loving kindness through to cultivating awareness. There’s no jargon and it’s a great starter book which you can plod through at your own pace.
Mindfulness for Beginners – by Jon Kabat Zinn. With Mindfulness for Beginners you are invited to learn how to transform your relationship to the way you think, feel, love, work, and play-and thereby awaken to and embody more completely who you really are.
Why I ‘m recommending it – Jon is one of the founders of modern mindfulness, and the book is a real introduction to mindfulness. It also has a CD which is great if you’re old school like me! There are meditations to try as well as how to apply mindfulness to lots of part of your life.
A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled – by Ruby Wax. Ruby Wax shows us how to de-frazzle for good by making simple changes that give us time to breathe, reflect and live in the moment.
Why I like this book – If you like Ruby Wax as a comedienne you’re probably going to like this book. Ruby is very honest about how mindfulness helps her mental health. She has also designed a mindfulness course, in conjunction with Professor Mark Williams from the Oxford Centre for Mindfulness. So you can read about Ruby, and then do a bit of a course too. word of caution though, you’ll probably not like it if you don’t like Ruby funny, because there’s a lot of Ruby humour in the book.
The Little Book of Mindfulness – by Patricia Collard. The book is a beautifully colour-illustrated book of 40 easy ways to be mindful every day.
Why I ‘m recommending it – this is a great book if you lead a busy life, to be able to start incorporating mindfulness for a few minutes each day. It’s small, it’s pretty , you can throw it in your handbag, pick it up and put it down and still learn some good stuff about mindfulness.
The Miracle of Mindfulness – by Thich Nhat Hahn. Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh offers gentle anecdotes and practical exercise as a means of learning the skills of mindfulness–being awake and fully aware.
Why I like this book – Thich Nhat Hahn offers a more spiritual interpretation of mindfulness, but still in a really grounded, accessible way. He has a very beautiful way with words, and looks at using mindfulness and being present in really practical ways e.g. when washing the dishes.
Mindfulness for Dummies – by Shamash Alidina. Written by a professional mindfulness trainer, this practical guide covers the key self-control techniques designed to help you achieve a more focused and contented state of mind, while maximizing the health benefits of mindfulness-from reducing stress, anxiety, and high blood pressure to overcoming depression and low self-esteem and battling chronic pain and insomnia.
Includes self-control techniques (such as body posture, sitting practice and breathing exercises) and routines.
Why I like this book – I really like the For Dummies series as they’re really easy to use, and more like a workbook than a book, which is great if you want to get stuck in to mindfulness. Shamash Alidina is also a really experienced author and mindfulness teacher, and I first came across him when I read his blog, which I really enjoy reading.
I am here now is a mindfulness guide and journal in one. Created by The Mindfulness Project, with lots of exercises to become more mindful and live a mindful life, as well as information and facts about mindfulness. Try your hand at a crossword, listen to a Tara Brach meditation, complete different exercises. It’s a fun and interactive way to get more mindful!
Why I‘m recommending it – It’s not often you’ll get a book about mindfulness that’s really fun, and very simple, but this is it. If you’re really just getting to grips with mindfulness, or you want something lighter and interactive this is it. You can pick it up, put it down and there’s no difficult words!
Books on self compassion
Self Compassion – by Kristin Neff. Self Compassion recognises that we all have weaknesses and limitations, but in accepting this we can discover new ways to achieve improved self confidence, contentment and reach our highest potential. Simply, easily and compassionately.
Why I’m recommending it – Whenever I’ve done any self compassion training or reading, Kristin’s book always comes up as one of the key books to read. Using different exercises, we’re learning to swap judgement for kindness, and that’s a reason to buy it, in itself.
The Mindful Path to Self Compassion – by Christopher K Germer. This wise and eloquent book illuminates the power of self-compassion and offers creative, scientifically grounded strategies for putting it into action. You’ll master practical techniques for living more fully in the present moment — especially when hard-to-bear emotions arise — and for being kind to yourself when you need it the most. Free audio downloads of the meditation exercises are available at the author’s website: www.mindfulselfcompassion.org
Why I like this book – This was the first book I ever bought on self compassion. I like the practical strategies and the fact that it helps you deal with difficult emotions which, let’s face it, don’t just disappear when we decide to get mindful!
Books on mindful eating
Mindful Eating: A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food – by Jan Chozen Bays. This book talks about how mindfulness can help you restore the healthy relationship with food that we should have. With practical exercises, a CD with meditation on and explanations of why we end up having unhealthy relationships with food including seven types of hunger
Why I like this book – This book combines a CD with the book which makes it doubly useful. However I also like the way the book is written; it makes so much sense to me as someone who has always had overeating issues. I like the way the book talks to you, and the exercises within it.
Mindful Eating, Mindful Life – The famous mindfulness master Thich Nhat Hanh combines his mindful wisdom with nutritionist Lilian Cheung. This book includes personalised goal setting and a detailed nutrution guide combined with a mindful living guide to get you to the root cause of eating issues.
Why I’m recommending it – Thict Nhat Hanh is someone I would definitely trust to provide mindful wisdom and I like the fact this book is also written by a Harvard educated nutritionist, so it feels like there’s some nutritional science behind it too. I like the mix of mindfulness and nutrition.
specialised mindfulness books
- The Mindful way through depression – by Mark Williams. n The Mindful Way through Depression, four uniquely qualified experts explain why our usual attempts to “think” our way out of a bad mood or just “snap out of it” lead us deeper into the downward spiral.