Mindfulness is a word that we hear a lot nowadays, but many of us don’t really know what it means. Mindfulness is all about being in the present moment and acknowledging your internal and external experiences free from judgement. In order to explore the world of mindfulness and how it can impact our lives, we’ve turned to books! From mindful lifestyle guides to insights into personal experiences, we have chosen our top five mindfulness books.
The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down, Haemin Sunim
Haemin Sunim is a Buddhist monk who has gained a huge following all around the world. A teacher of Zen meditation, Sunim’s guidance is not only highly accessible for all people but also has inclusivity at its core. The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down is a collection of Haemin Sunim’s teachings complemented by beautiful illustrations.
We know the world only through the window of our mind. When our mind is noisy, the world is as well. And when our mind is peaceful, the world is, too. Knowing our minds is just as important as trying to change the world.Haemin Sunim
This book came after Sunim’s popularity grew on social media. He responded to people asking for help and advice on a whole host of different areas of life. His replies received great attention which turned into admiration for this monk’s views on life and approach to hardships. Though the messages in the book are not as personal as a direct tweet for individual issues, the words resonate strongly with every person who reads them. The Things You Can Only See… speaks to the human condition, reminding us of the benefits of slowing down.
Happy, Fearne Cotton
As one of the nation’s favourite TV presenters, Fearne Cotton is a trusted person whose life and experiences feel entirely authentic. Her book Happy reveals another layer of herself, sharing personal experiences and issues she’s facing with her own mental health. Her honest retellings of difficult situations that have challenged her wellbeing are very relatable.
But if we are to find real and lasting happiness in our lives we need to abandon our obsession with hunting the highs and resisting the lows and discover the hidden secrets of the ‘calm’.Fearne Cotton
The narrative in Fearne Cotton’s Happy breaks up wonderful workbook-style activities to participate in. These range from physical tasks to writing exercises to mental visualisations. All these tips and tricks slot wonderfully into building up a daily routine, as well as picking and choosing things to work on as and when stress or anxiety begins to build up. The most significant part of Happy is the active acknowledgement of what really makes you happy – it’s usually the littlest things!
Mindfulness, Mark Williams and Danny Penman
This book’s full title is Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World. A worldwide bestseller, this book is often quoted as a literal life-changer and even a life-saver. This book presents a programme developed by renowned psychologists which aims to provide something beyond and understanding of mindfulness principles. The programme encourages a reconfiguration of mentality. Based on cognitive therapy, practical exercises explore actions and routines, challenges beliefs, and encourages the examining of one’s own thoughts. Check out this extract of a one-minute meditation and give it a try!
A Mindful Guide for the Frazzled – Ruby Wax
Comedian Ruby Wax has been an avid campaigner for mental health for decades. After using the programme of Mark Williams (above) and completing a Masters degree in Mindful Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) from Oxford University, Ruby Wax wrote A Mindful Guide for the Frazzled. The book is educational, practical, raw, and downright hilarious in parts, which is often exactly what we need in times of despair. Ruby Wax shares her own six-week programme in mindfulness which she has developed to reach people on a wide scale, in an easy-to-digest, personable manner.
We need to wake up and notice the signals that our minds and bodies are giving usRuby Wax
In learning about what stress is, we can learn to approach its origins and tackle it when things begin to feel overwhelming – how to de-frazzle. Aside from all the excellent practical advice on reflecting and living in the now, Ruby Wax’s voice really comes through in her writing, which makes ‘Frazzled’ a joy to read.
Mindfulness Pocketbook, Gill Hasson
Small but without a doubt mighty, Gill Hasson’s pocketbook of Mindfulness might be just what you need. This book is ideal for both those who are well-versed in mindfulness but need a little inspiration as well as those who are trying mindfulness in practice for the first time. The Mindfulness Pocketbook is exactly that – a book small enough to take anywhere, filled with more than 100 exercises. Each exercise targets a different aspect of life and thought, from ‘making small talk’ to ‘practising compassion’, and even ‘cooking and connecting with food’.
Mindfulness isn’t a set of instructions. It’s simply a framework of guiding principles to help provide perspective, focus and calm progress in the big events in your life and the ordinary moments and activities – the comings and goings of your daily life.Gill Hasson
The way you choose to work through this pocket guide is up to you. You could practice a new mindfulness exercise daily, or perhaps pick out a specific activity to help face a particular struggle The best thing about the Mindfulness Pocketbook is that the exercises don’t run out. You can repeat them over and over, whenever you need them, wherever you are in your life. Also, you can use and develop the techniques shown to fit your personal needs.
Are you interested in exploring mindfulness? Check out our range of books on mindfulness and meditation here. There you will find all of our top five mindfulness books and many, many more.
What do you think of our top five mindfulness books? Which book would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments below.