I am a very excitable person.
I also suffer from a shiny object syndrome. Yes, it is a real thing.
I need to be extremely strict with myself, even stricter than I am with my toddler. Because if I allow my excitability and shiny object syndrome to run my life... well, let's say, it will be super exciting, but also a rather painful existence. No exaggeration here. I experience physical aches when I allow my excitement to just be without controlling it even a tiny bit.
So when I discovered hot relaxing baths in the evening, my world has exploded. But when I stumbled upon meditation and mindful living movement, my world came back together, allowing me to enjoy the ride, maybe for the first time in my life.
Mindful living and regular meditation practice for me are like oxygen for my brain. They help me stay centred, motivated and inspired.
These practices allow me to plan and live my life, achieve my dreams, instead of chasing one great idea after another, finishing nothing and overwhelming my nervous system along the way.
As a psychologist, I love science and evidence-based books and articles. But as an imaginative and creative person, I also don't shy away from anything else, including woo-woo. As long as it serves its purpose and helps me to run my life instead of my chaotic alter-ego.
So don't be alarmed if after a few well-researched books you might encounter a book on crystals or aura reading. As long as I can find a few inspirational ideas - any book will do. I treat them all as teachers.
All the links (not an affiliate) are at the end of the blog post.
Here are my 10 go-to books to aid with my mindfulness and meditation practice:
1. The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down
A book by Haemin Sunim offers a collection of thoughts, ideas, recommendations and reflections on mindfulness and mindful leaving. The author is a Buddhist monk. So do expect this book to be oozing with calmness and spirituality.
I enjoy this book as it does not follow a particular structure. It moves in waves from thoughts and reflections to poems and illustrations.
You are not expected to read it in one sitting, cover to cover. Instead, you are invited to keep it on your bedside table and dip in and out when feeling that calmness is retreating.
2. Meditation Healing (Book and Card Pack)
This book is on my list of top books because it's a book that offers different types of mindfulness related techniques and meditations. The photos are inspirational and calming. The exercises are simple to follow. And as you have such a variety, you never get bored and tired. You always have something new to try out.
This book comes with a pack of cards. If instead of dipping into a book you feel like touching cards, then they can help you get a bit deeper with your meditation practice, as they allow you to sit with a particular card for as long as they feel it is needed.
3. Calm - 50 Mindfulness And Relaxation Exercises To De-Stress And Unwind
This concise book is a collection of mindfulness and relaxation exercises, and that's what I value about it. It offers a variety. I use it as a meditation - open a page at random and practice what the book recommends. The photos and illustrations are cute and adorable (little baby, bird and flowers - looking at those pictures, you instantly feel more connected to the world and the calm individual that resides within you.
4. Learn To Relax
I have had this book by Mike George for over a decade. It concentrates on easing tension and releasing stress. It also covers 24 simple exercises with simple step-by-step explanations. As well as ways to de-stress and awaken the self and the senses. I particularly like this book because the author is an experienced stress counsellor. Hence, the exercises provided work like magic, if you follow them and allow for their healing powers to take hold of your body and mind.
5. Journey Into Mindfulness
Dr Patrizia Collard has written this book-meditation to help us fully appreciate the power of mindfulness. It covers important principles in an approachable way. It also offers a variety of rituals that we could follow to learn more about mindfulness itself and the ability of our minds to be ruled by our willpower, not immediate desires. This book also covers practices about better eating habits, how to deal with anxiety, manage change and much more. I use this book when I have a particular query. It's very well-researched and insightful.
6. The Mindfulness Solution
This book by Ronald D. Siegel, PsyD is a hefty volume on mindfulness, with a collection of everyday practices for everyday problems. I listened to it as an audiobook and then purchased a hard copy as I wanted to have it in my library. The author touches upon the history of mindfulness and meditation practices in particular. It is science-based and provides a lot of evidence-based explanations as to why practising mindfulness every day is a good idea if you want to lead a happier and well-rounded life.
7. Mindful Moments for Busy Mothers
I must admit that I bought this book because of the title and the colours of the cover page. That's how shallow I am. But in all honesty, this book by Sarah Rudell Beach is exactly what it says on the cover - it's a book for busy mums. It contains daily meditations and mantras to create a calmer environment amid a constant whirlwind of the universe that is called 'being a mum of a toddler'. The book is simple to follow. It has chapters dedicated to different needs: nurture, support, savour. It is also well designed, using relaxing colours and illustrations throughout. I just like picking it and flipping through its pages. It relaxes me almost as well as meditation practice itself.
8. The Book Of Chakra Healing
I told you so! It does not get more woo-woo than this book! But don't freak out if you are all about evidence-based reads. I like this book because it offers a different view on mindfulness and meditation practice. It contains interesting and fascinating photos and illustrations. I sometimes use them as my mindfulness practice. The author also offers exercises that I find as valuable and useful as a meditation routine. All I am saying - give it a try. It might surprise you.
I know that this book by Hector Garcia and Frances Miralles does not sound like your typical mindfulness book. But it's full of useful mindfulness related thoughts and ideas, especially if you open pages at random. The way I use it, when I am slightly bored or overwhelmed with mindfulness books with rituals and exercises, I open this book at random and read a page or two. I then try to meditate about what I have just read. It also contains useful exercises and recipes, which, in their own way, could serve as a valuable mindfulness reminder - we live in a world full of people. We should learn to be mindful of our daily actions. And we should also turn non-mindfulness activities into mindfulness practices. Because why not.
10. The Power Of Now
Not a mindfulness related book you might say? I will disagree. Eckhart Tolle is the shepherd of mindfulness. He reminded us that by living in now we could improve our wellbeing and experience such a bliss that we will not need TV series or horror movies to remind us we are alive. I went a bit too philosophical there; I know. Haha. But this book, whenever I see it, reminds me to be in the now, to notice things around me and to learn from every simple daily occurrence. What is not a mindfulness practice this is?
What are your favourite mindfulness or meditation books?
Links to the books referenced in my blog post (these are not affiliate links):
5. Journey Into Mindfulness by Dr Patrizia Collard
6. The Mindfulness Solution: Everyday Practices for Everyday Problems by Ronald D. Siegel
7. Mindful Moments for Busy Mothers by Sarah Rudell Beach
8. The Book Of Chakra Healing by Liz Simpson
9. Ikigai: The Japanese secret to a long and happy life by Hector Garcia and Frances Miralles
10. The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle