Mindfulness can be a very broad word. You can be mindful of your surroundings, others, and yourself, and many, many other things but learning how to be mindful can raise a lot of questions, especially if you’re new to mindful living.
So, let’s start with the basics. What is mindfulness? By Oxford dictionary definition it means
“a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”
But why does being mindful matter? For a start, you can learn new things. We can all lead very busy lives, we simply get into a routine and live a lot of the time in autopilot, but being mindful means opening your mind to your surroundings, you can notice new places, appreciate the sun on your skin, or even the sound of rain. It lets you appreciate the little things in life you may have paid no attention to until now.
If this sounds like something, you’d like to give a go but don’t know where to start, we’ve compiled a little reading list perfect for you to get started.
- Make Peace With Your Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You From your Inner Critic by Mark Coleman
This book is great for you if you’d like to manage that little voice in your head that holds you back from doing things by telling you, you may not be good enough. Mark Coleman is a fantastic meditation teacher and therapists, that takes you through how you can learn to manage your inner critic through mindfulness and compassion, and he also is a firm believer in practising what you preach.
- Cure: A Journey Into the Science of the Mind Over Body by Jo Marchant.
If you’re interested in the science behind how the brain can help heal the body – pick this book up. Although a lot of us are aware that stress can have negative physical impacts on the body, you rarely think about the positive impacts positive thinking can make. This is a very carefully written book full of research by award-winning science writer Marchant from all around the world. It includes all sorts of interesting topics from real-life stories about essential oils having positive impacts on immune systems to meditation helping against diseases such as dementia.
- The Now Effect: How a Mindful Moment Can Change the Rest of Your Life by Elisha Goldstein PhD
If you’d like to learn how to manage your emotions and live in the present moment Goldstein has written this book that could help you succeed in doing so. The book offers techniques to create a positive mindset, handing anxiety but also making these permanent changes that will help you live in the present and ultimately changing your life for the better in the long run.
- The Worry Trick: How Your Brain Tricks You into Expecting the Worst and What You Can Do About It by David A Carbonell PhD
Anxiety can affect anyone and it’s something that a lot of us deal with on a daily basis if this resonates with you and you’d like to find ways to better your control over it this book mind be your starting place.
Carbonell has methods that circle acceptance and commitment therapy, as opposed to trying to box your anxious thoughts. There are scientific explanations as to why you’re having these thoughts, but he then delves into how to accept the feeling whilst also overcoming them.
- Mindful Games: Sharing Mindfulness and Meditation with Children, Teens, and Families by Susan Kaiser Greenland
Mindfulness can be a really great path to a healthy and fulfilling life, which is why sometimes you may want to enjoy it with family. This book by Greenland offers fantastic fun ways to approach children with mindfulness skills they can use in their day today. It’s also a great way to boost their sensory skills, and concentration.
Whilst the content of books is important, the act of reading can also be good for you. There are little things you can do to help boost your reading time to make your 'me time' more meaningful.
One of the ways to do this is to really consider what you’d like to read. It’s not a one book fits all situation. Before you choose a book, think about what you’d like to get from it. Do you want to learn something new? It’s a lot easier to enjoy reading when you can connect to your material.
Another tip is to put down books you don’t like. Unless it’s vital curriculum material put the book down if you’re not enjoying it. Reading should be a moment of pleasure both mentally and physically. It can be more draining than relaxing if you have to push through, and in the long run, it could create bad feelings connect to the act of reading.
Developing a routine could also help – whether its 20 minutes before bed, or in your weekly long bath, make it a reoccurring thing. This helps you get into ‘the zone’ or your ‘flow’. Your brain gets used to the routine, and the mind will quieten, focusing faster every time. Letting you make the most out of your time. Smell one of our Scentered Wellbeing Ritual Aromatherapy Balms every time you read to help you establish a faster connection and set the mood.