If there is any positives to come out of the last 12 months, a lot of us have found more time to look at our physical and mental health and how we can manage both more effectively.
Meditation is one of the ways a lot of people are looking after their mental health has become a popular daily activity for many people. According to The Good Body, it is believed that between 200 and 500 million people worldwide partake in some kind of meditation.
There are many well-known benefits of meditation and people choose to practice meditating for a number of reasons. It is known to be a helpful way of combatting feelings of stress and anxiety, as it helps to clear your mind. Meditation is also known to increase creativity and imagination, whilst also allowing you to be more self-aware. The practice of meditation is often linked to mindfulness, which is the ability to be fully aware whilst letting thoughts and feelings flow through you without the need to react to them. Mindfulness is known to be a useful tool when dealing with difficult and stressful situations, and a lot of people turn to meditation to help practice mindfulness. Meditation isn’t the only way to practice mindfulness however, many people turn to walking, drawing and baking as alternative activities.
If meditation or mindfulness sound like they could be appealing to you, then take a look at some of our favourite books regarding the concepts – which will help to give you a better understanding and guide you on your journey.
The Little Book of Mindfulness: 10 Minutes a Day to Less Stress, More Peace – Patrizia Collard
This brilliant book by Patrizia Collard is an easy read which contains 40 different ways to help you be more mindful in your daily life. The book is split into 7 sections and focuses on the following topics: Being in the now, Accept and respond, making your mind up, simply be, mindful eating, gratitude and compassion, and everyday mindfulness.
If you are looking for a short book that is filled with tips on how to become more mindful in every-day life, then this could be the book for you.
The Daily Stoic – Ryan Holiday
Stoicism is a philosophy that was originally introduced by the Ancient Greeks and has produced a way of thinking that can help you lead a more carefree and accepting life. The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday guides you through the Stoic teachings and helps the reader to look at life from a different perspective. The philosophy of Stoicism surrounds the idea of accepting things as they are and not being misguided by thoughts, fears and desires.
The Daily Stoic is an insightful read for anyone that is interested in philosophy, and it can also help to give you some perspective if you are going through a difficult or challenging period. It's designed to be read daily, one page at a time as well, so it's easy to link to a meditation habit, or to read while you're brewing your morning coffee.
You Are Here – Thic Nhat Hanh
Thic Nhat Hanh is a renowned Buddhist monk that has a deep understanding of meditation and mindfulness. In his book ‘You Are Here’ he focuses on effective practices for mindfulness and introduces breathing techniques and walking exercises that can help you on your journey. The book also places a large focus on healing emotional pain and dealing with love and compassion within relationships.
‘You Are Here’ discusses traditional Buddhist teachings and applies them to modern life today. The combination of Buddhist teachings and mindfulness techniques makes this book a firm favourite of ours and is definitely worth a read.
The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle
If you have seen or listened to an Eckhart Tolle talk before, you will know how much of a fascinating speaker he is. The Power of Now is known as one of the most popular self-help books of all time, and author Eckhart Tolle takes the reader on a spiritual journey that helps them to embrace true self and be focused on the present moment.
The Power of Now has sold over 5 million copies, making it the best-selling spiritual book internationally. There’s good reason for this too, as the Power of Now helps you to focus on the present and not pay attention to the things you can’t change.
Waking Up – Sam Harris
Sam Harris is a world-renowned neuroscientist and philosopher and he is the author of Waking Up, a guide to the exploration of self. Alongside his book, Sam has also released the Waking Up app, which provides meditation techniques and theory behind the practices. Using both the Waking Up app and reading the book can give you an in depth understanding of how to be spiritual without being religious, as well as allowing you to practice meditation whilst following the authors teachings.
If meditation and mindfulness are concepts you are interested in, then it is definitely worth reading through some of the suggested books, as they will help to give you a better understanding whilst also providing you with tips regarding the best practices. Meditation and mindfulness can help improve anyone’s mental state, so it can be worth trying if you have been feeling stressed or whether you are just looking to expand your mind.