Some of the best mindfulness books of 2022
Mindfulness is an ever-expanding self-help niche. And why wouldn’t it be? As our lives get busier, our mental and physical health, and wellbeing are put to the test. It’s understood that mindfulness can add value to our quality of life, by reducing stress levels, helping us to stay in the present moment and find ways to relax. It provides a practical pathway through the everyday hustle, allowing us to acknowledge our negative emotions without letting them control us. Mindfulness is like a salve to our modern-day demands and ailments, and can help us get through all the craziness with a bit more ease.
There is an abundance of mindfulness books on offer today. But where to start? Let’s help break it down a bit, by starting with a list of some of the best books and brightest authors, so you can focus on your needs for a moment and start your mindfulness journey with ease!
Jon Kabat-Zinn is a well-known ‘guru’ and viewed as the founder of contemporary mindfulness. His book, ‘Wherever You Go, There You Are‘, first published in 1994, is still a go-to introductory text for practicing mindfulness in daily life. It provides a helpful overview of mindfulness concepts to readers, and explores the value of concentration and how it helps us to stay present. Each chapter is short and self-contained, and given substance with his own personal stories. Jon presents the guided exercises, which are designed to suit newbies. The “Guided Mindfulness Meditation Series 2” audiobook of exercises, compliments the book. Another of Jon’s books, ‘Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness’, is known for bringing mindfulness into the clinical realm.
THICH NHAT HANH
Thich Nhat Hanh is a Buddhist monk who brought mindfulness to the West. His book ‘The Miracle of Mindfulness’ was first published in 1975, and is now understood to be a classic read in mindfulness. Its known for its endearing, light-hearted tone and sense of humour, and includes some beautiful drawings throughout. Is easy to read and understand and offers lovely exercises and storytelling. He covers ways to mindfully approach your actions during each day, including how you act, speak and work. Some of the exercises, include; “following the breath while in conversation”, “a slow-motion bath” and “washing the dishes”. Check out his website Plum Village to access meditations or further exercises to enhance your practice using Thich Nhat Hanh’s methods.
Matthew Sockolov is a well-known meditation teacher in the USA. His book, ‘Practicing Mindfulness’ was published in 2018 and offers a collection of seventy-five short exercises. These exercises are simple and accessible, ranging from 5 to 20 minutes in length. If you are seeking to overcome stress and mental health issues, this book will help you on your mindfulness journey and practical way to start to integrate mindfulness into every day. As the reader progresses through the exercises, they may find a handful of practices they are drawn to. It’s worthwhile discovering the breadth of possible meditations here, for newbies who are finding their way, or to broaden an existing practice.
Kristin Neff is a world leader in self-compassion. Self-compassion is a key part of mindfulness and is about being kinder and gentler with yourself. In her book, ‘Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind’, Kristin takes readers through how to manage negative self-talk and its impact, in order to live a happier, healthier and more effective life. If you tend to judge yourself harshly or are prone to critical thinking, then this book can help you to notice these patterns, increase awareness, and focus on giving yourself more compassion with issues that arise every day. Her ‘Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook: A Proven Way to Accept Yourself, Build Inner Strength, and Thrive’, is a science-based workbook to nurture emotional wellbeing.
Haemin Sunim is a prominent Buddhist meditation teacher from South Korea. His book ‘The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down: How to Be Calm and Mindful in a Fast-Paced World’, lights a path to find balance and inner peace amidst the busyness and demands of our everyday lives. The book, first published in 2017, was an international bestseller and has been translated to more than 35 different languages. He talks about the value of adopting mindfulness, cultivating a positive relationship with oneself and having healthy relationships with others, in order to be a happier person. His follow up book, ‘Love for imperfect things’ (2018) is about learning to love ourselves first, with kindness and self-care. Educated in the United States, he now lives in Soul, and with such a diverse background, his perspective is highly valued by multicultural readers.
Bob Stahl and Elisha Goldsteins have co-authored the book, ‘A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook’ (2019). Bob is mindfulness practitioner who lived in a Zen monastery and directs mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) programs, while Elisha founded the online Mindful Living Collective and the ‘A Course in Mindful Living’ coaching program. The purpose of MBSR is to reduce stress, anxiety, depression and chronic pain symptoms, and the workbook enables readers to teach themselves MBSR. The MBSR program, has been developed by renowned mindfulness ‘guru’ and author Jon Kabat-Zinn. The book can be worked through as a stand-alone text or combined with the online course, audio exercises and online workbook accessories.
Daniel Goleman and Richard J. Davidsons book, ‘Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body‘ is a clear overview of the science behind mindfulness and background to the Western study of mindfulness. It reveals the history of mindfulness, untangles some of the often-misleading assumptions around it and also how neuroscience, psychology, and medicine today, are grounded in ancient Eastern spiritual concepts and practices. Readers will find a balanced and up-to-date perspective on both the benefits and limitations of mindfulness practice. A good book for sceptics who need to have some deeper insights before partaking in mindfulness practice themselves.
Patrizia Collard is a psychotherapist with experience in psychology and mindfulness, and her book, ‘The Little Book of Mindfulness: 10 Minutes a Day to Less Stress, More Peace’ is has deep roots in science. First published in 2014, its intention is to be an easy-to-follow path towards mindful awareness for anyone who can commit to ten minutes a day. With sweet little diagrams to enliven the information, the reader can easily open this true to life “little book” to any page and find an accessible exercise. At just under 100 pages, it is a nice quick read, and a practical book to help you integrate mindfulness into everyday life.