We would like to share a subjective list of five books that will change your approach to yourself. Sometimes, we tend to be a little hard on ourselves, it’s time to change that! Remember a general rule is to focus on the present moment and avoid dwelling on past or future situations. There are a few books that deal with the idea of mindfulness and we think that reading (or listening to) them could change your life in some way.
They should help you feel more calm, relaxed and positive. They might inspire you to look deeper into yourself. We’re familiar with these kinds of books and in our opinion, these are some of the most relevant and thought-provoking. An absolute must-have and must-read!
1. 'Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World' by Mark Williams and Danny Penman
Are you stressed and busy all the time? Thanks to mindfulness training you can experience the fullness of life and focus on the “here and now”. Living in harmony with your own mind and body positively influences your confidence and daily life.
The authors present an eight-week program referring to the cognitive therapy successfully used in the treatment of depression. They claim that such an amount of time is enough to introduce positive changes into the body and mind. The notion of mindfulness derives from Buddhism. Lastly, the book itself features a CD with meditation exercises, which will help you start to live more consciously, in the moment. There is also an audiobook version.
2. ‘The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business’ by Charles Duhigg
Everyone has their own habits, both positive and negative. Think of your own habits, perhaps you constantly check your smartphone (you can read more about nomophobia here), make your bed every morning, smoke, work out after work, bite your nails when you’re stressed etc. Some of these habits are things you might like to change. Why do we do what we do? Because we are driven by the powerful force of habit!
The author claims that we can completely change our lives by building new habits or changing the existing ones. He explains that powerful habits can be implemented not only in everyday life, but also in work, in areas such as sales, marketing or management. This is a great motivational book. If you can’t motivate yourself to work out every day, for example, find out what you should do to include sport or other positive habits in your daily routine!
3. 'Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life: The New Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (A New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook)' by Steven C. Hayes and Spencer Smith
The main idea of this book is that mental suffering is an integral part of our lives and we shouldn’t fight with that. It’s impossible to avoid bad experiences, difficult emotions, disappointment, stress or negative thoughts. However, we can learn how to function in spite of the painful moments.
The authors propose a completely new approach to common psychological issues like depression, anxiety, stress or chronic pain. The book is based on acceptance and commitment therapy which teaches you how to be more focused on the moment and on what is really important instead of grumbling about upsetting or difficult things. This book combines the latest research, practical advice and a sense of humour. In addition to being a guide through the human mind, it’s a life changing tool!
4. 'I Am Here Now: A creative mindfulness guide and journal' by The Mindfulness Project
This wonderful journal from The Mindfulness Project is particularly insightful and very creative. The Mindfulness Project was founded by Alexandra Frey and Autumn Totton. Mindfulness is where you consciously pay attention to the present moment, where you focus on the here and now.
There are lots of different mindfulness exercises, meditations, pages for colouring and more! Activity books can be a lot of fun when you’re trying to learn something new!
5. 'Daily Rituals: How Artists Work' by Mason Currey
It’s neither a psychology, a popular science or a self-help book -- it’s non-fiction. As the very title suggests, the book describes the habits of 161 famous people, including Federico Fellini, Ludwig van Beethoven, Sigmund Freud, Immanuel Kant, Pablo Picasso and Le Corbusier.
The bios of writers, poets, painters, philosophers and scientists are short, but filled with details and anecdotes. I’m sure you wouldn’t be able to guess who used to do the ironing or stand on their head while looking for inspiration.
You’ll learn who wrote in bed and who preferred to write on top of the refrigerator. The book is not particularly insightful, but we think it’s fun and a good read if you’d like to reflect on your daily routine and how to deal with it.
Time for a short summary.
Self-acceptance, mindfulness, being non-judgemental, living in the here and now, these are some of the key concepts that will become more familiar to you and hopefully stay with you, after reading these books.
Do you have any favourite books that have helped you? Is there anything you’d like to add, have we missed anything? If you’re interested in sharing your experiences with us or writing a guest post for us, send us an email via firstname.lastname@example.org!
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