Stress, distraction, and boredom have all been frequent aspects of our lives in the past year. It’s been challenging dealing with the fear and worries we’re all having. It’s been tough balancing working from home, virtual social lives, family responsibilities, and taking care of ourselves.
One of the best ways to counteract all of this chaos and difficulty is mindfulness. Learning to be more mindful helps us more gracefully (and sanely) navigate the everyday struggles of life, and can provide us with more peace of mind and happiness.
Whether you’re a mindfulness beginner or a daily meditation practitioner, there are many books that are here to help us through the process of becoming more mindful. By exploring this part of ourselves, we can improve our mental health, well-being, relationships, career, and satisfaction with life.
Read on for some of the best books to help us on our mindful way.
Kabat-Zinn is one of the most widely respected researchers and writers on mindfulness. In this book — one of his most famous — he provides advice on how to better integrate presence and mindfulness into our everyday lives. A must-read for beginners and mindfulness-lovers alike.
Brach is another one of the most widely revered mindfulness teachers. In Radical Acceptance, she focuses a great deal on turning inward and using Buddhist principles and techniques to calm the mind. Much of the work involves paying attention to our feelings and fears — and learning to stop resisting them.
Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Though not written intentionally as a mindfulness guide, this ancient text is an excellent resource for those hoping to be more mindful and present in their everyday life. Credited to Lao Tzu, this classic text of Taoism is overflowing with wisdom that feels just as relevant today as it did when it was first written. Patience, compassion, resilience, peace, and let go (and more) can all be gleaned from this insightful book.
When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Timesby Pema Chödrön
Chödrön is one of the mothers of modern mindfulness — and for good reason. This book focuses on mindfulness and growth in the face of life’s toughest challenges. It’s all well and good to be at peace when things are going well — but Chödrön also explores how to make it through our darkest struggles with presence and compassion.
The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer
In this book, Singer delves into how we can become better versions of ourselves by using meditation and mindfulness. He explains how we can let go of habits, behaviors, or thoughts that are holding us back and causing us pain. By learning how to release these, we give ourselves greater freedom, awareness, and happiness.
A Walk in the Wood: Meditations on Mindfulness with a Bear Named Pooh by Dr. Joseph Parent and Nancy Parent
This book is helpful for children and adults alike. It uses Winnie the Pooh (and friends) to explore the concepts and practices of mindfulness. This accessible, charming, and enlightening book is the perfect companion for developing mindful awareness.
10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works — A True Story by Dan Harris
This New York Times Bestseller has been widely praised as a helpful guide on the practice and benefits of meditation. In it, Harris explores how we can quiet that “voice in our head,” and in doing so, improve our health, brain, focus, happiness — and so much more. This book is an immeasurably helpful 21st-century mindfulness guide.
How to Love by Thich Nhat Hanh
Pretty much any Thich Nhat Hanh book is great reading for improving mindfulness. This book in particular explores the place where love and mindfulness meet. We might not often think of those two as paired, but Nhat Hanh demonstrates how they’re actually intricately linked — and how true, fulfilling love must be grounded in mindfulness.
Real Happiness: A 28-Day Program to Realize the Power of Meditation by Sharon Salzberg
If you like structure and guidance, this book is a good place to start. Salzburg provides straightforward, easy-to-follow meditation practices for her readers. In her view, like with most things, in order to get better at mindfulness and meditation, you have to practice. This book helps you do just that.