It’s so easy to get caught up in emails, screens, interruptions and other people’s “emergencies”. In what can feel like the day-to-day madness it may cross our mind that there’s got to be a better way…enter a mindfulness practice.
Until you really take it on, finish a few books or magazine articles on all the how-to’s, my recommendation is to just add breathing. Adding this one little thing to your hectic day actually is the best small improvement you can make while you as you aim to be more mindful.
Start with once a day. In that moment where you are trying to decide which one of ten things to do next, pause, take a breath. Hold it, drop your shoulders and release it. Repeat three times breathing deeper into your belly each time. Then make your decision.
As you get better at catching your most stressful moments with a breathing break you’ll notice a change that keeps offering more over time. One moment of awareness leads to more.
Then when you’re ready to can decide if you want to really take on more mindfulness habits. The following books offer wonderful insights and inspirations.
An anchor on Nightline, Dan Harris had a nationally televised panic attack and decided he had to make some life changes. Being a nonbeliever of mindfulness and mediation his whole life, Dan finally decided to give it a shot. This book takes you on Dan’s humorous and skeptical journey of learning about self-help, spirituality, and how meditation can truly make your life a happier one.
Having taught the benefits of meditation for decades, Jon Kabat-Zinn continues to be highly regarded in the field of meditation and mindfulness as one of the pioneers of the worldwide mindfulness movement. Kabat-Zinn feels that mindfulness is not a mental trick, but a basic human inheritance that is essential to life. It’s worth reading any one of his books which speak about the connection between mindfulness and our well-being on every level, physical, cognitive, emotional, social, planetary, and spiritual.
If you’re an overscheduled professional who wants to include more mindfulness in your daily life, this is the book for you. Composed of 5 chapters and 50 steps, Cameron’s book draws on contemplative traditions, modern neuroscience, and leading psychology in order to bring focus and peace to the workplace, the home, and more. The book starts your day with your morning at home, then to work, play, love, and back home again. A great guidebook.
Mindfulness isn’t needed only in the lives of adults. Kids and teens need it as well! Many schools are teaching students how mindful practices can help them deal with the life of being a teen in modern society. Beigel is a psychotherapist and the creator of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Teens and uses this book to lay out the aspects of mindfulness which benefit young people the most. Just think, if you start with your children the whole family can grow together.
As a former Buddhist monk, the Voice of Headspace, and the UK’s foremost mindfulness expert, Andy Puddicombe is determined to get people to take 10 minutes out of their day to sit in the “here and now”. Andy teaches mindfulness through stories from his own life, as he was once a regular, busy person with everyday problems just like the rest of us. The Headspace Guide To Meditation And Mindfulness is as accessible as they come and offers simple, yet powerful meditation techniques that positively impact every area of physical and mental health.
And just in case you don’t think you can add one more ritual or practice or anything, start with James Clear’s proven framework for improving–every day. He takes the guilt, shame and struggle that we often feel with every failure and inspires you to reshape the way you think about progress and success.