Meditation has been a popular practice for thousands of years in some cultures and religions.
Mediation is a daily practice for Buddhists and linked to the spiritual lives they lead, but in recent years alternative practitioners in the Western world have adopted meditative practices such as mindfulness.
Many people believe that our state of mind is largely down to external factors, but this isn’t actually true. Whilst external stresses can greatly influence how we are psychological, how we respond and what we focus on is entirely within our own control.
Learning how to control the mind is the first step to a happier life/ So, what exactly are Meditation and mindfulness?
Meditation is a slowing down of the breath and an awareness of breathing. The word mindfulness is about being present in the moment and observing the thoughts and gently guiding them back to the present.
It certainly takes practice, as the modern world dictates that most of the time we are busy with activities common to daily life. Slowing down takes deliberate action and patience, but the practice of meditation can have many health benefits.
Learning how to self-soothe and control the mind when faced with stressful situations is a skill everyone should learn for the sake of their own health. So, how does it help?
Meditation has been proven to reduce stress by controlling the stress hormone cortisol. When there’s too much cortisol racing through the body, people get sick and suffer mental health problems.
Meditation slows down the body and forces the mind to calm, which helps with anxiety disorders. It also makes you become more self-aware, enabling you to make better decisions and communicate with others more effectively.
Learning how to meditate helps you learn the habits and patterns of your own mind.
If you’ve decided to incorporate mindful meditation into your life there are many experienced practitioners that offer classes for beginners to learn how to do it.
However, if classes feel a bit daunting there are a wealth of publications available that you can use at home to get you started. Read on for some of the best books currently on the market.
Meditation for Beginners: The Ultimate and Easy Guide to Learn How to Be Peaceful and Relieve Stress, Anxiety, And Depression
This book is great if you’re just starting out on your meditation journey. The author is a Swedish Ayurveda, Vaastu, and Yoga practitioner and is dedicated to helping others transform their lives through personal development and achieving wellness.
The book covers why meditation has become popular and provides advice and guidelines on how to incorporate meditation into a busy lifestyle. It’s full of hints and tips, as well as simple exercises you can do at home.
It offers help on developing a regular routine of mindfulness, with shorter sessions when time is limited and longer options when time is more abundant.
The book is simple and easy to read and perfect for people who want to improve their quality of life. Reviews are positive and many say the book is easy to follow and full of useful information for the beginner.
Exercises to follow
Easy to read
Too easy for more experienced Mediators
The 5-Minute Meditation Journal: Quick Guided Meditations for a Calmer, Happier You
Another good option for busy individuals, this book offers short 5 minutes exercises to fit into the busy day. Miranda Lee, the author, has 20 years of experience teaching meditation and yoga. She acknowledges that 5 minutes of calm can make all the difference to stress levels, and you’ll thank yourself for taking some time out to feel calm.
The guided meditations will help you focus on positivity, helping you to experience feelings of satisfaction, gratitude, joy, and connection. The book includes a section to write down how you are progressing through journaling.
The book has 5-star reviews. Readers comment on the accessibility of the exercises and the ease of carrying the book around.
Easy to carry
Touchstones: A Book Of Daily Meditations For Men
This unique book specially designed for men provides much food for thought in the modern world. Through clever and carefully crafted meditations, it explores masculinity and what it means for men in this day and age. It also helps to build awareness of emotions such as anger, fear, and resentment that are common when going through changes in life.
It can help those that suffer from addiction and offers advice on coping skills that assist recovery and how to overcome addictive behavior. The book offers help to those who want to rekindle broken relationships due to addiction and heal past hurts.
The book has fantastic reviews and although focused on men in recovery, many have commented on the benefits of the meditations for everyone in daily life.
Help for addictive issues
Anonymous author/can’t research
Meditations on Self-Love: Daily Wisdom for Healing, Acceptance, and Joy Paperback
This book is an encouraging read for those that have lost confidence due to trauma or suffer from low self-confidence. Self-love is important and vital to building healthy relationships with others. The author Laurasia Mattingly is an LA-based Reiki master and Meditation instructor who travels around the world leading retreats and has also set up a virtual mediation platform.
This little book offers daily affirmations that will prompt you to slow down and reflect on your own attributes and the good things you add to the world. There’s a different entry for each day of the year.
Reviews are outstanding and readers comment on the depth of compassion that comes across in the book by the author.
365 different daily meditations
Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-to Book
This is a great little book that’s funny but informative. Learning to meditate can be challenging for those that struggle to be still, but this book addresses the issue and gives practical and easy-to-follow steps to address issues of concentration lapses and difficulty ‘switching off’. The book is full of anecdotes and funny advice, it’s relatable and contains simple suggestions for help in the real world.
The reviews for this book are mixed, with people mentioning the positivity and energy that permeates the author’s words. The Kindle version of the book comes with a free app, however, there are only a few meditations that are free and some users have complained the spam from entering information is a bit problematic.
App issues with Kindle version
Breathing is My Superpower: Mindfulness Book for Kids to Feel Calm and Peaceful
Life can be stressful for little ones as well as adults, and this super book helps parents to address their children’s worries and help them feel calm and in control. The author has many years of experience working with children and has written several children’s books over the years. She is an advocate of meditation and recognizes the benefits of using it to help children better control their emotions.
She uses the ‘five breathing technique’ that helps children get their breathing under control and rid themselves of negative feelings. It also helps them to calm down in fearful situations and build confidence through simple yoga techniques. The book helps children gain vital self-calming skills that will help them in any situation they are faced with, even if parents are not around.
Reviews are great for this book, and parents comment that incorporating the exercise and advice has really helped their children learn to control their emotions. Some comment that the concept is good, but the stories could be a bit more engaging.
A bit too simple for older children
Mindfulness for the Ultimate Athlete: Mastering the Balance Between Power and Peace Paperback
This powerful book will help you address psychological issues that are holding you back from achieving your full potential. If you’re an athlete or sportsperson that feels limited by self-doubt, this book will help you access inner resources to rebuild confidence and be the best. The author, a former NFL footballer and current meditation and mindfulness practitioner, uses his unique experiences to offer sound and practical help to control the mind and create the perfect combo of peace and power.
The author shows you how to train the mind by visualizing who you want to be and what you want to achieve. It’ll teach you how to connect with inner strength and get your body and mind working as a whole. It teaches you to overhaul your belief system and be in the present moment during every task.
The reviews are positive, and many people mention the book’s value even for non-athletes. The information is relatable for anyone that suffers from the battle of the mind.
Detailed and informative
Former athlete author
Complex (not designed for a quick read)
Zen as F*ck (Zen as F*ck Journals)
This hilarious little book is written with a playful tone, and you can’t help but smile at the author’s candid approach to staying calm and living in the moment. The book offers peaceful mantras and positive affirmation to add to your daily rituals, guaranteed to make you smile and see the funny side of life. The focus on positivity will help you smile through the day and exude happiness and a good vibe; who doesn't want that?
The book also has a section for journaling to keep track of mood and positive thoughts from day today. Reviews are good and readers comment on the colorful content being a tonic during the daily grind of life. A good one for young people to help them navigate their way through the turbulent teenage years.
Good for teenagers
Not for the easily offended
Dear Universe: 200 Mini-Meditations for Instant Manifestations
For anyone held back by their own negative belief system, this book explains the mindset behind successful people. It’ll help you understand how to tap into the mind and use it to achieve great things. It’ll give you advice on how to create the life you want. Furthermore, it’ll help you find joy, peace, and love in abundance and how to guide emotions in the right way to gain complete control over your life.
The book contains over 100 meditations to help with negative feelings such as anxiety and fear, as well as a plethora of mindful practices for inspiration and self-love.
The author, Sarah Prout, has taught metaphysics and the art of manifesting and is a truly inspirational individual. She expertly shows readers how to get the life of their dreams in simple, easy steps. The reviews are fantastic and readers comment on the way the author brings her personal experiences through her writing to encourage others through her intuition and compassion.
Easy to read
100s of meditations to choose
Popular book, sometimes out of stock
The 6-Minute Diary | 6 Minutes a Day for More Mindfulness, Happiness, and Productivity | A Simple and Effective Gratitude Journal and Undated Daily Planner (Sky Blue)
This book is cleverly written and based on careful psychological research. This 3 in 1 approach provides a daily journal designed to remember all the reasons for gratitude in your life, as well as a daily planner and mindfulness journal. It helps train your mind to focus on the good in every day and how to become more productive in work, life, and love. The book provides structure as well as creative freedom to explore the mind.
The book makes a great gift for a loved one and is a good tool to help build a happy and fulfilling life.
Reviews are mostly good, with readers suggesting it is a good guide with enough freedom to work as a facilitator rather than too much structure.
Based on scientific research
Provides useful tips
Not the best choice if requiring a clear structure
Stop Overthinking: 23 Techniques to Relieve Stress, Stop Negative Spirals, Declutter Your Mind, and Focus on the Present
Written by an author with an MA in Behavioral Psychology, this book uses meditative techniques to help the common problem of overthinking. It explains how we get into the pattern of thinking too much and offers help to rewire the brain to end the vicious cycle.
Nick Trenton uses his own experiences to share and inspire others to gain awareness of how the mind works and the negative thought processes that can rule and take away happiness. He offers practical tips on how to spot triggers and calm your racing thoughts to regain peace and live at the moment.
Most reviews are good and readers comment on the author’s insightfulness and the breakdown of strategies that are easy to follow. There is some mention of the format being slightly cluttered in the book.
Written by a qualified author
What books to purchase on Meditation and Mindfulness will largely depend on existing knowledge of the subject. If you’re a beginner, choose a book that provides an in-depth introduction to meditation and mindfulness.
Understanding the origins of the practice will reinforce why it’s so important to add to your life.
Try to look for authors who are qualified in the world of psychology or mediation practices and can write with authority. Those that have spent years studying the theories that underpin meditation will provide well-researched guidance that works.
Some authors have had personal transformational experiences by practicing meditation and sharing their experiences in the books they write. They are able to use their experiences to inform their advice and suggestions, meaning you’ll be confident that they work in practice.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s The Difference Between Meditation And Mindfulness?
Although they are related, there are subtle differences between the two. Meditation is a practice; something you do deliberately even for a short time, such as a guided meditation for 5 minutes or concentrated breathwork.
Mindfulness is a way of life. It’s the ability to always be at the moment and control the mind from running away with thoughts that are not helpful.
Where Can I Purchase Books?
There are many online retailers that specialize in books around meditation, but If you prefer to flick through a book then most popular bookstores have a self-help and health section that specialize in meditation literature.
How Do I Time To Incorporate Suggestions In The Book?
Many of the books written on meditation recognize that most people are busy and have time constraints that can prevent people from fully committing to the practice of meditation, however even 5 minutes a day can help reduce stress and improve concentration, and you don’t need to dedicate lots of time to reap the benefits.
Mindfulness can be practiced in everyday activities, meaning even people with busy schedules can do it.
Meditation and mindfulness can greatly increase the positivity in your life, and with this handy guide, you’ll find the right book to help you on your mindfulness journey.