In this post, discover 11 of the best mindfulness books and journals to read this year. For beginners and experienced mindfulness practitioners alike, these resources will take you on a profound journey to cultivating mindfulness and inner peace.
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What Is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is non-judgmental, conscious awareness in the present moment. This means being aware of your own thoughts, feelings, and surroundings in the present moment without putting labels on any of it as right or wrong. Mindfulness is sometimes referred to as the art of noticing, as it doesn’t require anything from you except to simply notice.
Now, if this is still kind of unclear, that’s okay. Let’s break it down a little further.
- Lack of Judgment: As humans, we experience a range of thoughts and emotions throughout our lives. Sometimes, we experience this spectrum in a single day. Anger, fear, sadness, pain, anxiety, and stress are emotions we often call negative. Likewise, we may have thoughts that we deem to be wrong or bad. The key to mindfulness is to not judge ourselves for our thoughts and emotions. Simply observe. If you notice that a thought you’re having doesn’t align with what feels good and true to you, you can take this moment to realign with your truth.
- Conscious Awareness: This means that you recognize your thoughts, words, and actions as you’re thinking, speaking, and acting. This is the opposite of the “autopilot” mode we all fall into once in a while. Conscious awareness is taking a step back, recognizing the autopilot mode, and choosing how to think and feel in this moment. (Again, when you catch yourself in autopilot mode, don’t judge yourself. It’s perfectly normal.)
- Returning to the Present Moment: I think about the past a lot. I also think about the future a lot. And that’s okay. I can also recognize that the only real thing in the world is this moment right now. You can think about the past and future, but don’t live there. Live in this moment. That’s what mindfulness does for us; it allows us to honor and recognize the beauty, value, and importance of this moment right now.
Mindfulness is knowing that nothing about this moment is wrong. Nothing is a mistake. It is exactly as it is. And if you don’t like how you’re feeling or what you’re experiencing in this moment, notice and see if you can realign with something that feels better. But don’t judge yourself for being human.
If you’d like to learn more about what mindfulness is and explore profound mindfulness quotes from top scholars and thinkers, you can learn more about mindfulness here. And in this post, I offer 10 practices to help you cultivate mindfulness today.
Below, you’ll find 11 of the best mindfulness books and journals for beginners and experienced mindfulness practitioners alike. All of the books and journals below will take you on a gentle, profound journey that leads you to the greatest destination of all: back to yourself.
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Mindfulness Books & Journals
Practicing Mindfulness: 75 Essential Meditations
If you’re looking to begin your own mindfulness practice, Matthew Sockolov’s Practicing Mindfulness: 75 Essential Meditations will take you on a truly profound and meaningful journey through mindfulness using meditation. Here, you’ll find 75 unique exercises. The early ones can be done in just 5 minutes a day, and as you progress in your journey, so will the meditations. This is a great guide for both beginners and experienced practitioners alike.
Think Like A Monk
Jay Shetty’s Think Like A Monk is an inspiring guide to overcoming your own negative thoughts, accessing your inner peace, and clearing any roadblocks that may be stopping you from tapping into your own power and potential. Shetty takes often complex and abstract ideas and transforms them into accessible exercises and advice that you can use in your own life to reduce stress and increase mindfulness.
Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan
Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Mark Williams and Danny Penman provides you with simple yet powerful practices for cultivating mindfulness in your daily life. It promotes true joy and inner peace and helps you to break the cycle of daily stress, anxiety, and exhaustion.
Wherever You Go, There You Are
When you start researching mindfulness, Jon Kabat-Zinn is likely one of the first names that will come up. (And likely, his name will keep appearing over and over again). This book is absolutely a must-have for those new to meditation and mindfulness as well as seasoned practitioners. Wherever You Go, There You Are takes you on a profound journey back home to yourself. It teaches you how to cultivate mindfulness your own way in a gentle yet powerful manner.
Mindfulness For Beginners
And because there can never be too much Jon Kabat-Zinn on a mindfulness list, his book Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment and Your Life is a truly wonderful resource for anyone just starting their mindfulness journey. This book guides you back to yourself and helps you to embody the real and true you. This book is an invitation to transform the way you think, feel, work, and play in a loving, wholehearted manner.
A Year Of Zen
Bonnie Myotai Treace’s A Year of Zen is a 52-week guided journal filled will thought-provoking journal prompts and ample space to explore and reflect upon your own experiences and inner world. (And its simple illustrations are elegant and serene.)
Mindfulness For Beginners In 10 Minutes A Day
Lara Hocheiser’s Mindfulness for Beginners in 10 Minutes a Day is another great resource for those just beginning their mindfulness journey. Hocheiser provides the readers with an explanation of what mindfulness is in an easy-to-grasp way and offers simple yet profound exercises for practicing mindfulness every morning, day, and night.
The Miracle Of Mindfulness
Thich Nhat Hanh is another prominent figure in the meditation and mindfulness space. His book, The Miracle of Mindfulness, is a beautiful and gentle introduction to mindfulness, offering exercises and anecdotes that remind you that each moment holds its own gifts and opportunities for peace.
The Mindfulness Journal
Worthy Stokes’ The Mindfulness Journal: Creative Prompts to Relax, Release, and Explore the Wisdom of You is a wonderful discovery filled with gifts on every page. In addition to prompts, it offers exercises that allow you to explore mindfulness through connecting with your inner artist. This is a beautiful journal that also makes a great gift for friends and loved ones.
Star Wars: The Jedi Mind
Star Wars: The Jedi Mind: Secrets from the Force for Balance and Peace by author Amy Ratcliffe and illustrator Christina Chung pairs lessons from Star Wars with mindfulness lessons relevant to our own galaxy in the 21st century. This is a perfect gift to yourself or the Star Wars fan in your life, offering accessible lessons focused on peace, serenity, and balance.
A Year Of Mindfulness
Jennifer Raye’s A Year of Mindfulness is a 52-week mindfulness journal that includes weekly themes and daily writing prompts that allow you to cultivate mindfulness each day of the year. The simple, easy-to-follow exercises in this journal are designed to help you live in the moment and notice the world around you (and within).
Do you have any favorite mindfulness books or journals? Share your favorites in the comment box below! And for positive affirmations, self-love tools, manifestation inspiration, and spiritual resources, be sure to follow me on Pinterest and Instagram.
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Zanna Keithley is an author, poet, and social media content creator who writes short prose dedicated to inspiring readers to follow their dreams, trust their intuition, and create beautiful and fulfilling lives. You can find her original writing on Instagram @zannakeithley.