Wednesday 28 February 2018


5 Inspiring Reads for a Mindful March

The art of mindfulness is being discussed at length in literature at the moment and it's easy to understand why. In our fast-paced, digital society it's become harder than ever to focus on the here and now; too many distractions just a quick glance of a mobile device away. I've personally been so caught up in work and the stresses that come with it in recent years that I've hardly had time to focus on me. In 2018 I am making a conscious effort to spend more time on personal development and being present in the moment – with the ultimate goal to feel more fulfilled and happy. Inspirational books have been my first point of call to helping me on this journey, and here are some of my recent favourites.

Happiness: Your Route Map to Inner Joy by Andy Cope (John Murray)

Finding inner joy is very much a hype in lifestyle publishing that perfectly aligns with the buzzword 'mindfulness'. As I mentioned, we are living in an ever-connected, switched on and fast-paced society and it can be easy to get stuck in a rut on auto pilot and forget about your own happiness along the way. I certainly fall victim to this mind-set. Books like this one for the most part don't tend to say anything groundbreaking or enlightening, but they are a reminder of what is truly important in life – and what simple changes you can make in your routine and outlook to make it happen. This particular little tome isn't only well-researched and inspirational, but hilariously told to boot. Get your copy here.

Catfulness: A Cat's Guide to Achieving Mindfulness (Quercus)

This delightful, tongue-in-cheek addition to my collection comes courtesy of my friend Laura (check out her lovely blog here), who gave me a copy for my birthday. This is perhaps not a mindfulness book seeped in research and education, but it is a sheer delight from start to finish. Written by 'A. Cat' this is a humorous book but there are also plenty of truths hiding in there. Haven't we all wished at some time in our lives that we were cats without a single worry in the world? Our mere goals day-to-day being sleeping, eating and being adored by our humans? Perhaps not something we can achieve literally, but there are certainly some pages we can take out of a cat's book and their attitude in life – and this seven-week programme has them all. From cultivating a ritual to a day of rest and from the art of stretching to enjoying the view. Live a little more like a cat for a happier outlook in life. Get your copy here.

O's Little Guide to the Big Questions by The Editors of O (Pan Macmillan)

This is an extremely well-curated collection of empowering non-fiction essays, short stories and quotes that have previously appeared in O, the Oprah Magazine. They cover topics such as life and death, religion and spirituality, loss and love, and finding happiness and fulfillment, in raw and evocative ways. An eclectic mix of authors have contributed to this stunning book, each with their own unique voice and story to tell. Some are thought provoking, others are inspiring and yet others extremely moving in their brazen honesty. This is perhaps not an obvious addition to a mindfulness collection but these essays are incredibly inspiring with little nuggets of wisdom thrown in. And the range of topics are hugely educational, helping with the personal development goal I set for myself at the start of the year. (Read my full review.) Get your copy here.

The Little Book of Lykke by Meik Wiking (Penguin Living)

With the follow-up to the cosy The Little Book of Hygge, in which Meik Wiking details the secrets to the Danish way of living well, The Little Book of Lykke delves into the author's global search for happiness and things that have made a positive impact on the world. As the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute there isn't a better person to have undertaken this search, and he's compiled an admirable list of inspiring stats and case studies in his book. If you're looking for a place to start on a happiness journey, then this is the perfect one to do it with. Easy to digest, this is a book that makes you appreciate the little things in the every day that can evoke joy, while also providing inspiring moments of happiness. (Read my full review). Get your copy here.

When I Loved Myself Enough by Kim McMillen (Pan Macmillan)

This is a tiny little book that packs a powerful punch. Starting out as a hand-made gift to friends and family, Kim McMillen has collected years of her wisdom within the pages. When she passed away, her daughter Alison continued the tradition, slowly creating a best-selling book in America through the sheer power of word of mouth. In snippets of text it shows one women's journey to self-acceptance and finding happiness, while at the same time providing an incredibly amount of insight for others to take to heart. The words of wisdom don't follow a linear journey, making this the perfect book to dip in and out of when you're in need of a spark of inspiration or a boost to your happiness. A really lovely little collection. Get your copy here.

Do you have any recommendations to add to this list of mindful reads? 
Let me know in the comments below!

Also, if you're not yet familiar with Action For Happiness, I HIGHLY recommend their calendar for a Mindful March (I clearly wasn't the only one who loves alliteration and connecting the mindfulness trend to the month of March). After their Happy January and Friendly February calendars, this one is most up my street so far and I feel (and hope) most achievable each day. I've printed off copies for at home and my work desk to keep these wonderful daily reminders front of mind. Click on the preview calendar image below to download the full one from the Action For Happiness website.

🎵 Listening to: Eugenius! – Go Eugenius
🔹 Mood: Accomplished

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