6 Mindful Books for Building Resilience

1) THE POWER OF OFF

The Mindful Way to Stay Sane in a Virtual World
Nancy Colier (Sounds True)
Having a universal communicator, satellite-driven locator, and encyclopedia of all knowledge everpresent at our fingertips is making us a little bit crazy, and—according Nancy Colier, one of the newest entrants in the tech-survival guide game—a little bit unkind. As a therapist she has a window onto how a “teched-out mind” can make you unhappy. Her stories are warm, sad, funny at times, and they start to make you think too much “convenience” can actually be very unconvivial.

2) GROWING UP MINDFUL

Essential Practices to Help Children, Teens, and Families Find Balance, Calm, and Resilience
Christopher Willard (Sounds True)
According to Chris Willard, in a kid’s world there are three main elements: studying, social life, and sleeping. The problem is that, because of limited time and other constraints, you only get to pick two of those. As a result, kids are more stressed than ever, and their parents are in a very similar boat. And when kids are in pain, they will do things to escape it, and not all of those are healthy. Willard’s book is bursting with skill-developing practices that are easy to bring into the everyday life of a child or teen (and their parents too!).

3) DRAWING YOUR OWN PATH

33 Practices at the Crossroads of Art and Meditation
John F. Simon Jr. (Parallax)
If you like the idea of mindfulness coloring books but you’re more of a draw-outside-the-lines kind of person, Drawing Your Own Path can give you the best of both worlds. This instructional manual offers a variety of exercises for bringing together mindfulness and creativity, alongside personal anecdotes and musings from author and artist John F. Simon, Jr.

4) HELLO, BICYCLE

An Inspired Guide to the Two-Wheeled Life
Anna Brones (Ten Speed)
Sometimes the best cure for a cluttered mind or gloomy disposition is to hop on a two-wheeled vehicle and take a leisurely ride to who-cares-where. Bike riding is one of life’s simple joys; it’s also good for our bodies and the planet. Brones’ guide offers something for every kind of biker—hardcore “cyclists,” casual peddle-pushers, those who haven’t mounted a bike in decades—from maintenance advice to picnic tips.

5) TRIBE

On Homecoming and Belonging
Sebastian Junger  (Harper Collins)
Every once in a while a book comes along that takes a topic on everyone’s mind and asks you take a really fresh look. Junger does that for the phenomenon of returning veterans and PTSD. In Tribe, he celebrates something that soldiers learn to appreciate: the value of loyalty and belonging. Why do they have such difficulty reintegrating into “society”? Yes, it’s partly from the trauma they’ve suffered due to the horrors of war, but it’s also because the society they thought they were fighting to uphold has lost the intimacy and caring of true human society. We are not a tribe, he suggests. We are atomized, individualized, and lost in a pursuit of an ever-elusive paradise of material gratification. Isn’t it time to change that, he asks. Isn’t it time to find our tribe?

“Humans don’t mind hardship… what they mind is not feeling necessary. ”
—Sebastian Junger

6) THE MINDFULNESS-BASED EATING SOLUTION

Proven Strategies to End Overeating, Satisfy Your Hunger & Savor Your Life
Lynn Rossy  (New Harbinger)
The “Eat for Life” program outlined in this book emerged when Rossy, a health psychologist, was asked to respond to the needs of people with weight issues who were coming to the University of Missouri wellness program. In developing the program, Rossy also measured its effectiveness. She shares these results as well as uplifting stories of people who made a better overall relationship with their body and mind through Eat for Life. This book asks us to examine, through the lens of mindfulness, our views and habits surrounding food, and presents practical steps for interrupting the autopiloting that is at the core of so many of our challenges with food.

Bonus Reading

1) THE WAY OF REST
Finding the Courage to Hold Everything in Love, By Jeff Foster

2) THE HERE AND NOW HABIT
How Mindfulness Can Help You Break Unhealthy Habits Once and For All, By Hugh G. Byrne

3) TENSE BEES AND SHELL-SHOCKED CRABS
Are Animals Conscious? By Michael Tye

4) WHOSE MIND IS IT ANYWAY?
Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life, By Lisa and Franco Esile

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