Mindfulness is the awareness of our physical and mental surroundings, both within and around us. After taking up a bit of amateur mindfulness myself I was eager to give this book a read. From the first page I was able to relate to it greatly; as would anyone who has experienced stress.
The book is written in a friendly, conversational style, but what really swayed me to delve deeper into its pages was the way the authors altered my understanding of mindfulness. Mindfulness illustrated that clearing your mind is not the singular focal point of the task, it can ultimately do much more than that.
The guide has been written for people who have stress in their lives, acknowledging and relating to them well. The authors use real life stories to help the reader see that everyone (no matter how busy you think you are) has the ability to be mindful.
Although I found this guide to be quite repetitive, in respect to the information and examples it provides, the exercises and the structure of the programme are easy to understand and apply to everyday life.
One of my favourite exercises is chocolate meditation. This is the very first task of the programme and one I am sure you will enjoy too. Who would have thought that being mindful about eating a piece of chocolate could make that chocolate taste so much better than before?
I liked the use of metaphor in the book, finding it helped me understand why mindfulness is so good for you. For example: “When unhappiness or stress hover overhead, rather than taking it all personally, you learn to treat them as if they were black clouds in the sky, and to observe them with friendly curiosity as they drift pass.”
Only having enough time to try the first week of meditation, I very much look forward to taking on the next seven weeks of the programme. I would recommend this book for anyone, of any age, who is feeling anxious, stressed or depressed. It is a really good practical guide to finding mindfulness in a chaotic life.
Reviewed by Ellie David, communications intern at the Mental Health Foundation