When you hear the definition of mindfulness—paying attention to and accepting the present moment exactly as it is, on purpose—it sounds pretty simple. But when it comes to actually practicing mindfulness, it can be a little more challenging than that. Primarily because our brains are hard-wired to work on overdrive, rehashing the past and worrying about the future on an almost continual basis. Add to that the advances of technology—which have a tendency to keep us distracted from the present moment rather than living fully in it—and mindfulness becomes even more difficult to practice in this increasingly digital world.
Fortunately, there are a lot of great resources out there for strengthening your mindfulness practice, whether you’re a mindfulness newbie or someone who’s been at it for years. Although there are almost too many to count, here’s a quick roundup of 13 of our favorite books, websites, podcasts, apps + more for creating and maintaining a mindfulness practice (in no particular order!):
Wherever You Go There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Written by the founder of modern-day mindfulness, this book is a great starting place for anyone interested in developing a mindfulness practice. It not only helps you understand what mindfulness truly is—and why it’s important—but also helps you incorporate it into everyday life.
The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh
In one of his many incredible books, the Zen master gives practical tips for learning how to be mindful, aware and grounded in the present moment—whether you’re washing the dishes or taking a stroll through the park.
The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer
A guide to discovering greater peace, serenity and happiness through the art of living in the now, this book helps you let go of the pain and distractions that hold you back from remaining mindful and unleashing your true, authentic self.
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
This book takes you on a journey toward finding your true self, enhancing your spirituality and realizing the potential of your personal growth—all through the practice of mindfulness and remaining present.
10 Percent Happier by Dan Harris
Perfect for anyone who’s brand new to mindfulness (or admittedly a little skeptical of it), this book was inspired by author and Nightline anchor Dan Harris, who turned to mindfulness and meditation after experiencing a nervous breakdown live on air. It gives a real-world look at how a mindfulness practice can reduce stress and improve happiness.
If you’re the kind of person who’s on their phone a lot anyway, a meditation app like Headspace is the perfect way to inject a little more mindfulness into your life on a daily basis. Headspace is filled with 100s of themed mindfulness sessions and guided meditations at the tap of a finger, and is a great way to get started building your own practice. You can download it for free on the App Store or Google Play.
Updated with a new guided meditation every day, this app is filled with audio meditations, sleep stories, relaxation music and more. Try the “7 Days of Calm” class to learn the basics of mindfulness meditation; listen to one of the Calm Masterclasses on topics like “The Power of Rest” and “Breaking Bad Habits”; or watch a “Calm Body” video for mini lessons on mindful movement. Download it now in the App Store.
Filled with everything from guided meditations to inspirational speeches, Omvana curates a customized library of audio tracks that help you relax, focus and meditate. And it doesn’t just help with mindfulness. It’s also great for improving sleep, productivity, focus and inspiration. Download it in the App Store or Google Play, or sign up for the web version at www.omvana.com.