Feeling anxious and irritable: Read these 14 Books on Mindfulness now

September 13, 2021



Do you suffer from anxiety, apathy, general discontent, guilt, hopelessness, loss of interest, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, mood swings, or sadness, agitation, excessive crying, irritability, restlessness, or social isolation, excessive hunger, fatigue, or loss of appetite, lack of concentration, slowness in activity, or thoughts of suicide, weight gain or weight loss ? CHANGE NOW Read these books


1. Practicing Mindfulness

Do you have 5 minutes ? Then you can find one of the 5 minute mindful activity here. In you busy schedule, just fit in these exercises to slowly grow and become calm and peaceful. You don’t have to read cover to cover, just jump to the relevant exercise. This practical handbook is what you need if you want to start mindfulness from the word go. If you are an experienced meditator, then too this book is a nice reminder of various techniques, and can be used as a ready reference.

2. 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head

Do you have a voice in our head which makes you check your email compulsively or eating when you’re not hungry, and fixating on the past and the future at the expense of the present ? This is not a miracle book to stop that voice, but a book on meditation. Author talks from self help gurus, to CEOs, scientists, and even marines who are now using meditation for increased calm, focus, and happiness.

This book is a journey of Dan Harris, how he cured himself. He openly shares his struggles with anxiety in his life starting with his on-the-air panic attack in 2004,  to how he adopted meditation. This is not an expert guide to meditation, but a journey that you can relate to.

3. Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World

Digital minimalists are calm and happy people who can hold long conversations without furtive glances at their phones. They can have fun with friends and family without the obsessive urge to take a selfie. They don’t experience “fear of missing out” because they already know which activities provide them meaning and satisfaction.

Intermittent positive reinforcement and the drive for social approval are main forces used by technology companies to encourage behaviour addiction. One has to get over these forces. Author encourages us to apply a rapid transformation while giving a process to achieve it. For example “Delete social media from our phone to remove the ability to access them at any time. If we’re going to use social media, we should access them through a web browser”

4. The Little Book of Mindfulness: 10 minutes a day to less stress, more peace

Another book on simple 5- and 10-minute practices that can help you to free yourself from stress and, ultimately, find more peace in your life. At the end of the day, it’s not about how much you know, it’s just about practicing mindfulness, and this book provides you a good start. You can just open to any random page and start your mindful exercise. Take it anywhere, this small book can do wonders in your life.

5. The Miracle Of Mindfulness

This book by famous Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh offers gentle anecdotes and practical exercise as a means of learning the skills of mindfulness. You can learn from different authors about mindfulness, or you can learn from the master himself who has felt the immense peace himself. This book is not about buddhism, but about being in the present, focusing on your breath and other techniques.

6. Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace

This is a 8 week program on mindfulness you can follow to find peace. It tells you why and how Mindfulness can help you silence the inner voice. This is like a guided program you pay lot of money to attend. You should start with the 8 week program and see how it helps you. This book is an excellent starting point and assumes no prior knowledge of mindfulness.


1. Meditation For Fidgety Skeptics

This is another book by Dan Harris. Everyone has heard about meditation, and how to do it etc. But do you do it every day ? This book tries to help by Making it effortless and expanding mindfulness into a path to patience, compassion, happiness etc. If you know a lot about meditation, this book isn’t for you. At a beginner level, this is a good book. Dan Harris suffered from anxiety and he took this path, helped himself, wrote a couple of books to help others. May be you can relate to him when reading his books.

2. Mindfulness & Meditation

This book is written by Andy Puddicombe, a former Buddhist monk, and the Voice of Headspace app. The app itself is very useful. This book takes daily mindfulness meditation to another level. Anybody who has been a headspace user may information in the book as basic, but if you are a beginner, and looking to use the app, this book will find this useful at a beginner level.

3. Why We Sleep

This book by Professor Matthew Walker, director of UC Berkeley’s Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab reveals groundbreaking exploration of sleep. The book is full of all of the harmful effects of not getting enough sleep. The book can work both ways. It can make you more hysterical by knowing all the harmful effects of sleep, and your inability to sleep or it can help you use the transformative effects of sleep. I have added this in meditation section, as before meditation, one needs a good night sleep.

There is lot of information here as written by a leading scientific expert, and at the end of the book he lists a number of ideas that you can put into use immediately.


Trauma and Healing

1. What Happened to You?

The book is written in conversational style. It helps you understand that how behaviour of  people is affected by trauma. How things like fear, or racism get passed down due to trauma. The younger the kids, the greater the impact of trauma. What are the effects of trauma on the developing brain, and the emotional and biological changes and adaptations that this trauma creates. Oprah recalls events from her life, and Dr. Perry uses examples and stories from his practice to explain concepts about the brain’s response to trauma. Te book is written to give a feel of a discussion on the Oprah’s show.

2. The Body Keeps the Score

This book is written by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of the world’s foremost experts on trauma and has spent over three decades working with survivors. Lot of people deal with trauma, be it due to a painful event, due to crime or in a violent relationship. This book is specifically written for trauma survivors ( specifically developmental trauma disorder), but the breathing techniques, Yoga, neurofeedback techniques are there for controlling anxiety. The book is written in simple and lucid language with engaging anecdotes.

3. The Choice: A true story of hope

Edith Eger was a teenager in 1944 when she and her family were sent to Auschwitz during the Second World War. Despite overwhelming odds, Edith survived the Holocaust and moved with her husband to the United States. This book is a life changing book. The book follows the life of Edith Eger and how she had to overcome the emotional damage done to her. This is a story which teaches you to forgive yourself for the choices made in the past and live life in the present. Also read The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank and Man’s Search For Meaning by Viktor Frankl.

4. The Courage To Be Disliked

This book ( Book Review: The Courage to be Disliked ) is a back and forth dialogue between a youth and an older philosopher. In a stark contrast to some of the books recommended above, famous psychologist, Alfred Adler did not believe past trauma affects one’s ability to be happy in the present. Adler proposed that one is happier and freer if they live life moments to moments, working on one’s own task in life and not doing other peoples’ tasks. This book asks you to move on and not fret over the past. Complement this with Book Review: The Courage to be Happy

Bonus for Younger Generations

1. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

If you don’t like any of the books above, or generally don’t like self help books, you would like this one. “F*ck positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f*cked, and we have to live with it.” This book is for young generations. If you’re a millennial, or  X-gen, pick up this book. It will give you at least a more healthy point of view. It asks you to do less of social media, and more of important tasks like your well being, family and friends. If you are from older generations, however, you may feel that this book with a clever title, does not offer any real substance.

For Book Reviews, visit Book Reviews


Strategy Boffins Team

Strategy Boffins is building India's own strategic intelligence platform.


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