Spring cleaning is usually associated with physical spaces, but our mental spaces can benefit from cleaning and decluttering too. If the new season has inspired you to aim for a fresh start, here are some books to help you declutter your mind, learn better habits, and strive for greater calm and happiness:
It’s so easy to accumulate clutter when we live in a consumerist culture – but clutter can impact our emotional wellbeing by leaving us feeling stressed, overwhelmed and out of control. So it is no surprise that Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project and regular explorer of the topics of habits and happiness, looks at how to improve mental clarity and happiness by decluttering your home. Outer Order Inner Calm is is full of advice on how to develop your own system to reduce and manage clutter; it also gives inspirational examples of how decluttering can reduce our sense of paralysis around the status quo, by creating headspace for considering new possibilities.
For many people, overthinking causes spiralling negative thoughts that affects both physical and mental health. It is exhausting, distracts you from what’s truly important, and can feel inescapable. In Stop Overthinking, Nick Trenton offers 23 techniques that help us learn about our negative spiral triggers, identify and manage anxiety and stress attacks, declutter our minds as well as adopt relaxation techniques. Together these tools become a transformative strategy that ends vicious thought patterns by helping us control our thoughts, change our habits and ultimately rewire our brains.
Digital Minimalism in Everyday Life: Overcome Technology Addiction, Declutter Your Mind, and Reclaim Your Freedom by James W Williams and Amy White
Have you ever felt that devices and apps are taking over your life, or that you are wasting too much time, energy or focus on your smartphone? Such problems seem more urgent than ever, but Digital Minimalism in Everyday Life is here to help. James W Williams and Amy White offer useful discussions, tools and tips to help you regain control over your tech, using it in a more intentional, effective and ultimately enjoyable way. There are chapters covering very timely issues including digital detox; digital addiction; decluttering your inbox/ desktop/ home screen; minimising the distraction of notifications; and excessive screentime for kids.
Kindfulness: Be a True Friend to Yourself with Mindful Self-Compassion by Padraig O’Morain
Kindfulness weaves together two self-care tools – mindfulness and self-compassion – into a powerful approach that can lower stress and anxiety, and improve your relationships with yourself and with others. Kindfulness can be particularly helpful in managing perfectionism and self-criticism, and allows you to overcome procrastination and get on with your true goals. Kindfulness is a gentle, easy-to-read book with plenty of approachable exercises and affirmations to help you get into kindful thinking.
Still Life: the Myths and Magic of Mindful Living by Rebecca Pacheco
Rebecca Pacheco is a yoga teacher and blogger who has been informing and entertaining her fans with her understanding of yoga traditions. In Still Life, she explores the practice and the misconceptions around mindfulness and meditation. Her tone is wise but tough – she explains that mindfulness is not a cure-all, nor is it always easy or full of positivity; yet the process can improve our lives. Still Life offers readers practical tools for developing a consistent mindfulness practice, as well as funny and compassionate anecdotes about Rebecca’s own experiences with mindfulness.
The Practice of Not Thinking: a Guide to Mindful Living by Ryunosuke Koike
The Practice of Not Thinking, a bestseller from Japan, helps us live more mindfully by re-engaging with our senses. Tune into the present by looking instead of merely seeing, listening instead of hearing, and feeling instead of touching; this acts as an alternative to (over)thinking, which tends to create negativity and anxiety. Zen priest Ryunosuke Koike uses his understanding of Zen and Buddhism to develop practical tips on how to breathe, listen, speak, laugh, love and sleep in ways that help us improve calm and appreciate more.