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Book Review: Mindfulness Workbook for Dummies

 

Mindfulness Workbook for Dummies

Are you familiar with the term “mindfulness”? Do you understand what it means?

I’m sure mindfulness might mean different things to different people, but in a nutshell, mindfulness is defined as…

“A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”

For me it means being aware of the present – not the past or future. It’s being aware of the “here and now”. It’s not letting your mind wander, which I have a hard time doing.

I have heard (and read) positive things about being “mindful”. It’s therapeutic in a way and can help reduce (or eliminate) conditions like stress, anxiety, depression or fatigue.

We sold our condo and are buying a house that we are worried that we can’t afford after all. Stress, anxiety, depression and fatigue doesn’t even come close to how I am feeling these days. There are times I feel so heavy with emotions that I can barely breath. I think if we do move into our new house and after we are all settled in I am going to faint right there in the middle of the room from all the stress and anxiety that this is causing me, as well as my husband.

Mindfulness is also a form of meditation. I have friends who swear by meditation and what wonder is can do for your body, mind and soul.

When I was given the opportunity to review the book Mindfulness Workbook for Dummies I jumped on the opportunity. Even if it would be difficult to fully put all the suggestions and practice in place right now with all that is going on, at least I’ll have a better understanding as to what I need to do so when things settle down and I can find a few minutes here and there for myself I will take what I’ve learned and put it to use.

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Mindfulness Workbook for Dummies is written by Shamash Alidina and Joelle Jane Marshall.

I have always enjoyed Dummies books. They are a great starting point on the subjects that interest you the most. Just because the title has “dummies” in it doesn’t mean that the tone of the voice is to put you down for not knowing things. I think it’s just meant to be a little “tongue in cheek” humor.

The book is broken down into five sections –

Getting Started with Mindfulness
Preparing Yourself for Mindful Living
Practicing Mindfulness
Enjoying the Rewards of Mindfulness
The Part of Tens

I learned A LOT from this book. Not only about meditation but also about how to live in the present and stop focusing on the “What ifs” and “If only”. It’s OK to think about these things from time to time, but we can’t let is consume our lives.

Currently I get upset about an “If only” part of my life – one I can’t seem to shake no matter how much I try and let it go. It’s something that haunts me each and every day.

I’m also having a hard time not letting the “What ifs” enter my mind on a daily basis – What if we can’t truly afford the house? What if something goes seriously wrong and we can’t afford it? What if the kids can’t adjust to the new school and make friends? What if I can’t get a job? What if my husband’s commute is too long… These are the thoughts that take over my mind each and every day. That is why I NEED to get into practicing mindfulness everyday.

I like that the book doesn’t make you feel “bad” if you don’t “get it” right away. It even tells you that you don’t have to sit for hours at a time like a Buddist Monk in the lotus position in order to be successful at mediation and mindfulness. The book comes right out and says to you if you want to like down – like down! If drinking a cup of tea (and being mindful about it) is mediating for you – go for it.

 Cup of Tea

I was surprised that the book touched base on practicing mindfulness with children. It even gives you step-by-step directions on how to do it. I thought that was an interesting idea. My kids are teenagers now but maybe they could benefit from it too. Especially my son since I know he has bouts of anxiety. I’m sure moving away from the only home they know and the kids they have known all their lives and starting at a new school is very stressful. It’s stressful for me and my husband!

I had a general idea bout mindfulness prior to reading this book. Now that I’ve read the book I’ve learned so much more about it and feel confident that I can put all the worksheets and lessons to good use once I can find some “me time” (my kids start school next week – that might be my window of opportunity).

The book explained everything in a very easy to understand format. I have read other things about mindfulness and it left me more confused rather than enlightened or educated. This book made me feel smart about the subject – not like a “dummy”.

If you are interested in learning more about mindfulness, or already know a bit about it and would like to expand your knowledge and get in some practice, pick up a copy of the Mindfulness Workbook for Dummies, available at most book retail locations.

ISBN: 978-1-118-45643-9
Paperback
324 pages
April 2013
Retails for $19.99 (US)

Do YOU practice mindfulness? If not, does it sound like something you would like to try? Feel free to share your thoughts.

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Kimberly

*I received a free copy of the book in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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About Kimberly

Kimberly Vetrano resides in the suburbs of New York City with her family, five cats, dog, a tank full of fish and snails. She is also a freelance writer and photographer.

Comments

  1. I may check this out: I keep on hearing about mindfulness.

  2. I totally need this in my daily life. Thanks for the review.

  3. Cassie Sudduth says:

    This really sounds like awesome reading!!

  4. It’s so funny- this is something I’ve really been working on for the past month or so. I try to stay in the present by getting verbally aware of my surroundings. Sometimes I will just say out loud what I hear, smell, feel and taste. It’s a great trick to get me out of my head.

  5. I have several books on mindfulness, most with DVDs that came with the book. It does take some time to do the exercises but you get out of it what you put into it, right? I love the Dummies series and lots of their books too. Must check this one out and wishlist it on Amazon. Thanks for the review.

  6. This sounds like a book that I need to read. My life has been a whirlwind lately. I guess each of us relax or unwind in our own way when and if we can find time for it. Thanks for the review of another good Dummies book.

  7. This sound like a great read, maybe something I should read. I think I tend to think about the future, what do I need to do next, I like to keep things moving, flowing at a steady pace. I think I’m one of those people who looks outwardly relaxed, but inwardly my mind is going a mile a minute.

  8. When I was younger, I did practice mindfulness, but as the years have gone by, I have ‘slipped’. Time to start again.

  9. Erika Reyna says:

    I’m actually taken a course in University right now called Dimensions of wellness it briefly touched on this topic but this book sounds like it would be a great supplement to some changes in my life. Thanks for your review. I just started following you thanks for your time :)