Mindfulness Day is Coming! Let’s Read Some Books that Soothe the Soul

September 12 is officially Mindfulness Day!

Created in 2011, Mindfulness Day’s intent was to raise awareness to the general public about the profound value and benefit of mindfulness and the goal continues to this day.  And after years of global uncertainty, pandemic, and civil unrest, finding ways to be more mindful is more important than ever.

What is “Mindfulness?”

The Oxford Dictionary defines Mindfulness 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.

The clinical definition of Mindfulness is “paying attention to something, in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.” ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn, 2003.

In a nutshell, mindfulness is purposefully clearing the clutter in our brains and focusing on what is happening in the here-and-now.

Ways to Increases Personal Mindfulness

Pay Attention: This can begin by simply focusing on our breathing. We get so distracted by the news, social media, and our devices constantly pinging us that we forget the simplest of details that keep us alive. to your breathing in great detail and it will help you to practice the process of noticing when your mind begins to wander and can help bring your mind/attention back.

Journaling: It’s helpful to know where you are going in life if you remember where you have been. Journaling daily victories, concerns, goals, and mistakes (also known as “teachable moments”) helps to keep us at the moment and grateful for what we have. Check out this past post on why journaling is so helpful for kids.

Listen: When was the last time you put everything aside, looked someone in the eye, and really listened. I mean, really listened. As women, we are notorious multitaskers (out of pure necessity!) but when we are doing multiple things at once, we really aren’t fully present. Family and friends deserve our full attention and the feeling of being “all in” with someone who truly needs your time and love is priceless.

Fill Your Brain with Good: The best way to create a place where the negative takes a back seat in your mind is to fill it with good things. Things that make your life better and fill your heart with joy. Music, movement, and nature can do these things, and so can books. Filling our brains with good is a practice for all ages, kids included.

Let’s Read Some Books that Soothe the Soul

Like Rainwater by Deedee Cummings

Like Rainwater is a book of poetry that is also a coloring and activity book. Like Rainwater is a tribute to the author’s mother, Andrea Mast Pecchioni, who passed away in 2003 from her second battle with breast cancer. This skillfully written book reminds the reader that they can change their reactions by taking time to consider how those actions will affect us and others.

When children or adults react to something they find unfair, they often do or say things that they will regret later. Instead, the author encourages readers to “be like rainwater” and take the time to consider their options and reactions in a mindful and purposeful way.

Adults and educators will also find therapeutic techniques within the pages of this book that will help kids and adults with issues such as depression, self-defeating behaviors, and emotion regulation. {ages 8 and up}

The Little Book Of Mindfulness by Dr. Patrizia Collard

Mindfulness is the easy way to gently let go of stress and be in the moment. It has fast become the slow way to manage the modern world – without chanting mantras or finding hours of special time to meditate. Bring these simple 5- and 10-minute practices into your day to find freedom from stress and ultimately, more peace in your life. I believe this book targets adults, but I also think it would be a wonderful book for teens!

Get Out of My Head: Inspiration for Overthinkers in an Anxious World by Meridith Arthur

Are you an overthinker? If the answer is “yes,” this can be good and bad all at the same time. As a determined and ambitious woman, I can assure you that my continued success is due to my ability to think about 8 steps ahead in everything I do. However, on the downside, this can be exhausting over time. This book sheds light on what it’s like to have the overthinking superpower while also finding balance before we burn out completely. Get Out of My Head is here to help, providing guidance and inspiration for anxious overthinkers of all sorts. This compact, illustrated book offers soothing techniques for understanding anxiety and moving through the traps of overthinking.

Think Of It Like This! by Deedee Cummings

Through the gentle prompts in the book, readers are encouraged to think about their reactions and what is really happening. Is it the end of the world? Did it ruin your day? Does it really have to? Are you part of the problem? Can you change things? These pages are filled with simple solutions and messages that are so important for today’s kids to learn. This book also teaches therapeutic skills such as mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy to demonstrate the important lessons of self-control and perspective building. {ages 5 and up}

Mind Bubbles by Heather Krantz

Children today are engaged in a fast-paced, media-driven, competitive society that can lead to increased stress and stress-related problems such as anxiety and depression. Mindfulness is a way to deal with this stress and can help children calm themselves and focus their attention. Children are wholly capable of embracing these concepts when presented in a straightforward appealing fashion that speaks directly to them.

Charlotte and the Quiet Place by Deborah Sosin

Charlotte and the Quiet Place highlights the busyness of our world and how it affects children. This book has beautiful illustrations and features a child of color.
Charlotte likes quiet. But wherever Charlotte goes, she is surrounded by noise, noise, noise—her yipping dog, Otto; the squeaky, creaky swings; the warbling, wailing sirens. Even in the library, children yammer and yell. Where can Charlotte find a quiet place? Sara Woolley’s magnificent watercolors bring Charlotte’s city to life when Otto leads her on a wild chase through the park. There, Charlotte discovers a quiet place where she never would have imagined!

I am Peace by Susan Verde and Peter Reynolds

I am Peace is a beautifully illustrated mindfulness all about finding peace through being present. Mindfulness means being fully in the present moment. Children can learn how to manage their emotions, make good choices, and balance their busy lives by learning to be mindful, express emotions through speech, find empathy through imagination, and wonder at the beauty of the natural world. This beautiful book is simply stated and easy for picture book readers and elementary students to comprehend.

The Louisville Book Festival 2021 is coming!

This 501(c) (3) non-profit organization was founded in 2018 to celebrate and promote the love and the benefits of reading, writing, and literacy. We believe that literacy is a fundamental human right and that there is power and purpose in bringing books to life every day of the year. We celebrate books and use them to highlight and grow the resilient culture of our vibrant city, as well as to encourage and elevate our creative thinking as a community. This book is open to the public and we will have amazing authors from all over the nation on hand to talk books and sign copies.

Please join us on October 22nd and 23rd, 2021 at the Kentucky International Convention Center for excitement and exploration of all things books!

Connect with The Louisville Book Festival via their website or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About Deedee Cummings

As a therapist, attorney, author, and CEO of Make A Way Media, Deedee Cummings has a passion for making the world a better place. All ten of Cummings’ diverse picture, poetry, and workbooks for kids reflect her professional knowledge and love of life. Colorful and vibrant, her children’s books are not only fun for kids and adults to read, they also work to teach coping skills, reinforce the universal message of love, encourage mindfulness, and facilitate inclusion for all. Cummings has spent more than two decades working within the family therapy and support field and much of her writing shares her experiences of working with kids in therapeutic foster care. As a result, her catalogs of published books for kids are filled with positive, hopeful messages. Using therapeutic techniques in her stories to teach coping skills, Cummings also strives to lessen the stigma that some people feel when it comes to receiving mental health assistance.
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