Non-Fiction Book Review: Everyday Stress Relief

Everyday Stress Relief by Ruth C. White PhD MPH MSW
Everyday Stress Relief: Essential Techniques to Boost Emotional Resiliency and Improve Your Health
by Ruth C. White PhD MPH MSW

4 out of 5 stars


This book provides practical suggestions for dealing with stress in a positive and healthy way. It includes commonly stressful scenarios and how to cope when dealing with each one. Some of the scenarios include, death of a loved one, losing a job, starting college, retiring, buying a home, parenting a difficult child, getting dinner on the table, commuting to work, feeling lonely, or being in a car accident.

Each section begins with a description of the struggles of the scenario and the possible emotions that may arise. Then there is a stress-relieving exercise to try such as meditation, physical exercise, journaling, or reframing your thoughts in a more positive light.

I love that this book focuses on gratitude, resilience, and gentleness. The writing is very encouraging, and gives excellent advice for navigating the strong emotions that can come up during stressful times. Continue reading

Book Review: Meditations on Christ

Meditations on Christ by Benjamin W. Decker
Meditations on Christ: A 5-Minute Guided Journal for Christians
by Benjamin W. Decker 

2 out of 5 stars

This book has written prayers, meditations, and journal prompts for Christians with a Scripture verse at the beginning of each section.

Although the title is “Meditations on Christ”, every section is all about the fruit of the spirit listed in Galatians. Christ is certainly mentioned in each prayer and meditation, but the title is misleading, since the meditations do not focus primarily on the person of Christ. A better title would be “Meditations on the Fruits of the Spirit.”

This book does have a few weird ideas though, such as making an altar with some candles and “an image of Christ”. That sounds like idolatry.

There are many references to the “children of God” and how “we are all family in the Kingdom of God.” Except we aren’t.

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Non Fiction Review: A Year of Mindfulness for Beginners

A Year of Mindfulness for Beginners by Lee Papa
A Year of Mindfulness for Beginners: Daily Mantras, Meditations, and Prompts
by Lee Papa (Goodreads Author)

2 out of 5 stars


This book includes inspirational quotes from famous people like Nikola Tesla and Eleanor Roosevelt. I really loved these interesting quotes from a wide variety of people!

Most of the meditation prompts and guidance in this book are innocent reminders to release stress, focus on what is important, believe in yourself, and allow yourself to relax. But sometimes there will be a weird one that made me wonder about the underlying philosophy that is being taught in this book. It is very focused on self, and talks about an “Eternal Consciousness”. There is an entire chapter about interpreting your dreams that sounded completely idiotic to me.

There is a lot of talk about “creating your own reality” and other strange ideas. (Reality is reality. You can change your perception of it or how you think about it, but what is real is real. You don’t create it. It just is.) While reading, I would just try to enjoy the normal meditations and mindfulness prompts, and skip over the weird ones.
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Non Fiction Review: Daily Meditation Book of Healing

The Daily Meditation Book of Healing by Worthy Stokes
The Daily Meditation Book of Healing: 365 Reflections for Positivity, Peace, and Prosperity
by Worthy Stokes

2 out of 5 stars


This book has a short paragraph to read each day with positive affirmations, tools for navigating difficult emotions, and ways to cultivate an attitude of healing and kindness towards yourself.

I’m not sure how I like this book. Some of the ideas are really good, about forgiving yourself, allowing yourself to be imperfect, letting go of bitterness or doubt, and embracing wonderful affirmations and positive thoughts.
But then some weird stuff about “mystical awareness” will creep in. The author seems to think that we will magically gain wisdom from within ourselves if we just listen to our subconscious mind and heart. It’s an odd philosophy, and doesn’t seem realistic. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Mindful Games for Kids

Mindful Games For Kids by Kristina Sargent
Mindful Games For Kids: 50 Fun Activities to Stay Present, Improve Concentration, and Understand Emotions
by Kristina Sargent

5 out of 5 stars


This book has easy and fun games and meditations for children that helps them to navigate tough emotions, calm their impatience, and learn to listen. The activities are grouped in categories for focusing on the breath, the senses, the body, and on gentle thoughts and calm emotions.

Each game has a cute illustration that demonstrates the imaginary things we are thinking of during the meditation. One meditation says to imagine that you are a mountain, standing tall as you raise your arms above your head, while you feel connected to the ground. And there is an illustration of children standing tall and strong like mountains. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Essential Pranayama

Essential Pranayama by Jerry Givens
Essential Pranayama: Breathing Techniques for Balance, Healing, and Peace
by Jerry Givens

4 out of 5 stars


This book goes in-depth about the energy centers of the body and how the breath can move and create energy, soothing and refreshing the body. There are instructions for different types of breathing rhythms, and different postures for sitting or lying down as you meditate and breathe. I love how many details and explanations there are about different aspects of the breathe and lungs.

There are breathing exercises to try, with clear instructions and a list of benefits. There are exercises for an energizing breath, or for a calming breath. Some of my favorites are included like Alternate Nostril Breathing, Buzzing Bee Breath, and Ocean (Ujayi) Breath. There are breathing techniques for mental clarity, stress relief, and for better sleep through calming and cooling breathing. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: Mindfulness for Little Ones

Mindfulness for Little Ones by Hiedi France
Mindfulness for Little Ones: Playful Activities to Foster Empathy, Self-Awareness, and Joy in Kids
by Hiedi France

4 out of 5 stars

This book begins with an introduction for parents about how young children need help regulating their emotions and moods, and about the limit attention spans of a toddler or preschooler. Then there are instructions about how to use the meditations and activities in this book to help each child according to their individual capabilities.

The first chapter is “Dance, Wiggle, and Move” activities to help a child pay attention to their body and be more mindful of their movements. The next chapter focuses on the five senses with activities for listening to sounds, watching clouds, smelling different scents, and eating mindfully.

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Non Fiction Review: Meditation for Kids

Meditation for Kids by Tejal V Patel
Meditation for Kids: 40 Activities to Manage Emotions, Ease Anxiety, and Stay Focused
by Tejal V Patel

5 out of 5 stars


This book has easy and fun meditations for children that helps them to navigate tough emotions, calm their impatience, and learn to listen. The meditations are grouped in categories for increasing your positive energy, improving concentration and creativity, and opening your heart to kindness and compassion. There is an entire chapter of meditations just for bedtime, to soothe and calm the mind and body. Continue reading

Non Fiction Review: 5-Minute Stress Relief

5-Minute Stress Relief by Elena Welsh
5-Minute Stress Relief: 75 Exercises to Quiet Your Mind and Calm Your Body
by Elena Welsh

5 out of 5 stars

The first chapter in this book discusses what causes stress and how it affects our bodies and minds. It goes through common emotional and physical symptoms of stress, and how we can change our behavior and reactions to better handle stress.

The second chapter begins the exercises for stress relief with simple things like focusing on the breath, being mindful of your surroundings, and activities like reading for pleasure, talking to someone about how you feel, quieting your mind, listening to music, and laughing more. Each of these come with detailed instructions that list the benefits of the activity. With guided meditations, positive affirmations, and instructions for using essential oils, this chapter has a lot of wonderful ideas for relieving stress. Continue reading

Board Book Review: Let’s Make Yoga Magic

Let's Make Yoga Magic by Heather Leah
Let’s Make Yoga Magic
by Heather Leah, Sandie Sonke (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars

This board book has interactive levers, wheels, and pop ups that help to teach children about different yoga poses. The text explains the pose in very simple terms, along with something for the child to imagine while they do the pose.

For example, in bridge pose you can imagine that a river is flowing underneath you and your legs and arms are the bridge across the water. Children can pretend to be a snake, a dog, a mountain, a butterfly, a dancer, a tree, a plane, a pretzel, a boat, a warrior, and a dragon! All of these correspond with the traditional yoga pose, and add an element of fun and awareness to the practice of yoga.

The text is told in rhyme and beautifully written!

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