Book Review: The Calm Book

With its soft aqua-wash cover, simple yet meaningful name, and stunning artwork and imagery, The Calm Book is a revelation. A stark reminder to stop and think about what really matters, when you’re busy rushing around, constantly thinking about the next thing instead of what is happening right now. The authors, Michael Acton Smith and Alex Tew, invite you into a world of mindfulness and appreciation for even the smallest things.

Title: Calm

Authors: Michael Acton Smith and Alex Tew

Series: N/A

Publication Date: 26/03/2015

Genre: Lifestyle Guide

The foundation of a calm attitude is mindfulness.”

I recently purchased this book since I have experienced my fair share of anxiety, but also just because I would like to keep it as a reminder of what is really important. It is one of those books you don’t need to read chronologically. You can dip in and out as you please and take from it what you will; whether that is smiling one more time in your day than you would have done or completely changing your approach to your daily activities.

The introduction explains that “the foundation of a calm attitude is mindfulness.” You can train yourself to become more mindful, developing the ability to “become present in our everyday lives.” Research into mindfulness studies has soared in recent years and findings have shown the benefits of the practice.

The Tea Ritual

The style, layout, images and drawings used in this book are gorgeous, right down to the serene photograph of a sandy shore on the final page. The Calm Book is full of illustrated pages of content that offer up examples of how to become more mindful in everyday life. For example, a personal favourite of mine (as a lover of tea), is The Tea Ritual. This double page spread highlights the simple pleasure of drinking tea, taking an extract from Sonnenuntergang im Prater, by Peter Altenberg (translated by Patrizia Collard).

I love the Sleep and Food chapters, as well as the little suggestions to read poetry, walk bare foot, or go for a walk. It can be easy to forget to smile or take things for granted, as is the nature of the fast-paced environment we now live in. We are constantly surrounded by mobile phones and laptops, always thinking about that Netflix show we are going to watch when we finally get home from work, or that essay we really should have finished already. The Calm Book appreciates the little things in life which may go overlooked, whilst also reminding us to live in the now. I find it to be a refreshing and intricate approach to life.

You can purchase your own book here.

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