Reading can help you gain insight and empowerment if you’re coping with anything new or difficult. When it comes to anxiety, literature can help in the understanding of what you’re going through and find the courage to go through it.
Excessive concern or panic episodes can be crippling for anyone who has encountered them. It’s difficult to see the daylight at the end of the tunnel at those times. Isn’t it true that you wish you could call your therapist at any time?
You’re not alone if you suffer from anxiety (think: unease, nervousness, or severe agitation). As per the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, over 264 million individuals worldwide suffer from anxiety disorders, with women roughly twice as probable as men to develop one.
Counseling and medicine are the most effective treatments for anxiety, although self-help literature can also be helpful. Most self-help books provide a greater grasp of what anxiety is, the role of the mind, and how emotions may take over. These books can be beneficial for those who require practical techniques on a daily basis, as far as they are validated by research.
A good anxiety self-help book, as per Ellen Hendriksen, Ph.D., licensed clinical psychologist and author of How to Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety, fulfills 3 criteria: It expresses an emotion or experience you have had for ages but couldn’t put into words, reduces shame and loneliness, and motivates you to take action. An excellent self-help book might leave you with a fresh outlook, new attitude, renewed motivation, or anything else sparkly and new to try out
While therapy has a lot of benefits, we all need some additional help from time to time when it relates to our mental health. And that’s where anxiety books come in. Here are some expert-written books to help you on your recovery path.
Stress-Related Anxiety Books
The books mentioned below are intended for people who can link their anxiety to particular stressors in their lives, and they will teach readers how to deal with crises, minimize stress, and react sensibly.
Manage Your Day-to-Day
While Manage Your Day-to-Day by Jocelyn K. Glei is frequently cited as a business book for those in creative areas, its application to other kinds of stress and anxiety is clear. The book is a collection of vital lessons in life on how to stay focused on your most important goals despite a flood of many other challenges, disruptions, and diversions. Instead of getting caught up in the interests of others, the book urges you to create conscious routines that put your priorities first. The habits and routines in this book are designed to put you again in the driver’s seat, with step-by-step instructions on how to reach where you want to go. Readers will discover how to deal with stress on their own terms in this book that is equal parts philosophical and practical.
Dan Harris is a well-known news presenter, and his book 10% Happier chronicles his personal struggle with crippling anxiety and stress, which culminated in an extreme public panic episode. Following this encounter, he embarked on an extended search for a solution to his tension and anxiety. Meditation, an ancient technique of teaching the mind to disconnect from harmful thoughts and stories and be truly present in each moment, provided him with what he was looking for. Harris sprinkles modern studies and neuroscience throughout his narrative, all of which back up his assertions that meditating can help you lower anxiety and stress while also making you 10% happier.
The Upside of Stress
Many people suffer from both anxiety and stress, with each growing off of the other. Dr. Kelly McGonigal, a well-known psychologist, questions the long-held belief that stress (especially chronic stress) is harmful. She claims, based on a wealth of evidence, that stress may be good, inspiring, and beneficial. Her goal is to modify the way readers feel and think about stress so they can react differently to it when it arises, even knowing how to utilize it to their benefit. Because McGonigal’s idea is that the widespread notion that stress is unpleasant and detrimental is the underlying cause of its negative impacts on mental and physical health, changing people’s minds and feelings about stress is an important component of the process.
Neglect, Abuse, Loss, and Other Trauma-Related Anxiety Books
When individuals who have been through traumatic situations such as being mistreated, abandoned, deceived, or losing loved ones are reminded of what occurred, they typically revisit the events. When this occurs, their fight or flight (fear) reaction is triggered, resulting in severe anxiety symptoms. When anxiety is caused by a traumatic event, it is nearly always important to get through the trauma. While this should be done in conjunction with a trauma therapist, the books mentioned below can aid in the process of healing.
Finding Meaning is a deeply intimate book, documenting David Kessler’s grief following his son’s death a few years ago. It focuses on the emotional wounds that anyone who has lost someone (or something) they care about has experienced. The book is a follow-up to a publication co-authored by Kessler in the 1970s that introduced the now-famous 5 stages of mourning concept. Kessler revises his approach, adding a sixth stage in which a person advances beyond acceptance, finding meaning in love and tragedy in the midst of suffering. This is a must-read for anyone mourning, but it also has larger implications for trauma of any kind. Finding Meaning urges readers to develop things that really matter in the blank spaces left behind, rather than just getting to terms with the loss.
Whole Again is a follow-up (of sorts) to Jackson MacKenzie’s previous book, Psychopath Free, which was intended for people who were in a relationship with psychopathic persons. Whole Again is a healing handbook for anyone who has been in an abusive or toxic relationship. This book can make you realize how various sorts of abuse can develop into different kinds of defenses, or what McKenzie referred to as the “protective self.” While this protective self is vital in these circumstances, it typically lingers after the abuse and can become a hindrance, even ruining healthy relationships. Whole Again offers a more genuine way to recover and reconnect with the “true self” hidden beneath the old defenses.
Books for Performance Anxiety, Fear of Failure, and Self-Doubt
Anxiety is often caused by profound self-doubts, insecurities, or an overall lack of confidence in one’s skills and abilities. This type of anxiety is common in the areas of school and employment, as well as any other facets of life where a person is creating goals and making plans for the future. If this describes you, the books listed below will provide you with a crash course in acquiring the courage and conviction necessary to battle through the anxieties and stay on track.
The Confidence Gap
The Confidence Gap is a follow-up to Russ Harris’s international bestseller, The Happiness Trap. Both volumes layout a method for dealing with unpleasant emotions based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy ideas. In line with the concept, Harris rejects the notion that feelings like worry are “problems” that need to be treated, instead emphasizing that it is your reaction to these feelings that is the real issue. Harris claims that the more you strive to prevent or manage worry, the further “stuck” you get. According to The Confidence Gap, the best method to become more confident is to build a better functional relationship with anxiety rather than getting rid of it. Harris does an excellent job of breaking down these abstract concepts into manageable chunks and concrete steps, as well as providing methods that can help you overcome your fear of failure.
Although a book on creativity and innovation by the writer of Eat, Pray, Love may appear to be an unexpected selection for a self-help guide on anxiety, the book’s charm stretches well beyond the creative arena. This is, at its heart, a book about courage and fear, and what to do to get both to get along. Since becoming a bestseller author, Elizabeth Gilbert experienced debilitating performance anxiety, feeling great pressure for the following book to be equally as productive and well-received. She talks about how embracing and cooperating with her fear was crucial in her messy journey of reuniting with her love and ingenuity for writing. Gilbert’s Big Magic teaches readers how to find the confidence they need to create magic in their lives, even while they’re surrounded by their worries.
Emotionfull: A Guide to Self-Care for Your Mental Health and Emotions
This workbook is based on self-acceptance and self-love, two things that everybody can use a little more of. It is easy to get carried away by your emotions if you’re apprehensive. Self-care, such as a face mask or a bubble bath, may be recommended to “just relax.” However, emotional self-care is frequently the genuine cure, even if it is more difficult to pinpoint. Author Lauren Woods provides compassionate and caring strategies built-in emotional self-care to assist anxious thinkers to recognize their requirements and respond to their feelings in a way that is self-care in true essence.
Books for Anxiety Related Shame, Insecurities, and Fear of Rejection
Many people will experience shame occasionally, but those who do so frequently are more prone to perceive it as worry. Anxiety that stems from a shame problem is often associated with thoughts of being criticized, humiliated, or failing as a consequence of not being competent enough in some aspect of your life. If this describes you, the books listed below can help you start the process of recovering from shame from within, rather than reliance on external validation for a short-term fix.
I Thought It was Just Me
Brene Brown is a researcher, social worker, best-seller author, and the star of one of the most popular TED presentations ever. What has given her so much public recognition? Her study focused on vulnerability and shame, two themes that most people avoid. I Thought It Was Just Me is for the defective versions of yourself that you are continually polishing, editing, and concealing out of fear of failure, abandonment, and not being enough. Brown’s appeal is to let go of your internal PR rep and be more open to being your untidy, flawed self. She tells you that striving for perfection places restrictions on you, fuels your shame, and unsettles others, driving them away. Stepping out of the ideal pageant removes a lot of tension, worry, and pressure.
Kristen Neff, a psychologist, has centered her career towards assisting people in developing self-compassion in order to overcome illnesses such as anxiety and depression. Self-compassion is important for both mental and physical health, according to her findings, and self-compassionate folks are healthier, happier, and more successful. Neff provides specific examples, solutions, and personal experiences for reversing the long-term effects of self-criticism. Self-compassion helps you grow stronger, bolder, and less influenced by shame, uncertainty, and fear by educating you to provide better care and comfort for yourself. Self-criticism fosters guilt and profound insecurities, whereas self-compassion supports a different aspect of you—the confident, compassionate, and peaceful one.
Reframe Your Viewpoints: How to Redirect Anxiety Energy to Unlock Confidence
Contextualizing emotional thoughts and sensations into quantitative ideas is the basis of neurolinguistic programming (NLP). It’s how Virginia Ritterbusch, a mental health practitioner and a life coach, reconceptualized her worried thinking after years of fighting it. She now utilizes her expertise to assist nervous readers to create daily habits, manage unpredictability, and reinterpret anxious thoughts so they may live beyond their fears.
This book explains how to redefine how you think about yourself, how to cultivate self-awareness via mindfulness, and how to make it simple. Developing habits to help you disengage from the worry cycle
Books to Help With Anxiety of Any Kind
Although anxiety can have a variety of causes and manifest itself in various aspects of life, all anxiety disorders share certain characteristics. When a person is nervous, there are trends in the way they feel, think, and act that unknowingly reinforce the worry, making it even worse. Each of the books listed below assists in uncovering these processes and promoting changes that make it more difficult for anxiety to thrive and spread.
Anxiety: The Missing Stage of Grief: A Revolutionary Approach to Understanding and Healing the Impact of Loss by Claire Bidwell Smith
Knowing what’s causing your anxiety is the 1st step in the line of treatment. Losses and unprocessed grief are common sources of anxiety for most people. Author Claire Bidwell Smith explores the science underlying anxiety and how to reprogram your brain to properly manage it using research and real-life tales. This book is chock-full of useful tips and methods to aid you in your healing process.
My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread and the Search for Peace of Mind by Scott Stossel
Stossel examines anxiety from a variety of perspectives, including medical, physical, and cultural ranging from Hippocrates’ findings to recent research from geneticists and neuroscientists. My Age of Anxiety depicts the toll anxiety can have on a person’s mental health while also delivering a message that you are not lonesome. Above all, Stossel explains how to deal with anxiety and achieve a more serene frame of mind.
Dare: The New Way to End Anxiety and Stop Panic Attacks by Barry McDonagh
Most individuals go for one of two things when they are anxious: they ignore it or they fuel into it. Both methods are detrimental to your mental wellness. Author Barry McDonagh encourages readers to look within themselves and find their emotional strength. For anxiety is just as strong as you allow it to be.
Dare also includes a free audiobook and an app that includes anxiety-reduction advice and practices.
Hope and Help for Your Nerves by Dr. Claire Weekes
If you have ever had anxiety, you are aware of the signs and symptoms: pounding heart, stomach cramps, tension headaches, and the list just goes on. Dr. Claire Weekes discusses her years of experience treating people from various backgrounds in this book, which includes a step-by-step approach that educates learners more about the signs and how to control their nerves. Here’s where you can find Hope and Support for Your Nerves.
Declutter Your Mind by S.J. Scott
We all have bad ideas, let’s admit it. The issue arises when you encounter them on a regular basis. When you are always stressed and overwhelmed, it has an impact on your whole life quality. S.J. Scott invites readers to use mindfulness practices to clear their minds in this book (literally). You make room for a healthier, fresh way of thinking by trying to get rid of negativity.
Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig
Anxiety and stress are ubiquitous in today’s frantic, fast-paced environment. Matt Haig discusses his adult struggle with anxiety, depression, and panic disorder as well as how his external environment influenced his interior one. Notes on a Nervous Planet delves further into our digital world and offers specific advice on becoming more attentive.
From Panic to Power: Proven Techniques to Calm Your Anxieties, Conquer Your Fears, and Put You in Control of Your Life by Lucinda Bassett
While stress is unavoidable, we have the ability to choose how we react to it. Lucinda Basset presents tried-and-true ways for helping readers move from a fearful to an empowered and positive perspective. You can cope with your problems in a healthy and productive way if you raise your self-awareness.
Five Best Anxiety Books For Kids
The Don’t Worry Book by Todd Parr
Age Group Recommended: 3 to 5 years
We all worry from time to time, whether because of the darkness, someone who appears to be hostile, or perhaps even the newscast on television. Todd Parr’s new book is here to comfort toddlers that they can assume charge of their worries! After reassuring them that everybody has worries sometimes, Parr suggests practical, kid-friendly solutions, such as envisioning oneself as a superhero or speaking to people they care about. This book teaches kids that anxieties may come and go, but they can find methods to calm themselves — or ask for help if they need it — with vivid drawings that will make them laugh.
Too Many Bubbles: A Story About Mindfulness by Christine Peck
Age Group Recommended: 3 to 7 years
Izzy the mouse has had a difficult day, and she understands why: a bubble has cast a long shadow over everything. It’s only one tiny bubble, but the grumpy idea accompanies her about it and won’t leave her alone. Then there’s another… and the other… and another. Soon, there will be many bubbles that Izzy will be pushed off the canvas! Izzy, thankfully, has a plan: she heads to her “secret location,” a tranquil beach, and begins taking long, deep breathes. As readers assist her in blowing the bubbles out, they’ll see how these focused breaths may help them overcome their own anxieties too! This is an engaging and motivating book on gaining hold of your emotions when they seem to overpower you, with vivid drawings and more activities to do at the back.
Ruby Finds A Worry by Tom Percival
Age Group Recommended: 4 to 7 years
The Worry, a yellow doodle with a furrowed forehead, is so little when Ruby first sees it that she hardly recognizes it. However, as it grows in size, it begins to drain all of the other colors from the canvas. It doesn’t take long for the Worry to get so large that it prevents Ruby from doing the activities she enjoys. Then she encounters a guy at the playground with his own blue-scribble Worry… and when she speaks with him about it, she learns that chatting about your Worries can help you to keep them controllable and smaller. This kid-friendly narrative is a great approach to communicating to youngsters about anxiety and concern while also emphasizing that there are resources available to help them when they need them.
Ten Beautiful Things by Molly Griffin
Age Group Recommended: 4 to 8 years
Lily is scared and upset about having to relocate to Gran’s field in the middle of nowhere in the absence of her parents, and she feels grumblings starting in her tummy again, coming up her neck, and almost out her mouth. Thankfully, her wise Gran has a suggestion: find 10 wonderful things along the route. Lily isn’t expecting to see anything spectacular until she sees the magnificent sunrise, which steals her breath away. Soon, she discovers a slew of new things, including wonderful thing number 10: change is difficult, but Gran is just there to support her. Lily’s relocation without her parents isn’t addressed, but it helps children facing a variety of hardships imagine themselves in Lily’s place — and reminds them that those who love us will still be there.
Kevin Henkes’ Wemberly Worried
Age Group Recommended: 4 to 8 years
Wemberly is another one of those kids who are concerned about anything from dropping her juice to a snake entering through the vent, and her school presents its own set of concerns, such as whether or not she will make friends. Fortunately, Wemberly is introduced to another apprehensive new student by a compassionate teacher, and the two quickly find themselves not only consoling one another but also learning that there’s just too much pleasure to be at school — and with new mates — than to spend all of your time worrying. Wemberly will appeal to children’s emotions, and seeing her conquer her worries will inspire them to consider how they can do the same.