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Anxiety comes in many forms and can affect people in different ways. If you’re dealing with anxiety, you’re definitely not alone. It’s the most common mental health issue facing Americans. Anxiety affects 40 million adults, or 18 percent of the population.
Types of anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety, panic disorder, and specific phobias. Anyone who lives with anxiety knows it can have a direct effect on your quality of life. But the good news is that anxiety, in all its forms, is treatable. The most common treatments for anxiety are psychotherapy, learning stress management techniques, medication, and aerobic exercise. There’s no one-size-fits-all. You may find yourself combining several different techniques to manage symptoms.
Self-help books can be a good way for you to learn about new techniques or try things that’ve worked well for others. The books below offer a variety of constructive ways to tackle anxiety symptoms from different perspectives.
Author Barry McDonagh asks readers to “Dare” anxiety to do its worst. The book focuses on facing anxious thoughts and challenging them instead of feeding into them or trying to ignore them. McDonagh’s technique is based on scientific evidence and his 10 years of helping people with anxiety. The book also comes with a free app and audiobook to use for relaxation and anxiety relief.
You’ve heard how helpful decluttering your living space can be. “Declutter Your Mind” applies this same philosophy to your mental space, with the idea being that negative and anxious thoughts take up valuable mental real estate. The book focuses on teaching mindfulness techniques to allow you to be present in the moment and take control of your thought process.
If you’re not into traditional self-help books and want to tell anxiety to eff off, “Hardcore Self Help: F**k Anxiety” is the read for you. The book’s philosophy is that reading a self-help book shouldn’t feel like a chore. In the book, author Robert Duff speaks candidly and weaves swearing and humor throughout the information and actionable tips.
Facing anxiety takes work. But without a guide, many of us don’t know where to start. “The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook” is exactly what the title suggests. It’s a workbook designed to help you learn tools and skills to manage anxiety symptoms effectively. Written by a cognitive behavioral therapist, the workbook is based off of current clinical research on anxiety and its treatment.
An unhealthy diet can have effects on more than cholesterol and blood pressure. As “The Anti-Anxiety Food Solution” suggests, foods also impact brain chemistry and emotions. The book offers tips on how to eat more nutrients and reduce cravings. There are also lifestyle tips for how to reduce anxiety symptoms.
Anxiety can be a deeply personal experience, with so many people experiencing it in different ways. Author Scott Stossel draws on his own personal history with anxiety to explore the condition’s history. He also offers the opinions of scientists, philosophers, and other writers. In addition to recalling the many treatments — including some strange ones — that were developed to relieve anxiety, “My Age of Anxiety” also provides personal stories of people who’ve found success in controlling their symptoms.
If others have described you as “too sensitive” or “too shy,” according to psychotherapist Elaine Aron, PhD, you might be a highly sensitive person. Aron’s book “The Highly Sensitive Person” is designed to help you recognize these traits and understand them to improve your life and personal relationships. Her perspective comes from a place of understanding, since Aron herself identifies as a highly sensitive person.
Panic attacks can leave you feeling powerless and out of control. In her book “From Panic to Power,” author Lucinda Bassett shares how she personally used techniques to fight back against anxiety and reclaim power over her life. She offers skills and methods to help you respond to anxious thoughts and negative self-talk.
The physical symptoms caused by anxiety may seem minor to people who’ve never experienced them. But to people who live with anxiety daily, they can make a big difference in quality of life. The late Dr. Claire Weekes drew on her years of treating patients with anxiety to offer step-by-step guidance. “Hope and Help for Your Nerves” teaches you techniques for analyzing and understanding your own anxiety so you can focus on regaining control.
When you’re going through constant panic and anxiety, it can feel like you’ve lost your life and won’t ever get it back. Author Paul David wrote “At Last a Life” to share his story of recovery and provide hope for others that it’s possible to regain your life. The book is based on a combination of his personal story as well as research he’s done about anxiety.
Anxious thoughts can be pretty deceitful. They’re not actually grounded in reality, but they feel so legitimate when you’re having them. “When Panic Attacks” aims to help you recognize the anxious thoughts and confront their lies. Author Dr. David Burns is a believer in treating anxiety without medication. He also shares the latest research on anxiety and depression medications and why he feels they may sometimes do more harm than good.
Panic attacks can be downright terrifying if you don’t know what’s happening. Even after you’ve become familiar with them, they can still make you feel out of control and helpless. The “Panic Attacks Workbook” is designed to help you understand panic attacks and break the cycle of anxious responses leading to them. It uses charts and worksheets to help you literally work through recovery.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been proven as one of the most effective treatments for anxiety. Dr. Aaron T. Beck, clinician-researcher, and David A. Clark, PhD, cognitive behavior therapy expert, have put the CBT techniques used by therapists into a workbook for you. “The Anxiety and Worry Workbook” offers tools to better understand and manage anxiety thoughts and triggers.