In the world of expected overtime, late nights, tight deadlines, job insecurity, and high competition, prioritizing mental health becomes more important than ever before. The ability for a client, coworker, or boss to contact you at any time during the day through texts, emails, and calls makes it difficult to leave work behind and dedicate time to focus on you. This might explain the popularity of anxiety books today.
Anxiety and depression rank highly as the most common disorders in the United States. Anxiety disorders specifically are the most common mental illness in America, with 40 million Americans, or 18.1% of the population, suffering now.
If you suffer from an anxious brain, social anxiety, or generalized anxiety, you can at least take comfort in the fact that you are certainly not alone.
Whether you’re looking to understand the history of clinical anxiety or you want to learn how you can start dealing with anxiety, you can find a broad selection of literature out there to learn more from. And we’ve put together a list of our favorite anxiety books for you below.
Anxiety Books: 6 of Our Top Picks
by Scott Stossel
While anxiety disorders are extremely common, we did not have the clinical language to diagnose them until recently. Stossel uses his personal experience and a historical account of anxiety to help readers understand the development of the disease’s definition through his eyes and those of respected medical and philosophical thinkers.
He uses humor and wit to share the history of anxiety, including accounts from names ranging from Darwin, to Kierkegaard, to Freud. It’s a great read for someone who wants context for the medical conditions in addition to a personal, first-hand account of the disease.
by Sarah Wilson
Wilson uses humor and wisdom to discuss practical ways to handle anxiety in addition to fleshing out her own experience. From practicing deep breathing to actively choosing to miss out, she goes through different ways to tackle the beast that impacts so many of us.
Her title is based on the Chinese belief that before a beast can be conquered, it must be made beautiful by its conqueror.
She analyzes the lives of famous figures, such as Emily Dickinson and Martin Luther King Jr., to show that we are not alone in our struggles with anxiety. The New York Times Best seller offers comfort and advice to those who are dealing with anxiety.
Retrain Your Brain: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in 7 Weeks: A Workbook for Managing Depression and Anxiety
by Seth J. Gillihan PhD
Are you looking for a practical approach to tackling your own case of anxiety? This anxiety and phobia workbook walks you through the process of cognitive-behavioral therapy to help your retrain your brain and find relief on your own in as little as two months.
The interactive books give you an approach to practical lessons, step-by-step guides, and writing exercises to find relief through your own determination and study.
While this approach may work for some, it does not replace medical treatment.
10% Happier Revised Edition: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story
by Dan Harris
This clever narrative, that ranked as a #1 New York Times Bestseller, relies on personal experience of Nightline anchor Dan Harris in his journey through anxiety treatment.
He discovered his need for clinical help after experiencing a panic attack on live television. He found that what he believed was his asset was actually his greatest enemy — the incessant voice in his head who was never satisfied with his success.
After intense searching, he stumbled upon meditation, an effective method that rewired his over-active brain. His journey spans across brain scientists to spiritual gurus and his personal account is interesting to explore.
by Elaine N. Aron
This clinical psychologist delves into the diagnosis of a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) to help the reader understand how to conquer overstimulation and fear.
Her in-depth analysis into the psyche of a HSP allows the reader to identify symptoms in themselves and gives them methods to approach the world when they find it too overwhelming. She gives readers tools to reframe past experiences with positive thinking, deal with overstimulation, enrich their spirit, and relieve anxiety.
by Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo
While outwardly, perfectionists seem to have it all, on the inside, they typically struggle with self-doubt, unfulfillment, anxiety, and panic. Dr. Lombardo, Shaquille O’Neal’s “head coach for happiness,” gives the reader tangible exercises to help curb their perfectionist tendencies. She gives the readers the tools to handle their perfectionism while defining common traits and feelings of those who experience this strain of anxiety disorder.
Feeling inspired? Do you have an anxiety book recommendation that helped you tackle your own anxiety? What books have you read that make you feel good? Tell us in the comments!
Author, Artist, Photographer.
Sarah Margaret is an artist who expresses her love for feminism, equality, and justice through a variety of mediums: photography, filmmaking, poetry, illustration, song, acting, and of course, writing.
She owns Still Poetry Photography, a company that showcases her passion for capturing poetic moments in time. Instead of poetry in motion, she captures visual poetry in fractions of a second, making cherished keepsakes of unforgettable moments.
She is the artist behind the Still Poetry Etsy shop, which houses her illustrations and bespoke, handmade items. She is the author of intricacies are just cracks in the wall, a narrative poetry anthology that follows a young woman discovering herself as she emerges from an abusive relationship.