Anxiety is unfortunately very common. 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older are affected. Only about 40% of those struggling receive treatment. If you’re interested in learning about anxiety or are looking for help here is a great resource.
If you experience anxiety, you are not alone. A complex set of factors that contribute to the development including genetics, environment, brain chemistry, and life events. Life throws us circumstances that are genuinely out of our control. But – we can control how we choose to respond. Do we shut down? Maybe for a little. It’s normal to need a break. But then do we choose to find healthy ways to manage the waves?
We gathered a list of some of our favorite books that help you cope with anxiety. Anxiety is really difficult to manage and cope with. We hope if you decide to read one or all of these that you will find some hope in the discomfort of your anxiety. You are not alone and there are so many resources that can help you.
Have you ever felt like you were a burden to the world or those around you? This book is for you. In Daniell Koepke’s own words, Daring to Take up Space is for “the 17-year-old Daniell who was convinced she was worthless; who was convinced she would never survive or amount to anything. This is for the friends and family who never stopped believing in and supporting her. This is for all the people who feel that they have to shrink and hide who they are in order to be loved and accepted and worth something. This is for anyone who needs a reminder that you deserve to take up space in the world and that you are enough.”
It’s not easy to stay present in the middle of the chaos of life. How do we slow down to discover the person we were made to be? In Present Over Perfect, Shauna offers a collection of honest essays along with direction for a simpler way to live. You will need rest, grace, and connection.
Look around you and think about this – there is contrast everywhere. Maybe you’ve experienced great love. Maybe you’ve experienced great loss. This collection of poems and prose will show you that you are not alone. We go through stages in life of love, loss, pain, and beauty. Through honest words, Bianca Sparacino’s Seeds Planted in Concrete speaks to the very core of those who read it. Her words are raw and represent the resilience of all human beings.
Do you struggle with overthinking more often than not? As The Power of Now reflects – there is tremendous power in learning to stay in the moment. Our minds are naturally analytical and this is where our ego lives. The ego is the voice we hear in our brain. Eckhart Tolle believes learning to quiet that voice leads to a more anxiety-free life. But it’s way easier said than done. This book will show you how.
Self-awareness. Reconciliation. Healing. Potential. Connection. These are all words to describe the soul of Brianna Wiest’s poetry book, Salt Water. Brianna has such a graceful way of writing about what it takes to discover true, whole healing. We are all undoubtedly connected to a source within the universe and this source wants us to reach our highest potential. Grab on to this collection of poems and open your heart to your healing, you are wholly deserving.
The Untethered Soul is for the one seeking spirituality and inner peace. By walking the reader through meditation techniques and personal experiences, Michael A. Singer shares how to let go of negative thoughts through mindfulness. We see words like ‘mindfulness’ and ‘consciousness’ and become overwhelmed. Singer helps simplify these terms. If this all piques your interest, it’s is definitely worth a read.
Have you ever said to yourself, “I should be farther along by now” or “I will never get past this”? These are two lies, Rachel Hollis, author of Girl, Wash Your Face believed about herself for a long time. Each chapter reflects a different lie along with lessons she learned and techniques she used to move past them. When what we believe about ourselves is negative, anxiety is often attached to that negativity.
If You Feel Too Much is for the one who feels life deeply and is looking for someone who understands. You will find this in your self-help search. Maybe you’ve experienced mental health difficulties. Maybe you’ve lost someone close to you. Maybe you’re trying to figure out how to navigate highs and lows, while trying to live a life you’re proud of. Through a collection of essays, Jamie offers a friendly voice. A voice that says, “It’s okay.” A voice that says, “Reach out. You deserve it.” If you read this you will be reminded you are not alone in anything.
Have you tried coloring to calm your mind? There is a lot of research and it’s been proven to lower stress. This interactive coloring book takes you through a Secret Garden where through coloring, you find hidden creatures. It’s kind of like a treasure hunt you did as a kid but adult-style!
If you love the ocean, here is another coloring book by Johanna Basford that illustrates all things under the sea! It is creative and beautiful. Perfect for pen or pencil.
This one isn’t like any other self-help book. It’s vulgar. It’s funny. It’s counterintuitive. It’s for the one ready to put aside excuses and confront reality. It’s for the one ready to be real and run towards painful thoughts. It’s not always about positive affirmations and self-care. Sometimes you just have to say, “F it” and gently deal with where you’re at. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck will help you do just that.
There is no anxiety in joy, but how do we find it within suffering? Archbishop Tutu and the Dalai Lama sat down to talk and reflect on how they’ve been able to find peace, joy, compassion, and love in their lives. They offer wisdom and strategy on living a life filled with joy. The Book of Joy is powerful and deeply moving for a heart searching for meaning within suffering.
Not feeling like you belong leads to anxiety. Not feeling accepted for living your truth leads to anxiety. Feeling alone leads to anxiety. Through research and honest storytelling Brené Brown opens up a conversation about belonging, vulnerability, shame, empathy, and so much more. If you’ve been feeling particularly lonely, Braving the Wilderness is for you. There is endless self-discovery to be found in solitude.
Maybe at the end of the day the one thing you pray for is freedom. Freedom from anxiety. Freedom from overthinking. Don Miguel Ruiz writes based on ancient Toltec wisdom that says there are four agreements one must make with themselves on a daily basis in order to find personal freedom. This book is practical and helpful for any mind looking for relief from anxiety.
This is a faith based book so if you’re trying to navigate your anxiety with God, this may be for you! In Anxious for Nothing, Max Lucado takes readers on a journey through Philippians 4:6-7. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. He emphasizes the power of godly bravery that can help you get through fear and worry.
This isn’t a self-help book or specifically for anxiety – but it is filled with hope and hope softens anxious thoughts. The Glass Castle is a beautiful memoir about the dysfunction and love of one family. Growing up Jeannette Walls and her siblings had to learn to take care of themselves. Their father had a drinking problem and their mother didn’t want to raise a family. It is a touching story and the writing is incredible. Highly recommend.
Have you heard about meditation but are questioning it? Are you overwhelmed about how to try it out? Do you suffer from panic attacks? Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics is filled with meditation instructions and author Dan Harris (ABC News anchor) shares his honest experiences with panic. Science shows that meditation can rewire your brain and lower blood pressure. It may be worth a try for you if you’ve been curious!
What are some of the best books about anxiety that you’ve encountered? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your favorite books on the topic and we’ll include some of the best curations on this post.