If you struggle with anxiety, you know how crippling its effects can be. These must-read books for people with anxiety will give you tools to help you reflect, readjust, and better face your daily battles.
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Author Barry McDonaugh, who is neither a mental health specialist or practicing psychologist, has revolutionized people’s mental health and well-being. His book unveils the reasons why many therapeutic anxiety tools are not long-term solutions, and indeed why they fail many sufferers. His approach is unorthodox—instead of transforming negative thoughts into positive ones, he urges his readers to embrace their anxious thoughts, no matter how intense or insane they may be. He preaches 4 steps of mindfulness—diffusing, allowing, running towards, and engaging—to develop a detached perspective that allows these thoughts to exist without overwhelming you.
Clinical psychiatrist David Burns’ book was published in 1980 and remains a favorite among laypeople everywhere. Burns utilizes the principles of cognitive therapy to enable people to take charge of their psychological well-being. Burns believes that most mental conditions are a result of distorted thinking. By recognizing these distortions and inclinations to think negatively, he argues that you can move towards replacing them with rational thoughts.
Russ Harris is one of the most vocal proponents of a cognitive exercise called ACT, or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Similar to Barry McDonaugh’s approach, ACT suggests that there is nothing inherently wrong with anxiety, that it is a necessary instinct to protect oneself, and that instead of removing those feelings, it’s healthier to develop tools to face them successfully.
In this book, Kristin Neff proposes a new way to relate to our success and failures, and that is through self-compassion. She has done extensive research into how we can develop this compassion for ourselves and how it can lead to true happiness. She undoes the notion that self-esteem is a worthwhile tool, and in fact rejects it as an ineffective measurement of psychological health.