If you find yourself increasingly unfocused and overwhelmed, you’re not alone. With our always-on lifestyle and blurred lines between work and home, it’s not a surprise that many people find themselves feeling pressured. While some jitters are normal in high-stress situations like a job crisis or financial crunch, when these symptoms get out of control they can take over your life and create paralyzing fear.
As people seek to regain control in the face of modern uncertainty and chaos, “mindfulness” has emerged as a popular way to manage anxiety and calm frazzled nerves. It’s become a mega publishing trend as well, with everything from self-help meditation guides to coloring books.
“Changing the world for the better begins with individuals creating inner peace within themselves.”
—Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama
Here’s a sampling of popular titles, listed alphabetically by author.
1. 52 Small Changes for the Mind: Improve Memory, Minimize Stress, Increase Productivity, Boost Happiness by Brett Blumenthal
Promising “a road map to a better life,” this 52-week program encourages you to make on small change every week for a year. The result, says author Blumenthal, will be less stress, more productivity, and greater fulfillment. Challenges include “be confident,” “get out of town,” and “streamline your space.” Easy-to-use worksheets and other tools are included.
2. The Mindfulness Journal for Anxiety: Daily Prompts and Practices to Find Peace by Tanya J. Peterson, MS NCC
This beautifully illustrated book helps readers learn about and manage anxiety through mindfulness. A National Certified Counselor, Peterson guides the reader using exercises and meditations to identify anxious thoughts and create coping mechanisms. The book provides an easy-to-navigate approach for dealing with anxiety and finding inner peace.
3. Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers, 3rd ed. by Robert M. Sapolsky
Celebrating its 25th year, this completely revised and updated third edition combines humor and science to explain how prolonged stress can create or worsen a host of physical and mental problems. Sapolsky, a professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University and the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation genius grant, explains that “stress-related disease emerges, predominantly, out of the fact that we so often activate a physiological system that has evolved for responding to acute physical emergencies, but we turn it on for months on end, worrying about mortgages, relationships, and promotions.”
4. The Headspace Guide to Meditation & Mindfulness by Andi Puddicombe
First published in 2016, this book found its way onto Bill Gates’s list of favorite books for 2018. in “Prior to finding Headspace,” he wrote in his GatesNotes blog, “I had read several books about meditation, all of which intimidated me. They made me think that the investment in terms of time and energy was just too high. Headspace made the barrier to entry low enough for me. It’s just 10 minutes a day of listening to Andy’s soothing British accent and trying to stay with him.”
5. Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking by S. J. Scott and Barrie Davenport
The authors identify the sources of what they call “mental clutter”—including stress, obligations, relationships, and surroundings. With a focus on mindfulness and meditation, they offer “practical, science-backed actions” that can create “an immediate, positive impact on your mindset.” Reviewers tout its clarity and effectiveness.
Have you read a book or journal that helped you understand or cope with anxiety? We’d love to hear about it. Drop us a line in the comments section below.
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