Anxiety has been cited as the number one mental health issue in North America. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reports that anxiety disorders impact 18.1 percent of adults in the United States, while an estimated 31.9 percent of adolescents experience varying forms of anxiety disorder. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that globally, more than 260 million people suffer from some form of anxiety disorder.
These mental health statistics are disturbing, but most likely only touch the surface of the current epidemic. Those with anxiety and depression often suffer in silence. Anxiety is also prevalent in the workplace. According to another recent WHO study, depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy one trillion USD annually in lost productivity. However, many people are reluctant to seek help or are even unaware that they have an anxiety issue.
There are reams of good books on taming anxiety. Here are just a few I keep coming back to, time and time again.
by Doc Childre and Howard Martin
This book is an excellent introduction to classic HeartMath foundations. For decades, the Institute of HeartMath has produced rock-solid programs and science-backed evidence defining the intelligence of the heart. The Heartmath Solution masterfully outlines the connection between the heart and emotional health, including stress, anger, and anxiety. This book provides three practical techniques that will help you tune into your heart wisdom and gain more emotional self-awareness. Consider this an "owner's manual to the heart."
2. Transforming Anxiety: The HeartMath Solution for Overcoming Fear and Worry and Creating Serenity
by Doc Childre and Deborah Rozman PhD
Transforming Anxiety pairs well with The HeartMath Solution, as takes a deeper dive into HeathMath methods and specific exercises and tools to handle stress, anxiety and other mental health challenges. The authors define ways to transform overwhelm by focusing on vital heart-centered emotions such as care, appreciation and compassion. Childre and Rozman offer a set of signature HeartMath techniques that will help conquer worry, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress and fear, ultimately creating more peace within. With regular practice, HearthMath methods can help to transform stress -- within yourself and in your interactions with others.
3. Dare: The New Way to End Anxiety and Stop Panic Attacks
by Barry McDonagh
This book outlines how the author overcame his own personal challenges with anxiety. McDonagh assures his readers that they are not alone, and that there are ... "literally millions of perfectly sane, normal people that have the exact same problem that you do." The Dare Response is a technique developed by McDonagh rooted in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness methods. Dare stands for: Defuse, Allow, Run towards, and Engage. This method has proven beneficial to many -- an excellent addition to have in your tool kit. McDonagh also has an active online support platform, including apps, and additional resources.
4. The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook
by Edmund Bourne PhD
Anyone suffering from anxiety is certain to gain insight from this trusted and valued resource. Now in its sixth edition, The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook is a sought-after tool for therapists, patients and their families. However, it can be used as a stand-alone resource for anyone committed to work through the exercises on their own. The advice is straight-forward and generally easy to follow - you can also jump to the sections that pertain to you the most. The worksheets set you up for honest self-reflection and analysis. If you're ready to do the work, this book will help.
by Dennis Greenberger PhD and Christine A. Padesky PhD
This classic book is used to address a number of challenges, including anxiety, depression, anger, guilt, low self-esteem, substance abuse and relationship difficulties. Many psychologists consider this book to be the holy grail of cognitive-behavioral therapy books, and has been cited as, "The Most Influential Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Publication" by the British Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Psychotherapies. The recently published second edition contains additional information pertaining to anxiety. Mind Over Mood is an interactive workbook that helps you set goals, complete exercises and reflect. It can be a transformational tool for anyone trying to get a handle on mood disorders, anxiety, or simply wishing to gain more insight into their behavior. If you have heightened levels of anxiety, many recommend using this book in conjunction with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy from a qualified professional.
6. The Mood Cure
by Julia Ross
"We're in a bad mood epidemic," says Ross. Even though The Mood Cure was published 15 years ago, the author's words still hit home today. Many medical professionals consider Ross' book to be the gold standard on the link between mental health and Nutritional Therapy. By utilizing simple, science-backed methods that she has documented over years of working with patients, The Mood Cure offers nutritional solutions that may be helpful for anyone dealing with anxiety or other mental health issues but is also recommended reading if you are feeling overwhelmed and struggle to handle the stressors of everyday life. The focus of the book is to identify your "mood profile" type and pair it with brain-fueling amino acids, and other supplements, as well as a mood-enhancing, healthy diet.