Hi everyone! I hope that you are all doing well. Today's post will be something a little bit different. Think of it was a semi-book review but also along with personal bookish thoughts. I wanted to talk to you all about managing stress and anxiety with the help of books. Dealing with stress and anxiety is quite a personal topic for me and while I can write blog posts that go on forever about my personal issues, I'd rather share with you all some books that have really helped me.
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I've learned that reading just simply "self-help" books about how to remove stress and anxiety from your life were not particular helpful (in my case). Anxiety, more particularly, is an on-going process. There will be days where it seems easier and some days where it is a downright uphill climb. I've found books that help "soothe" the mind in a way have been really helpful. It helps change perspective and offers a more positive outlook. So as opposed to finding one-set-cure that will end all stress and anxiety, I've found books that are helpful in managing stress and anxiety in the moments that they appear and slowly overtime, I've found that the stress panic moments have been a little less frequent and easier to manage.
One of the first books that I picked up that has been really helpful with shifting perspectives when some days feel quite negative is Barbara Ann Kipfer's 14,000 Things to be Happy About. This book literally lists 14,000 things to be happy about. It is written in a simplistic style of lists of things that make one happy in the moment. I found that going with a highlighter and working on 2-3 pages daily have really been helpful. I started to highlight the things that I know personally make me happy and the ones that are left blank, I will eventually discover. Another book that has been just a treat daily is Demi Lovato's Staying Strong - 365 Days a Year. I'm not a big Demi fan myself, not really knowing much about her music. But a friend of mine had picked this book up and I decided to take a look. It includes daily affirmations and mini little challenges or tips that you can take up. I really enjoy reading each of these each morning before I start my day. It honestly makes a world of a difference. Lastly, with getting into yoga, I've started to get into the practice of mindfulness. I honestly used to think that it was a gimmick and that is mainly because I simply did not understand it at all. Thich Nhat Hanh's The Miracle of Mindfulness has been a great introductory book into understanding mindfulness.
Another thing that I want to quickly touch on is how the current trend of Adult colouring books has really been helpful. I ended up buying a bunch of adult coloring books because I found it to be incredibly soothing to take some time during stressful moments to just focus on coloring and kind of take your mind away from the situation. I've found that these two colouring books in particular have been super helpful. Lisa Currie's The Scribble Diary is more than a coloring book and is organized as a type of diary that has questions and you can adapt to it daily. You can literally turn to any page of the book and work on it. I've been loving using it. The Mindfulness Coloring book: Anti-Stress Art Therapy for Busy People is just a perfect book with really calming images that you can focus on. I've been working on this one slowly, but the good thing about it is, it is quite small that it can fit in your bag so that you can work on it on the go. I have quite a few more coloring books and I've been thinking about reviewing them more frequently on the blog, so please let me know if you'd like to see that.
This isn't all the tools that I've been using to help manage stress and anxiety, but this is a small look into what books have been really helping me as of late. I wanted to share this all with you and if you'd like this to become a regular series on the blog, please let me know because I would love to keep talking about and sharing things that have been helpful when it comes to managing stress and anxiety. It is easy enough to turn to a fiction/non-fiction read that will let you escape for a few hours, but I've found that turning to these books in particular have shaped my perspective as of late to be a more positive outlook on things. It is less "escapism" from stress and anxiety, and more so, ways to cope and change. I hope that you will give these books a look next time you are perusing the book store, they might be helpful :)
Please let me know in the comments what books help you manage stress and anxiety.
Be well - xx.