Self-help books for becoming the calm, collected person I want to be
June 27, 2017 6:09 PM   Subscribe

Everything feels like it's on a deadline, which only exacerbates my anxiety and catastrophizing and threatens any progress I feel I've made. Is there a self-help book for that?

How do I learn to chill and experience time on a larger scale instead of everything must/will happen tomorrow, today; if it doesn't happen now your life is ruined and your relationship is gone ?

It's exhausting. I know my issues and that I would benefit from therapy (see difficulties below). I hit nearly every trait for neuroticism, I'm anxious-attached and rejection sensitive, and I have long-standing depression that's more or less managed with meds. I'm not trying to shortcut myself into enlightenment but it'd make a lot of things easier, you know?

tl;dr For the moment, I'm looking for both self-help books that deal with anxiety-brain, and also philosophical works that are metaphysical enough that everything pales in comparison and I can slow my brain down.

If I contemplate the heat death of the universe enough maybe a four-hour lull in texts from my partner won't make anxiety-brain think the world is ending

Difficulties, aka why I'm asking for book recs:
-I live in a country where in-person therapy is just out of my budget; it's also not covered by my insurance. Online Skype therapy is also expensive for me at $60+/session, which is some of the cheapest I've seen. I'll take recommendations, but please note I do not live in the US so time differences would be difficult. I am also moving later this year and it will not be cheap.

-Weed is also not an option (considerably illegal). God, I wish it were available though.

-Exercise does nothing for me except give me muscle. I've never felt emotionally better after a tough workout; I'm just tired and sweaty and not really feeling the point. Yoga is... well, it's not cardio, but it hasn't made a noticeable difference. I've been trying mindfulness, though, even if I don't feel any changes.
posted by lesser weasel to Grab Bag (6 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
I found The Worry Cure by psychiatrist Robert Leahy very helpful for anxious-attached issues. I wouldn't have thought of myself as a worrier, but got a lot out of the book- and he has some actual, real-life coping steps that I've found lacking in decent attachment books. He also delineates between types of worry (work, health, relationship, etc), so after a few intro chapters you can skip to parts that may find helpful.
posted by maya at 6:16 PM on June 27, 2017 [5 favorites]

I really liked The Power of Now for good, practical advice on how to quiet down the mind and side-step anxiety. I don't agree with everything in this book, but there are some real gems inside.

Taking the Path of Zen is a good, gentle beginner's guide to meditation, which is a common Metafilter recommendation for anxiety. Also it does work, but not in the way you might think: learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable in little ways helps you manage your stress levels when stressors appear in your normal life.

Self help:
Three Minute Therapy. Excellent CBT self-guide. It changed my life.

Feeling Good is another self-guided therapy book, highly recommended.

Best of luck.
posted by ananci at 8:20 PM on June 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

I immediately thought of Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
posted by typify at 10:26 PM on June 27, 2017

You may find useful "Managing the Mental Game" by Jeff Boss. It's very practical and concise.
posted by armoir from antproof case at 12:12 AM on June 28, 2017

The Chemistry of Calm by Henry Emmons is a great book for a holistic approach to managing anxiety (supplements, nutrition, mindfulness, etc).
posted by LinneaJC at 8:19 AM on June 28, 2017

These all look like great starting-off points, thank you! Best answers have all been added to a separate kindle wishlist for later perusal.
posted by lesser weasel at 6:55 PM on June 28, 2017

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