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Team CHAMPS choose their best books for anxiety

Anxiety is both a mental health problem and a part of every day life. It becomes a mental health problem when it is persistent, not relative to the situation and impacts significantly on your life.

However you look at it, though, anxiety in any form is an unwanted feeling with associated symptoms that can be anything from slightly annoying to incredibly distressing.

So whether you’ve been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, or whether you’re just sick of feeling anxious about life, there are lots of things you can do to remove the sting of anxiety.

Here are some of the books that Team CHAMPS have found helpful to manage anxiety and promote wellbeing.

Ruth Cooper-Dickson, Founder

As somebody who has been diagnosed with panic disorder, reading anything on anxiety that helps me feel less alone is a big plus.

I’ve actually got two favourite books on anxiety for very different reasons. I have referred both of these over the last two years and the people who have read them have raved about them!

Firstly, Claire Eastham’s We’re All Mad Here was simply life-changing for me. It’s a hugely relatable and very funny book. It made me realise that I wasn’t as mad as I thought that I was!

Secondly, The Anxiety Solution by Chloe Brotheridge is great from a professional’s perspective. You can almost hear Chloe’s calming, professional voice as a hypnotherapist as you read it. It’s a really practical book with lots of takeaways, but with a hug of self-care and compassion too.

Tara Kent, CEO

Strangely, I haven’t actually read a book about anxiety – even though I have always been more anxious than the average bear. I just found that I turned to coaching and therapy over books.

Having said that, I have just bought The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk  on the recommendation of my little sister and, as someone with an eating disorder and anxiety, am looking forward to reading it.

Lucy Nichol, PR Manager / Freelance PR Consultant

I absolutely loved Aaron Gillies’ How to Survive the End of the World (When it’s in Your Own Head). I was literally laughing out loud on every other page. It’s billed as an ‘anxiety survival guide’ and it’s certainly that. It gives you plenty of tips and tricks for managing anxiety but more than that, it’s so relatable. It makes you laugh at what anxiety is trying to do to you, because you’ve been there before, in all manner of embarrassingly cringe situations. Laughter, for me, is one of the best tonics for anxiety.

One book that I haven’t read yet but can’t wait to dive into is Must Try Harder – Adventures in Anxiety by Paula McGuire. I shared a stage with Paula at Wigtown Book Festival a couple of years ago and heard her read an extract from her book – she’s such an amazing writer and she uses words beautifully to capture her experiences of extreme anxiety. The book is also packed with fun and adventure demonstrating how Paula found recovery from anxiety. She’s been a human cannonball, tried out life modelling and taken part in astronaut training. Simply wonderful!

Hayley Humble, Champs Associate

Wabi Sabi: Japanese Wisdom for a Perfectly Imperfect Life by Beth Kempton is a wonderful little gem of a book. It isn’t a book about anxiety per se, however, I find as a recovering perfectionist and someone who regularly goes into battle with trying to take responsibility for everything (it’s a work in progress) can be pretty anxiety-inducing.

I love taking time out to dip into this treasure of a book. It reminds me to carve time out and be present in nature, my relationships and, most importantly for me, acceptance and letting go of the things that I know can make me feel on edge and out of control. Every morsel of this book reminds me of all the areas in my life, which if I pay attention to, fill up my soul with so much energy and sense of purpose that I am fizzing with feeling good physically and mentally. This book is like the ultimate smorgasbord that I can dine out on to restore calm and focus in my life!

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