I've used a combination of spirituality and science to help me ease my anxiety over the years.
I started out not knowing what anxiety was or what was happening to me. Slowly though, over a matter of long, scary months, I started to piece things together from books that helped me understand what I was experiencing, and eventually they helped me love myself through it.
I know anxiety is hard.
And I know fear can take complete control of your life to the point where you feel like you don't even know yourself anymore.
But you're not alone, and it's only temporary.
I truly believe these books can help you piece out a few tools and practices to add to your own anxiety toolkit, and help you ease your anxiety when it feels like it's clawing at you from all sides, and ruling your life.
A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson
I've never read anything in the self-development genre that literally made sense to me on every single level.
Marianne Williamson helped me understand forgiveness, and she allowed me to see that the only thing that exists from my past is love.
For example, I was in a car accident on the highway in 2013. All I could think about from that night was the car that swerved in front of me.
Over and over and over.
Every time I was in a car, every time I would pass someone on the road, I was afraid they would swerve out in front of me.
It was like that wound just kept replaying in my head over and over, and I couldn't stop reliving my past every time I got on the highway.
I'd heard a lot about forgiveness before but I never understood it until I read A Return to Love.
Marianne taught me forgiveness in this book.
She taught me that the only thing that exists from the past is the love we gave in the situation, and the love we received.
Understanding this is paramount to healing any past traumas or anxieties, because we often hold onto so much stuff that's happened to us over the years, we're afraid to simply let go of it and be healed.
Look into Marianne, she can help you.
You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay
This book taught me to love myself through and through.
I listened to the audiobook, and Louise Hay's voice just soothed me to the core, reminding me that the universe loved me, that there was never anything to be ashamed of, and that we are responsible for all of our ailments.
She is a bit like a loving grandmother you never had. (Although I'm happy to share that I have many).
Every time she says anything, you just feel like a young child being loved and accepted for who you are and everything you've ever done.
This book is perfect for when you truly hate yourself, or if you suffer with so much daily anxiety and fear that it keeps you from living your life.
Of if you like to blame a lot of people for your problems, which is easy to do.
She reminds us that we are loved and powerful, and that loving life will only add more love to it.
Which was tough for me to swallow at first, because I always grew up thinking I was dumb and that life didn't like me at all.
I never thought life was supposed to be enjoyed. I thought sometimes good things happened and more often than not, life was shitty.
Louise's You Can Heal Your Life really opened up a soft spot in my heart for life.
She reminded me that it was actually on my side, and this opened me up to being less fearful it.
A Course in Miracles (Free guide to get started here)
The Course in Miracles is a spiritual psychology text that uses traditional Christian language to train your mind to go from fear to love.
It's not a religion, it's a practice. A thought system.
I'd call it a returning to God (love) for the times when you can't find any physical idols on this planet to turn to (they're all temporary and will never completely fulfill us).
God is the only constant. And he is truly the only comfort.
Read the daily lessons in the Course in Miracles to find true inner peace.
If you've never heard of the Course and want to get started, I've created a quick start guide for you here >>
Anxiety Free: Unravel Your Fears Before They Unravel You By Robert L. Leahy
This is anxiety from a clinical perspective, but I really enjoyed it because it helped me learn what anxiety is and how it works.
It's something that was useful to our ancestors but not so much now. And because we aren't actually being attacked by a physical predator when we're having a panic attack, our brain is still living in the past and thinks that we are, making this all very confusing to us in the here and now.
But the book has some wonderful ideas about how to cope with anxiety, and not just that - he also talks about trauma, OCD, and chronic worrying.
Leahy lists specific coping mechanisms that help you very seriously get to the heart of your fears, and learn to work better with them.
He helped me see that my imagined fear of getting seriously injured every time I was in a car was akin to being afraid of being bitten by a tiger every time you were shown a picture of a tiger.
If you have any of those symptoms, or if you just have anxiety in general, give this book a read. It will comfort you to know what's really going on is not madness, and you're not the only sufferer.
Life Loves You by Louise Hay and Robert Holden
Sometimes there's no greater comfort than knowing life is not against you. Life is for you in every way possible.
I know it's hard to see this, since we've all had tragic things happen to us, but in Life Loves You, Louise Hay and Robert Holden teach you exactly how to remember how much life truly loves you, and the practices you can implement to remember this very fact.
In the book Louise Hay says "Life isn't about getting your own way, it's about getting out of your way."
And that couldn't be closer to the truth. There is so much beautiful wisdom to be had from this little book, I urge you to pick it up this summer. It's a small, quick, and joyful read.
Are there any books you've read lately that are lifting your spirits? I'd love to add some of them to my own reading list!
I truly wish you a beautiful week, and hope that you find some peace in your days.
Thank you for choosing love today!