Dealing with anxiety as a CEO is a unique challenge that many business owners face every single day. If this sounds like you, I’ve been there — and I know what a huge impact anxiety can have on the way you live your daily life, from running your business to navigating relationships to the way you cope with triggers.
Luckily, there’s one thing that has made a huge difference in my own life and experience with anxiety: reading. Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed, I do my best to sit down with a good book and learn more about what’s causing that feeling — or, conversely, read something that will make me feel comforted, empowered, and a little more at peace with the world.
Check out some of my best picks for when I’m feeling anxious or need a boost of joy below. I hope these help you feel better, too!
- Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind by Judson Brewer
If understanding the science behind how to beat anxiety is your goal, look no further: this read will provide you with a clinical, step-by-step plan to break the cycle of worry and fear that drives anxiety.
- The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
If you’ve ever had trouble discovering what it is that really makes you happy, you’ll want to check this one out. It’s packed full of first-hand accounts, current scientific research, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier and more fulfilled in your daily life.
- Calm The F*** Down by Sarah Knight
Use this handy guide to tame your anxiety and regain control of your life through smart strategies shared in a humorous, relatable voice.
- Anxiety Happens: 52 Ways to Find Peace of Mind by John P. Forsyth & George H. Eifert
This quick reference guide offers 52 tools and strategies that you can apply to real-life situations and use to break free from paralyzing feelings of worry, fear, and panic. Keep it in your purse for a quick fix at a moment’s notice.
- Get Out of Your Own Way: Overcoming Self-Defeating Behavior by Philip Goldberg & Mark Goulston
If your anxiety fuels behaviours and emotions like procrastination, envy, guilt, obsession, anger, self-pity, compulsion, neediness, rebellion, inaction, and more…you may be suffering from a self-defeating mindset. Use this book to break free from it and transform your way of thinking.
- The Self-Care Project by Jayne Hardy
Neglecting self-care is a big problem for us business owners, and having anxiety can only make it worse. This practical, no-nonsense guide to self-care will help you discover why it’s so important (and not selfish at all), what it means for you, and how to set aside space for it on a daily basis.
- Unf*ck Your Brain: Using Science to Get Over Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Freakouts, and Triggers by Dr. Faith Harper
This read uses humor (and lots of swearing) to deliver a scientifically factual account of what’s really happening when your anxiety sneaks up on you — and how you can retrain your brain to respond more appropriately to the non-emergencies of everyday life.
- Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
If you’re ever worried about straying from the path you’re “supposed” to follow, pick up this iconic memoir for a dose of inspiration about following your heart and taking the path less traveled.
- The Anxiety Solution: A Quieter Mind, A Calmer You by Chloe Brotheridge
This read will help you understand the root causes of anxiety in the modern world (like social media and fear of failure) and learn actionable steps you can take to manage your own anxiety, including meditation tips, breathing exercises, and journaling for self-care.
- Good Vibes, Good Life: How Self-Love is The Key to Unlocking Your Greatness by Vex King
In this book, you’ll learn tried-and-true ways to cultivate a sense of self-love in your life by practising self-care, cultivating positive lifestyle habits, overcoming fear, manifesting your goals, reprogramming your negative beliefs, and finding your flow with the Universe. The result? Lasting happiness that defies anxiety.
If you have anxiety, I’d love to know what your favourite related reads are in the comments. Any book that has brought you comfort during a time of crisis is on the table — business related or not!
In the meantime, let me know your thoughts on my picks. I’m always open to feedback!