Overthinking can manifest itself in many ways, from overcomplicating small decisions to not making any decision at all.
Luckily, there are tons of self-help books out there that are aimed at combating these anxieties and helping you live your life to the fullest again.
If you’re looking to get rid of your anxiety and overthinking problems once and for all, consider checking out some of these best books on overthinking and anxiety to change your life!
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List of Best Books on Overthinking and Anxiety
1. What to Do When You Don’t Want to Be Apart
By Kristen Lavallee, Silvia Schneider
What to Do When You Don’t Want to Be Apart: A Kid’s Guide to Overcoming Separation Anxiety by Kristen Lavallee, Silvia Schneider – An illustrated, nonfiction picture book about anxiety in children. Lavallee, an illustrator from Brooklyn, uses cut-out pictures of hands (the other person’s hand is always reaching toward a child) and goes into detail about what happens in someone’s brain when they experience separation anxiety. It explains how feeling anxious isn’t a bad thing—it means your brain likes that person and wants to be around them—and what you can do if you feel you’re having a hard time being apart from someone. (Recommended by two therapists we consulted.)
2. Don’t Feed The WorryBug
By Andi Green
Don’t Feed The WorryBug: A Children’s Book About Worry by Andi Green – This book is a must-read for anyone who suffers from anxiety. Written by an actual elementary school counselor, it is aimed at children aged 8-12 but is also useful for adults. The WorryBug represents an ongoing negative thought or worry that often controls our lives without us realizing it. When we acknowledge it and deal with it, we are in control of our thoughts and actions instead of them controlling us. The book was inspired by a real life situation where children were having trouble dealing with a death in their school community, but we all have worries that can be represented by the WorryBug – even adults!
3. Help Your Dragon Deal With Anxiety
By Steve Herman
Help Your Dragon Deal With Anxiety: Train Your Dragon To Overcome Anxiety. A Cute Children Story To Teach Kids How To Deal With Anxiety, Worry And Fear by Steve Herman – A small dragon, who is only two-years-old, is struggling with anxiety problems and worry issues. He has trouble sleeping at night because he worries about a lot of things. His mother suggests that he should take time every day to write down his worries on pieces of paper and burn them so they’ll go away forever. But it doesn’t work; his mother burned all his worries, but he still worried all day long. One morning while riding through a forest trail, they discover that writing down your fears might help you overcome them if you can get rid of them by burning them up in a nice fire pit.
4. Anxiety Relief for Kids
By Bridget Flynn Walker
Anxiety Relief for Kids: On-the-Spot Strategies to Help Your Child Overcome Worry, Panic, and Avoidanc by Bridget Flynn Walker – Ever feel like your child has anxiety? You’re not alone. Walker shares her experiences growing up with ADHD, panic attacks, and other mental health disorders in a bid to help you find peace as a parent of an anxious child. This book provides readers with multiple strategies that can be used anytime, anywhere—whether it’s during a therapy session or at home when your kids need extra support. The stories are short enough that readers won’t lose interest but poignant enough that they will connect with Walker immediately. Recommended for parents of children aged 5-12 who have mild social anxiety or other mental health disorders.
5. Stop Overthinking: 23 Techniques to Relieve Stress
By Nick Trenton
Stop Overthinking: 23 Techniques to Relieve Stress, Stop Negative Spirals, Declutter Your Mind, and Focus on the Present by Nick Trenton – Stop! is your first book on change, anxiety, overthinking, stress relief techniques and general mental health. This book will be a reliable source of immediate self-soothing in times of need – an easy guide to place a bookmark in right now (instead of reading about it until you forget about it again) when you feel overwhelmed. The set-up is structured by category: general mental health, negative thinking spirals and other classic traps like bad habits, perfectionism etc. It shows you how exactly to calm down when everything seems impossible.
6. Calm the Fck Down: How to Control What You Can
By Sarah Knight
Calm the Fck Down: How to Control What You Can and Accept What You Can’t So You Can Stop Freaking Out and Get On With Your Life by Sarah Knight – This book starts by acknowledging that you can never stop overthinking entirely—it’s just not possible. You might be able to change your relationship with your thoughts, but trying to stop them is counterproductive. Instead, Knight suggests that you try to control what you can and accept what you can’t as a way of getting rid of needless stress in your life. If that sounds like a helpful approach, we highly recommend checking out Calm The F*ck Down.
7. How to Stop Overthinking
By Chase Hill, Scott Sharp
How to Stop Overthinking: The 7-Step Plan to Control and Eliminate Negative Thoughts, Declutter Your Mind and Start Thinking Positively in 5 Minutes or Less by Chase Hill, Scott Sharp – How to Stop Overthinking: The 7-Step Plan to Control and Eliminate Negative Thoughts, Declutter Your Mind and Start Thinking Positively in 5 Minutes or Less – To help you stop overthinking, you need a how-to guide that provides straightforward techniques. Here are 7 techniques I use daily: (1) The 5-second rule, (2) 3 deep breaths, (3) Reminding yourself of your accomplishments, (4) Writing down 3 good things that happened today, (5) Mindset replacement technique–changing how you think about an event or situation by replacing it with something positive in your mind, and more.
8. Winning the War in Your Mind
By Craig Groeschel
Winning the War in Your Mind: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life by Craig Groeschel – When it comes to anxiety, there is no magic pill. In order to overcome stress and worry, you have to get at its root cause: your thoughts. Winning The War in Your Mind shows you how you can manage life’s challenges through a set of biblical principles designed specifically for busy people who are driven by success. This book is perfect for anyone struggling with feelings of inadequacy or lacking confidence. If we live in an unhealthy state of mind, then our physical body will follow. – Craig Groeschel
9. Don’t Believe Everything You Think
By Joseph Nguyen
Don’t Believe Everything You Think: Why Your Thinking Is The Beginning & End Of Suffering by Joseph Nguyen – In a world of social media, where we can seemingly see every minute detail of someone else’s life, it’s easy to start comparing ourselves with others. It might seem like everyone else has something better going on than you—and that can make you feel like there must be something wrong with you. This self-doubt leads us down a dark path towards anxiety, depression, and shame. In Don’t Believe Everything You Think , Joseph Nguyen shares his own journey through overthinking and offers helpful tools for you to overcome your own thinking traps as well. If your overthinking is driving you nuts, if it’s making you anxious or miserable or even depressed, then read DBEYT today—you’ll be happy that you did!
10. The No Worries Workbook
By Molly Burford
The No Worries Workbook: 124 Lists, Activities, and Prompts to Get Out of Your Head―and On with Your Life! by Molly Burford – The No Worries Workbook was created as a tool for anyone who’s ever found themselves stuck in negative thought patterns, ruminating over past events, or letting anxiety take over. If you are looking for techniques that will help you stop obsessing about life and start actually living it—this is your book. Each chapter is organized around three sets of lists: Common Thoughts/Feelings, What You Can Do About It Now, and Things You Can Try Later (and Many In-Between). These worksheets are meant to be more than just exercises; they’re designed to inspire positive change through purposeful action.
11. The Path To Loving Yourself
By Dr. Jessica Kerzner
The Path To Loving Yourself: You Are A Big Deal (Healing Acts For Life) by Dr. Jessica Kerzner – When it comes to creating a fulfilling life, what we think about ourself matters. We’re often consumed by negative thoughts and self-doubt, but if you can begin to change that perspective, everything will change. This book will teach you how to break free from negativity and start seeing yourself as a worthy person who deserves love. You’ll learn how to tap into your inner strength through daily acts of self-love, how to appreciate your value, how you can use positive affirmations in real life situations, how to become your own biggest fan, why spirituality is important in self-love and so much more!
12. Get Out of Your Own Way
By Mark Goulston, Philip Goldberg
Get Out of Your Own Way: Overcoming Self-Defeating Behavior by Mark Goulston, Philip Goldberg – Mark Goulston has been a practicing psychiatrist, executive coach, and author for more than 25 years. In Get Out of Your Own Way, he writes that self-defeating behavior gets in your way when you’re trying to achieve big goals or when you’re moving up in your career. Goulston shares insights into how we all unknowingly undermine ourselves with perfectionism, false assumptions about our worthiness, overemphasizing mistakes or failure, being overly critical of others or feeling like a victim. The key is realizing what’s going on in our head—and then finding ways to combat it. Overcoming Self-Defeating Behavior is an insightful book about managing your thoughts so that you can enjoy more success in life.
13. Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying
By S.J. Scott, Barrie Davenport
Declutter Your Mind: How to Stop Worrying, Relieve Anxiety, and Eliminate Negative Thinking by S.J. Scott, Barrie Davenport – Getting your thoughts in order can give you a feeling of relief. Unstructured, overactive thinking has been linked to a number of different psychological problems, including anxiety disorders and depression. Whether you’re just looking for ways to feel less stressed out or have suffered from clinical anxiety in the past, decluttering your mind can be beneficial. This book offers tips that help readers train their brains to think positively and make better decisions with ease. With chapters focusing on how memory works, how attention affects emotions, why introverts often suffer from overthinking more than extroverts do, etc., Declutter Your Mind is an invaluable toolkit packed with information that shows what you need when it comes to altering your mental state.
14. What Happened to You?
By Oprah Winfrey
What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing by Oprah Winfrey – What Happened to You? is a fantastic collection of essays by a number of inspiring women who have experienced trauma in their lives. The title of each essay explains what happened and then each writer describes what they learned from it. One woman was raped by a soldier when she was only fourteen, but also says that being raped helped her find her voice. Another woman was molested as a child, and another survived many years of emotional abuse from her parents. It’s stories like these that will help you realize that you are not alone with your struggles—and we must not be afraid or ashamed to tell our stories in order to learn how we can overcome them. There are some amazing insights contained within these pages, so read up!
15. Stress, fear, panic attacks and anxiety relief
By John Austin
Stress, fear, panic attacks and anxiety relief by John Austin – Many anxiety sufferers don’t understand that it’s how they deal with stress and how they perceive their internal responses that determines how well they cope. The author uses his background in psychology, neuroscience, psychotherapy, hypnosis and neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) to explain what is happening in your brain when you feel a panic attack coming on. He also includes information about key hormones associated with fear, a full explanation of why panic attacks happen, plus exercises you can use to help alter your brain’s response. In some cases people using these techniques will be able to reduce or eliminate their need for medication or other treatment options; if not at least improve their quality of life considerably.
16. How to Deal With Stress, Depression, and Anxiety
By Richard Banks
How to Deal With Stress, Depression, and Anxiety: A Vital Guide on How to Deal with Nerves and Coping with Stress, Pain, OCD and Trauma by Richard Banks – Banks offers concrete steps you can take to overcome everyday frustrations. Dr. David Burns: How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, 10th Anniversary Edition by Dr. Burns: This book teaches readers techniques like relaxation techniques that can help relieve your worries. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle: This inspirational book shows readers how they can use mindfulness as a path toward living in the present moment rather than worrying about what might happen in future. Why We Make Things Worse When We’re Anxious, Neuroscientist Po Bronson Explains How Meditation Can Help : Bronson believes meditation is a powerful tool that anyone can benefit from if they commit just 15 minutes a day or so doing it.
17. Get Out of Your Head
By Brian Sachetta
Get Out of Your Head: A Toolkit for Living with and Overcoming Anxiety by Brian Sachetta – This book is a must-read for anyone living with anxiety, whether it’s situational or chronic. It provides techniques based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that are proven to be effective in helping people make lifestyle changes. With Get Out of Your Head, you’ll learn how anxiety works, why it happens, how you can break free from overthinking and negative thought patterns, how you can recognize true danger vs. imagined threats, and much more. Most importantly, Sachetta shows you practical steps that you can take today towards living a life without fear.
18. Unfuk Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life
By Gary John Bishop
Unfuk Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life by Gary John Bishop – If you’re a fan of his site, you know that Gary’s no-nonsense approach to self-help—and yourself—translates well into a book. This isn’t a bad life, it just isn’t your life yet. This book will teach you how to see problems as opportunities in disguise. Realize that failure is not fatal, but an important step toward success. Own your successes instead of convincing yourself that luck had everything to do with it. Be present more often than absent, create space between stimulus and response. A simple change in perspective can end agonizing over what could have been; if not today, someday soon!
19. Mental Health Workbook: 6 Books in 1
By Emily Attached, Marzia Fernandez, Gino Mackesy
Mental Health Workbook: 6 Books in 1: The Attachment Theory, Abandonment Anxiety, Depression in Relationships, Addiction, Complex PTSD, Trauma, CBT Therapy, EMDR and Somatic Psychotherapy by Emily Attached, Marzia Fernandez, Gino Mackesy – All books in one single bundle. You can check this bundle out for a good read on mental health.
20. It’s All Under Control
By Jennifer Dukes Lee
It’s All Under Control: A Journey of Letting Go, Hanging On, and Finding a Peace You Almost Forgot Was Possible by Jennifer Dukes Lee – There’s a lot of wisdom packed into Lee’s inspirational book. First, let go of all control. The clearer I was about my values, and what I needed to have in my life to be happy, the easier it was to set aside anything that didn’t add value or feed my joy, she writes. By letting go of all control—both over others’ behavior and your own—you can free yourself from getting bogged down by guilt when others don’t live up to your expectations or feeling anxious when you forget something important or do something wrong. You’ll also find relief from all-or-nothing thinking—the idea that every action you take must be perfect.
21. The Self Care Prescription
By Robyn Gobin
The Self Care Prescription: Powerful Solutions to Manage Stress, Reduce Anxiety & Increase Wellbeing by Robyn Gobin PhD – If you want to learn how not only how to manage your anxiety but also develop coping mechanisms, The Self Care Prescription is a good place to start. Readers will take away strategies they can implement right away into their day-to-day life as well as learn exercises that can help them reduce stress and anxiety at any time. One of many books in The Self Care Prescription series, each one focuses on different conditions that can interfere with one’s ability or desire to live a productive and happy life. What makes these books such a good choice is that they are packed with information that is quickly understood by professionals while still being simple enough for anyone who suffers from high stress levels or frequent bouts of anxiety.
What is overthinking?
It’s when you can’t stop thinking about a certain situation, thing, or person. Sometimes it can even lead to anxiety or a panic attack—when your mind goes into overdrive and starts making up very scary scenarios in your head. Nowadays, there are lots of ways to get relief. Meditation is proven to reduce anxiety in as little as eight weeks; therapy helps you gain awareness around unhealthy thought patterns; yoga relaxes both body and mind.
Is overthinking and anxiety the same thing?
Technically, no. They’re two different issues. But they do often go hand in hand. For example, if you have an obsessive thought about something, that can lead to stress and anxiety. Or if you’re anxious about a certain situation or event, it can be hard to let go of those thoughts—which just makes things worse. If you feel like your life is being negatively impacted by either of these issues, there are lots of great resources out there that can help.
Can overthinking cause anxiety attacks?
Yes. It’s a common issue, especially if you have an anxious personality. When you can’t stop thinking about something, it can lead to stress, which then leads to panic attacks or other forms of anxiety. The key is learning how to control your thoughts so that they don’t spiral out of control. Meditation is one great way to do that—it teaches you how to focus on your breath, which allows you time and space away from those worrisome thoughts.
How to avoid anxiety and overthinking ?
The first step is to be aware of what’s happening. If you notice that you’re having a hard time letting go of certain thoughts, it can help to talk about them with someone else—whether that’s a friend, family member, or therapist. The more you can get out of your head and into real life, the better off you’ll be. In addition, taking care of yourself physically is also key.
How to stop overthinking and anxiety at night?
It’s hard to get a good night’s sleep when you can’t turn off your brain. Try using some of these tips from The Relaxation Response: Relax each part of your body, beginning with your feet and progressing up through your legs, pelvis, abdomen, chest, arms, hands, neck, and face. Imagine that each part is moving into a state of total relaxation.
What type of anxiety is overthinking?
When you can’t stop thinking about something, it can lead to stress, which then leads to panic attacks or other forms of anxiety. But if you’re constantly worrying about things that are outside your control—like whether or not your partner will leave you—it’s considered generalized anxiety disorder. It’s important to note that GAD doesn’t have a single cause; instead, it comes from a combination of factors like genetics, environment, and life experiences.
What are some common symptoms of overthinking and anxiety?
If you’re dealing with either of these issues, you might be dealing with a constant sense of dread or fear about certain situations. For example, if you’re feeling like something bad is going to happen at work or school, that could be generalized anxiety disorder. Or if you’re constantly worrying about what others think about you or what they want from you, that could point toward social anxiety disorder.
Can overthinking make anxiety worse?
Absolutely. When you’re constantly worrying about something, it’s hard to focus on anything else. And when you can’t stop thinking about a certain situation or event, it only makes things worse—which leads to more stress, which leads to more worry. It’s a vicious cycle that many people struggle with every day.
Can anxiety and overthinking cause headaches?
Yes. Stress and worry are common causes of headaches, so if you’re constantly worrying about things, it’s not surprising that you might be dealing with a tension headache or migraine. The key is learning how to relax your body so that you don’t end up in pain.
How do I stop overthinking my life?
It takes time—and practice—to learn how to stop overthinking your life.
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But most importantly, give yourself a break. Take time each day to read, meditate, breathe deeply, exercise…anything that will help you relax your mind. Even if you feel as though you’re not yet doing enough about your anxiety or overthinking problem — that reading four books is not enough — don’t be hard on yourself.
Simply being aware of how anxious or over-analytical you are can be a big step towards curing it. After all, knowledge is power: The more you know about something (in our case, anxiety and over-thinking), the easier it is to change it.
So do what you can in whatever ways work best for you. You’ve already made an excellent start!