I’m prone to anxiety. I overthink, I react too quickly, I get upset. And then, I can get really upset and anxious.
I can’t control it because my thoughts get overwhelming. It’s a like a reactor that only goes in one direction. Once I start, I spiral. And when I do, a panic attack can last anywhere between 30 minutes to 7 hours.
It’s like I described in one of my spoken word poems. Here is just a quick description of what it feels like to me.
“ When your entire being opens into the darkness and loops about unending
when every flicker of light is seen with malice and hatred,
when every piece of your worth is measured against the white wall,
when your intelligence and happiness give up on you
That is the beginning of an anxiety attack.
When your worlds collapse onto each other, repeatedly
When you are burning yourself to find your light,
When your mirror stops seeing you for a long, long time
When every reason is made an excuse
That is the duration of your anxiety attack.”
To sum it up as light-heartedly as I can – it’s not fun. It’s obvious then that I need ways to cope with it. One way for me is by reading.
I read as much as I can. It’s still not enough, but it’s a start.
And it was while I was reading to heal myself, I realized maybe someone else can benefit from my reading list. I’ve limited it to 5 books so that it doesn’t get overwhelming.
Here goes –
- Presence – Amy Cuddy
- The Big Red Book of Rumi – Coleman Barks
- Flow – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
- The Secret – Rhonda Byrne
- The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle
I’ve included the Goodreads excerpts of the books below, in case you want to know a little about them.
A Harvard psychologist and TED star shares strategic advice on how to live in accordance with ones inner resources to overcome social fears and self-doubt while heightening confidence, productivity and influence. 250,000 first printing.
The Big Red Book
Considered one of the masterpieces of world literature, ” The Big Red Book” is perhaps the greatest work of Rumi, the medieval Sufi mystic who also happens to be the bestselling poet in America.
Rumi was born in 1207 to a long line of Islamic theologians and lawyers on the eastern edge of the Persian Empire in what is now Afghanistan. In order to escape the invading Mongol armies of Genghis Khan, his family moved west to a town now found in Turkey, where he eventually became the leader of a school of whirling dervishes. It was a fateful day in 1244 when he met Shams Tabriz, a wild mystic with rare gifts and insight. The renowned scholar Rumi had found a soul mate and friend who would become his spiritual mentor and literary muse. “What I had thought of before as God,” Rumi said, “I met today in a human being.”
Out of their friendship, Rumi wrote thousands of lyric poems and short quatrains in honor of his friend Shams Tabriz. They are poems of divine epiphany, spiritual awakening, friendship, and love. For centuries, Rumi’s collection of these verses has traditionally been bound in a red cover, hence the title of this inspired classic of spiritual literature.
The world’s foremost producer of personal development and motivational audio programs gives you the tools to unleash the secret of peak performance.
Remember the last time that you were so focused, so motivated that you felt at the absolute top of your form — alert, energized and free of self-consciousness? Chances are you were experiencing flow — an almost euphoric state of concentration and complete involvement.
Now, esteemed psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi reveals how you can achieve this state of mind at will — and turn everyday experience into a moment by moment opportunity for joy and self-fulfillment. Drawing on over 30 years of breakthrough research into what makes people satisfied, he explains the key elements of the flow experience.
The Secret’s 10th Anniversary Edition includes a new foreword by Rhonda Byrne, and 10 of the most life-changing insights she’s had over the last 10 years of practicing and living The Secret every day. The 10 insights alone will accelerate your understanding and mastery of the law of attraction.
The Power of Now
Eckhart Tolle’s message is simple: living in the now is the truest path to happiness and enlightenment. And while this message may not seem stunningly original or fresh, Tolle’s clear writing, supportive voice and enthusiasm make this an excellent manual for anyone who’s ever wondered what exactly “living in the now” means. Foremost, Tolle is a world-class teacher, able to explain complicated concepts in concrete language. More importantly, within a chapter of reading this book, readers are already holding the world in a different container–more conscious of how thoughts and emotions get in the way of their ability to live in genuine peace and happiness.
Tolle packs a lot of information and inspirational ideas into The Power of Now. (Topics include the source of Chi, enlightened relationships, creative use of the mind, impermanence and the cycle of life.) Thankfully, he’s added markers that symbolise “break time”. This is when readers should close the book and mull over what they just read. As a result, The Power of Now reads like the highly acclaimed A Course in Miracles–a spiritual guidebook that has the potential to inspire just as many study groups and change just as many lives for the better. –Gail Hudson