In 2023 I picked up a few books on this subject, with innocent intentions, as I wanted to learn more about the recent scientific research into the behavioral disorders associated with anxiety, so that I could be of better help to others who were suffering from anxiety. Ironically, I found these books to be talking about my symptoms...Well as they say on airplanes (put your own oxygen mask of first) and in Ala-Non (you can only fix your own head) for the record this is a list of the books that have most helped me.

Redefining Anxiety by Dr. John Delony

2023 has turned out to be a lot. In times of stress I read a lot BUT I don't retain a has been that kind of a year to put it mildly. And yes, it has often been exactly this type of a year.

I wanted to learn more about the constant anxiety that a family member was struggling with...imagine my dismay when the books I read began to uncover my own anxiety.

This is a quick read is stuffed with really good information. Highly recommended. Most of the things we believe about anxiety are half-truths at best and complete myths at worst. This book was the beginning of my education.

Unwinding Anxiety by Judson Brewer, MD, PhD

2023 has turned out to be a lot. In times of stress I read a lot BUT I don't retain a has been that kind of a year to put it mildly. And yes often it has been exactly this type of a year. 

This is the second book I have read on the subject of anxiety. Redefining Anxiety by Dr. John Delony began a journey of understanding and this book took me further along the path. After I read his book I came to the realization just how much anxiety I was holding on to--in my mind and my body. At some point during the summer of 2023 I began to have (panic/anxiety) attacks--what ever--giant chills would run through and sieze up my body. 

For what it is worth:

Here are the methods I used to get my "chill spells" to simmer down, fade away and eventually stop occurring.

I am a yoga teacher and a birth doula. I know an abundance of technique to alieviate anxiety. It was time to practice what I preach.

1)The best breath practice to employ for anxiety is a two step process. Notice your breath--particularly which direction you are breathing. The breath of anxiety goes in and up to your chest--perfect recipe to produce the adrenaline that anxiety thrives upon. Deep belly breath, using your diaphragm to breathe is what is needed. Once that is accomplished then iniate the 4/8 breath practice. Four counts on your inhale, followed by an 8 count exhale. Not going into the science here other than to note that this methodology, slows your breath which changes the amount of CO2 in your respiration--thereby stopping adrenaline production and slowing your heart rate. Some times inhaling through the nose but exhaling through the mouth will calm your breath more rapidly. It is also more relaxing for the shoulders and your sphincters. (A person holds everything in and up especially when anxious or in pain)

Once I had my breath under control, it was time to practice some other technique (a mix of yoga and methodology from books I have read):

Instead of running away from these sensations I looked at them through the eyes of curiosity. Approach and an attempt to understand, looking in rather than out. Yoga trifecta (breath, movement, and one pointed focus) allowed me to look in towards these chills so that I could determine: What thoughts, people, situations where in my head, where I felt the anxiety as a physical sensation in my body.

So essentially I got my breath in control, used a science based breath practice, then I was able to find where I was holding my axiety, what it felt like, and I was able to breath into that space to encourage it to release. I had actual conversations with the people causing my out of control thoughts and calmed that down with the sound of their actual voices. Imaginary versions of these conversations (monkey mind) can get crazy and out there. I changed the things that I could and let go of things that where out of my control. 

The more I employed these techniques during these episodes the easier they where to endure and the faster they cycled out of my system until they eventually stopped altogether--at least until next time.


Hi! I'm Debbie. Here at Categorically Well-Read I give an extra layer to the reading life. Learn more about me, check out my current category of books, submit your own suggestion, or check out my latest post.