As a Christian Counselor and avid reader, I have clients (and friends) ask about my book recommendations to help anxiety all the time! Who isn’t anxious about their job, children, or the current state of the world? Worry and anxiety is a natural part of life that occurs when our brain is telling us something doesn’t feel quite right or safe. Most of the time this worry passes and we can move on with our lives. However, for some, this worry is constant and debilitating.
There are a number of reasons for anxiety. Traumatic or distressing events, relational distress, and issues that require medical intervention (just to name a few). Personally, in college, my anxiety was at its peak when I was drinking 2-3 cups of coffee per day because caffeine is a stimulant and any stimulant increases the likelihood of anxiety.
As Christians, our comfort and hope come from our faith in God. The more we move toward Him, the more connected we feel. The purpose of this blog is to offer you informative resources to help reduce anxiety and help you feel more connected and aligned with God.
Before I promote these books it is important for me to share that I am biased toward mindful practices. The research overwhelmingly shows that daily mindfulness practice can significantly improve anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD, and overall quality of life. In the field of Interpersonal Neurobiology, there is a saying that, “where attention goes, neural firing flows, and neural connections grow.” If we focus our attention on God, we are more likely to notice the presence of our Comforter and Friend, the Holy Spirit.
So here they are, my 3 Book Recommendations To Help Anxiety!
Anatomy of the Soul by Curt Thompson
Thompson is a psychiatrist out of Washington D.C. who wonderfully integrates today’s research about the brain with his Christian faith. I recommend this book to most of my clients because the presenting symptoms that create distress do not occur in a vacuum. Thompson’s seminal work offers the reader context and understanding of how issues related to anxiety, depression, relational distress, etc. arise and how God interacts with us in it.
Holy Noticing by Charles Stone
Stone is a pastor of over 35 years in both the U.S. and Canada who uses mindfulness as a spiritual discipline. His book offers readers practical solutions for developing and incorporating mindfulness into their daily practice. Stone shows that “holy noticing” is not a recent development, but was used in both the Old and New Testaments: “The Old Testament often calls us to remember God’s works, while the New Testament calls us to fix our minds on attributes such as love, honor, and truth.” He outlines how the Christian fathers and Christian leaders ever since have used holy noticing as a means for deepening their faith and relationship with God. Reduced anxiety is a byproduct of this practice.
Meditation and Communion with God: Contemplating Scripture in an Age of Distraction by John Jefferson Davis
I came across this book after meeting Davis personally. His work explores how science and faith overlap. While Holy Noticing is practical and user-friendly, Davis’ book on meditation and scripture offers a theological understanding of how contemplating scripture can be both physically and “spiritually transformative.”
I hope my book recommendations to help anxiety will provide understanding, context, and help for those who suffer from anxiety. I would encourage you to pair your understanding from these books with therapy, and let these works be foundational pieces you integrate into your healing journey.
Investing in your relationship with God and with yourself will help deepen the understanding of who you are, who you are meant to become, and open the door to the healing you need.
Our therapists here at Cornerstone Christian Counseling are well trained and would be honored to be a part of your journey toward healing.