What’s In An Anxiety And Phobia Workbook?

By: Steven Finkelstein

Updated February 13, 2020

If you have anxiety or phobias, then getting through even the most basic tasks in life can be difficult. There are numerous ways of getting past your fears, but chances are you're not going to be able to do so all at once. The likelier scenario is that you're going to have to work on things incrementally, and in time you'll be in a place where you won't be so afraid or nervous. An anxiety and phobia workbook can be a useful tool for you to use as you try to get to that point. In this article, we'll discuss what you can expect from one and a few of the better options on the market.

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What Is Anxiety And Phobia Workbook?

There have been anxiety books on the market for years, many of them containing practical advice for people who feel overwhelmed by their fears and insecurities. Some of them were written by doctors or anxiety coaches, while others were written by people who have struggled with anxiety issues themselves. While the format for these books varies, the general idea with most of them is for the person reading them to implement the ideas inside in their daily lives.

In the case of anxiety and phobia workbooks, this concept is taken one step further. Several of these books are written almost in the format of lesson plans, but intended for the reader to follow the steps rather than students in a classroom. These sometimes prove to be the best books for anxiety because you can easily follow along with what the author or authors are telling you to do.

If you have an actionable strategy, then you can feel like you're taking a hands-on approach with your fears and anxieties. Many individuals have found these books to be helpful, especially when used in conjunction with medication and therapy sessions.

Who Is Likely To Benefit Most From These Types Of Books?

No two of these selections are identical, but most books about anxiety that are written in this format are going to be for people who suffer from panic attacks, those who have a generalized anxiety disorder, those who have social phobias, or others who have specific phobias. They are also sometimes helpful for people who are obsessive-compulsive or those who have other anxiety-related issues.

What Do They Contain?

These books generally are packed with skills for assessing and treating your anxiety. The idea is that as you read and follow along, you will develop a working arsenal that you can employ as you go through your daily life. You'll be able to quiet your worrying thoughts and get yourself back under control.

The best anxiety books will probably talk about the various medications that are out there. They'll talk about which one might be best suited for you, the side effects, and the proper dosage. They'll discuss the latest studies having to do with anxiety-related conditions. They'll be full of worksheets that you can fill out, some of which you can do at the beginning, others of which you're meant to complete once you start taking your newfound skills out into the world.

What About The Specific Techniques?

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Books on anxiety are written by different authors, so it stands to reason that what they recommend probably won't be precisely the same. However, there are some techniques for dealing with fear and anxiety that are considered to be best practices, and probably every book of this nature is going to touch on them in some way.

Breathing techniques and methods for relaxation are going to be discussed. Skills for coping with or preventing panic attacks are probably going to be in there. Commitment and acceptance therapy will likely get some chapters, as will changing your existence through exercise, nutrition, and other aspects of your lifestyle. Imagery and real-life desensitization will be talked about, as well as challenging mistaken beliefs and negative self-talk. Every author is likely to put their spin on things based on their personal experiences and backgrounds.

Which One Should I Choose?

One problem you might experience as you're trying to find the anxiety and phobia workbook that's perfect for you is that the market may seem oversaturated. With so many options from which to choose, you want to find one that appears to offer the best holistic solutions, has been recently updated to reflect current thinking, and is at once practical, concise, and comprehensive. We have some suggestions as to which of these workbook-style fear and anxiety offerings we like the best.

The Anxiety And Phobia Workbook 5th Edition by Edmund J. Bourne

This is one of the options on the market that we feel has to make the list based on how many people have bought it and seem to have benefited from it. It's one of the first books of this nature to find its way to store shelves, having sold over one million copies to date. It has glowing reviews on Amazon, and those who have struggled with panic attacks seem to have found it particularly useful.

Part of the reason this book seems to be so popular is that it allows the reader to take things slowly. One complaint with some of these self-help books is that they urge the reader to plunge into this new portion of their life without first taking some tiny steps. This option will allow you to focus on smaller, more easily-attainable goals before you nerve yourself up and tackle the specific fears and situations that have been troubling you.

Like with quitting smoking or some other change you wish to make incrementally, more people report feeling less afraid if they can undergo a meticulous step-by-step process. This is the book that will allow you to do that.

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The Anxiety and Worry Workbook: The Cognitive Behavioral Solution 1st Edition by David A. Clark

This book focuses on cognitive behavioral therapy, which many people with anxiety have tried and found useful. It is based on the research and methodology pioneered over 25 years by researcher Aaron A. Beck. There are worksheets that you can fill out yourself, as is typical with books of this nature, and what's particularly useful are the examples Beck provides from his many years studying and helping those with anxiety issues.

If you read these real-life examples, it's highly likely that you will see some echoes of yourself as you read about the problems that some of Dr. Beck's patients dealt with and overcame. It feels like proof-positive that your issues, no matter how insurmountable they might seem at times, aren't so bad that there's no end to them in sight. After reading this book, you'll learn how to identify your anxiety triggers, and the next time you encounter one, you should know how to deal with it.

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy By David D. Burns

This selection is all about finding ways to deal with your negative feelings and thoughts without drugs, which is what some people try to do if they're diagnosed with clinical depression or a similar issue. Procrastination is discussed, as are pessimism, guilt, anxiety, low self-esteem, and other black holes into which you can fall.

With this book, you'll be able to recognize what causes your mood swings, and you can find a way to discover an emotional baseline and stay there even when life presents you with significant challenges. It talks about building up your self-esteem to where others cannot easily tear it down, even acquaintances or family members who you feel have emotional power over you.

There are sections on overcoming addictions to approval and love, which is something that not all of these books cover. There is a lengthy section about self-reliance and being able to nurture yourself during times when in the past, you felt you needed to seek the approval of others to carry on. Handling criticism and hostility is discussed, and also dealing with feelings of guilt for events that took place in your life over which you had no control. There is also a section on halting negative emotions before they become a pervasive force for harm in your life.

These Books Can Help You, As They've Helped Others

Anxiety and phobia workbooks have worked out so well for many people because they seem to strike a middle ground between inaction and therapy or drugs. The reality is, some individuals know perfectly well that they are anxious or depressed, but they don't want to go on medication, and they're reluctant to go into therapy. While some people have no trouble talking about their problems or they can learn to do so in time, others remain tightlipped about what it is that's bothering them, but at the same time, they know that they need help.

These books can be a way of splitting the difference. You don't have to see a doctor or talk about what's happening with you if you find that you're unable or unwilling to do so. You can still get some help by reading one of these books and making a sincere effort to implement some of the advice that it offers. Of course, that is not to say that you can't read one or more of these books while still being in therapy or on medication. They're useful either separately or in conjunction with those things.

If You Need Help, Don't Wait Any Longer To Find It

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These workbooks present only one of the various possibilities for relief if you find that fear or anxiety has taken over your life. You can reach out to a qualified medical professional online or via an anxiety hotline as well if you need someone and you don't want to see a doctor. The point is that if you feel like you're in crisis or you're rapidly approaching that crossroads, then you need to do something. Don't give in to hopelessness or despair. There are people who will be more than happy to help you if you only give them a chance to do so.

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