In the demanding world we live in, knowing how to effectively manage your stress can make all the difference.
It can literally determine whether you have a good or bad day - regardless of external circumstances.
Below is a list of the best stress management books to help you gain greater control of your everyday life. These books will help you analyze your default response to stress and pinpoint areas where you might need a mindset shift.
You’ll also find tips on how to remain calm in situations that usually stress most people out - so you can enjoy a better quality of life.
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Here the best books on stress management to add to your reading list:
Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers is an interesting and educational read in which Stanford professor Robert M. Sapolsky walks you through the mechanisms that activate your stress response.
As Sapolsky explains, when we worry or experience stress, our body turns on the same physiological responses that an animal's does, but we do not resolve conflict in the same way - through fighting or fleeing. Over time, this activation of a stress response makes us literally sick.
Combining cutting-edge research with a healthy dose of good humor and practical advice, this book explains how prolonged stress causes or intensifies a range of physical and mental afflictions, including depression, ulcers, colitis, heart disease, and more. It also provides essential guidance to controlling our stress responses.
When we’re stressed, we tend to blow issues out of proportion in our minds.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff is a light-hearted, inspirational guide that shows you how to put challenges in perspective, reduce stress and anxiety through small daily changes, and find the path to achieving your goals.
This iconic book includes advice such "Choose your battles wisely"; "Remind yourself that when you die, your 'in' box won't be empty"; and "Make peace with imperfection".
As you read, you'll learn how to:
Overall, this book provides simple but powerful lessons on how to stop letting the little things in life drive you crazy.
Stress is, unfortunately, a natural part of life - especially in our busy and hectic modern times.
Between the mad dash to meetings, the dreaded daily commute, and the constant need to do and have more, you may be feeling wound up, irritable, and out of balance.
While we can’t avoid the things that stress us out, we can change how we respond to them.
In this breakthrough book, clinical psychologist Melanie Greenberg PhD offers an original approach to help readers harness the power of positive emotions and overcome stress for good.
You'll find comprehensive tools based in mindfulness, neuroscience, and positive psychology to help you master your emotional responses, overcome negative thinking, and create a more tolerant, stress-proof brain.
Let's look at burnout...from a woman's perspective.
What’s expected of women and what it’s really like to be a woman in today’s world are two very different things - and women exhaust themselves trying to close the gap between them.
This guide to burnout - by Sisters Emily Nagoski, PhD, and Amelia Nagoski, DMA - is one of the best stress management books out there for women.
This book explains why women experience burnout differently than men - and provides a simple, science-based plan to help women minimize stress, manage emotions, and live a more joyful life.
Change is something we all experience, but we often end up dealing with it from a place of fear and stress.
Who Moved My Cheese? is a book that intelligently uses a tale of two mice and two "little people" to highlight people's typical reactions to change, whether it's in their personal or professional life.
It's one of my favourite books for personal development, and one of the best books on stress management in the workplace.
This book cleverly demonstrates the importance of adapting quickly whenever someone 'moves your cheese' - that is - when an unexpected change or obstacle appears and disrupts your life in some way.
The world is always rapidly changing, even before we had the pandemic. Who Moved My Cheese? helped me develop an anticipatory approach to change, and it can do the same for you - so you can enjoy less stress and more success in your work and in your life.
Mindfulness for Stress Management provides you with a collection of easy-to-learn stress management exercises that will help you stop worrying and start focusing on the moment.
This book is broken into 6 chapters, each focused on dealing with a different type of stress.
In When The Body Says No, physician and writer Gabor Maté explores the mind-body link and the connection between stress and disease.
Can a person literally die of loneliness? Is there a relationship between the ability to express emotions and Alzheimer's disease? Is there such a thing as a "cancer personality?"
Maté has found that in all of these chronic conditions, there is a common thread: people afflicted by these diseases have led lives of excessive stress, often invisible to the individuals themselves. From an early age, many of us develop a psychological coping style that keeps us out of touch with the signs of stress.
With great compassion and conviction, Maté demystifies medical science and invites us all to be our own health advocates.
Stress, demands, assumptions, and expectations can often hijack our ability to create sustainable change.
CHANGES is a relatively new stress management book that helps you ask the right questions, integrate the various parts of your life experience, and translate understanding into behavior.
With over a decade of work with thousands of clients in the fields of organizational consulting, executive coaching and psychotherapy, author Michael Diettrich-Chastain reveals the seven life dimensions that impact our ability to make professional and personal changes.
You'll learn how to:
Read this book: get hard copy on amazon
The Upside of Stress takes a slightly different approach to stress management compared to the other books on this list.
More than 44% of Americans admit to losing sleep over stress. And while most of us do everything we can to reduce it, Stanford psychologist and bestselling author Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., delivers a startling message: Stress isn’t bad.
Combining fascinating new research on resilience and mindset, McGonigal explains that stress itself is not harmful; it is undergoing stress while believing that stress is bad for you that makes it harmful.
This book covers topics such as:
Overall, is book is not a guide to getting rid of stress, but a toolkit for getting better at it - by understanding, accepting, and leveraging it to your advantage.
If you’re feeling overworked, overstressed, and overloaded right now, this stress management workbook offers a refreshing new approach to help you find peace of mind and reduce chronic stress in a busy, frazzled world.
In this guide, a psychologist offers an innovative strengths-based stress reduction plan grounded in positive psychology.
As you progress through the workbook, you'll discover tips and strategies for identifying your key character strengths such as perseverance, social intelligence, bravery, self-control, and more.
You'll also learn how these strengths can help you cultivate greater happiness, better relationships with others, and improve your overall health.
Read this book: get hard copy on amazon
Thanks for checking out this article on the best stress management books to read in 2021. Hopefully this list has helped you identify books that can help you effectively tackle stress, based on scientific research and actionable strategies.
As you read the above books on stress, I recommend also taking the Stress is Optional course on CreativeLive to complement your learning.
This informative course - taught by stress expert Dr. Cynthia Ackrill - explains the physiological impact of stress and offers techniques for minimizing the disruption it can have on your body and life.
The more you learn about the way stress works, the better equipped you will be to resiliently manage life's ups and downs.
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