Book Reviews

The 10 Best Anxiety Busters


Simple Strategies to take control of your worry

by Dr. Margaret Wehrenberg
W.W. Norton & Company

This book certainly lives up to its promise. Not surprising, given that the author, a licensed clinical psychologist, has wide experience in tackling her own anxieties and those of many clients.
Her knowledge, both as an anxiety-buster and as a writer, is evident in the scores of stories she tells as she illustrates ten ways you can tackle anxieties with simple methods ranging from deep breathing to mindfulness and exercise.
Some of the suggestions appear mundane at first (“take time to sit down for a cup of tea or a snack”) but all are practical and in plain language.
“Anxiety is a very real medical issue with symptoms that are mental, emotional, and physical. Mentally, you may be plagued by worries or preoccupied with fear or thoughts of dying or going crazy. Emotionally, you may feel an ambiguous but profound sense of dread, or an acute fear of panic or social situations. Physically, you may experience a racing heart, dizziness, shortness of breath, achiness, or tingling sensations.”
Ironically, many of the ten methods the psychologist describes are ways we induce hypnosis in clients. Not that Dr. Wehrenberg ever mentions hypnotherapy. But slow deep breathing, for instance, is a common prelude to a session of hypnosis.
What this means to the reader is that you can reduce and even banish anxiety at far less expense than coming to my office. Also, since the ten strategies put you into hypnosis you can then benefit from that relaxed state by giving yourself positive images and thoughts for your future.
Indeed, control of your thinking is essential to freeing yourself from anxiety, claims the author. So, along with solutions to the physical manifestations of anxiety, Dr. Wehrenberg devotes many pages to how to change your thoughts to reduce or banish the power of anxiety.
The ideal book for you to gain peace of mind – and a relaxed body.