Book: Anxiety: Overcome It and Live Without Fear
Author: Sonali Gupta
Genre: Mental Health
Format: Paperback and ebook
Publishers: HarperCollins Publishers India
I suffer from anxiety since 2018. Although somehow I managed to curb my anxiety level with the help of writing and music, recently I have seen the most fearsome look of anxiety and I got to know how terrible it could ever be. My mother was suffering from anxiety disorders since February 2020, when the world started to be engulfed with the pandemic. But thanks to the Almighty, after almost eight months of suffering, now my mother is being recovered gradually.
So, when I received the book on the eve of World Mental Health Day 2020, I was happy to read it and know Anxiety at a deeper level. While unwrapping the box, the brilliantly designed book cover felt very soothing to me. The serene white and the dots of blue made the book cover very refreshing, eye-soothing, and relaxing for the soul. It seemed like fresh air to me. I felt like, the book cover has certainly some healing power and my mind was healed instantly.
The book is a must-read for all who wish to know Anxiety in depth. Let’s have a look at how the book speaks about Anxiety.
The author Sonali Gupta is a Mumbai-based clinical psychologist with16 years of experience in the field of mental health. She writes a weekly column for Mumbai Mirror titled ‘Terms of Engagement’. She currently runs a private practice in Khar and South Bombay.
Anxiety is a mental health crisis that has gripped over three crore Indians. In this book, the author delves into the condition, using case studies to identify how it can be triggered at work, in relationships, and by social media. She shares a unique glimpse into this mental health condition in India, especially among Gen Z and millennials.
Structure of the book:
The book is divided into three parts. The first part speaks about ‘Understanding Anxiety’, the second part speaks about ‘When Anxiety Strikes’ and the third part speaks about ‘Managing Anxiety’. The book starts with a foreword by Jerry Pinto and an introduction by the author. The book consists of twenty chapters total.
The book is written in simple language and the flow is nice. Someone who is fighting with anxiety and dealing with its various issues, would easily find the book interesting as the book delves into various factors of anxiety. The author, being a clinical psychologist, writes them with great ease and in a simple way so that the reader understands the topics well.
A Glimpse of the Book:
You are not alone.
This is the beginning note of the book. When you start reading, the very first thing that welcomes you with all the warmth of love and care is this little note of affirmation. That you are not alone in this all. That you are not to be misunderstood. That you need to be heard. The suffering could be erased with a proper guide. All you need is to go out, speak your heart and seek help from an expert.
In this book, The author has beautifully shared some important topics about Anxiety so that the reader can easily understand them. The topics are like – the triggers behind anxiety, panic attacks, what is normal anxiety and what’s not, how the brain works when we think about some anxious thoughts, anxiety at the workplace and taking a mental health sabbatical, how social media causes anxiety in daily life, and some other common yet important topics related to anxiety. The book has a lot of references to the author’s clients’ struggles and their inner journeys as they learned to manage their own anxiety. The author’s own struggles and coping mechanisms for her anxiety find a mention in the book as well.
A Quote to Remember:
“For people who struggle with anxiety, every situation and life event becomes a stressor and hence they tend to ruminate.“
After reading this, I paused for a while and take a deeper look at my anxiety issues. How true is that! And this is a reason behind being anxious for many people in the world. The quote touched my heart and now, whenever I become anxious, I try to think about it.
Here is another quote that I found something very beautiful.
“No matter how old or young you are, it’s never too late to start your journey towards self-compassion. Maybe start today.”
When you embrace your strength and develop self-compassion, you will learn to be happy and joyous of your life. Tell me, isn’t it so beautiful?
What makes the difference:
The book has some activities mentioned inside that could be used to introspect. The author shares her personal experience with case studies that will help you to understand the problem better. She suggests you while reading the book keep a diary and pen next to you so that you can do the activities to introspect yourself and become aware of your own patterns. I found it very interesting.
Some important highlights:
The book has a chapter dedicated to Panic Attacks where the author describes what is a panic attack, what it looks like, its symptoms – physical, cognitive/emotional, what leads to a panic attack, and most importantly how to overcome panic attacks.
The chapter has a segment- Dealing with a panic attack, where the author has noted down some important points mentioning what to do and what not when we are dealing with frequent panic attacks. I suffer from regular panic attacks, and that’s why I found this chapter very relevant to my problems. It helped me to understand panic attacks better.
In the chapter ‘Pause Rituals’, a very nice concept has been discussed, that is, the usefulness of taking a pause from the race of life. Here the author writes about The Power of Pause, the effectiveness of Journalling, Reading, Exercise, Focussed Breathing and Mindful Meditation.
Another chapter that I found very interesting and beautiful is ‘Befriending Your Inner Critic’. According to the author,
“Inner critic is that voice which tells us how we are not good enough and that we are always lagging, unable to do things or maintain relationships.”
The chapter has a beautiful segment that’s titled ‘Building self-compassion’. We often curse our destiny or ourselves for doing some mistakes and then, we start regretting and mourning over the past. But we forget, to fight the mental health issues, first we need to embrace self-compassion. In this chapter the author writes,
“The secret is that all of us have the potential to be kind to ourselves. The process of learning to do this involves being mindful of how we talk to ourselves versus how we engage with others.”
Thus, the book speaks about Anxiety and its various issues. The book is a nice handbook for all the anxiety fighters.
According to the author,
“Recommending strategies and techniques for anxiety-prone readers, this book will help you confront your fears and take control of your life.”
After reading the book, I am preparing myself one step closer to embracing self-love and self-compassion. I have understood the problem on anxiety in a deeper level and now I need to work on my own issues, focusing on mindfulness. I would like to recommend all the fighters of anxiety to pick this book so that they can feel an affirmation that they are not alone in this all. To fight the problem, at first, we need to know it in-depth and dig deeper to the root of the problem. Hold this book in your arms and read one chapter a day. You will find the way out. If you feel that you need some expert help and guidance, feel free to seek help. There is no harm in seeking help to overcome anxiety. Once you recover from this phase in life, you will start living without any kind of fear.
Buy the book here.
This review has been written as part of the Blogchatter Book Review Program. I received the review copy for an honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own.