Did you know that Girl Down a Rabbit Hole started out as a book review blog?
So today you could say we are going back to our roots and reviewing a book.
I have been so anxious lately. I think because college finished and now I’m left with all this nervous energy I have nowhere to put.
So I’ve basically spent the past couple of weeks fixated on little things, creating monsters out of nowhere, fun right?
Seriously this is my first post in two weeks and I am over it and ready to get my shit together!
I bought this book about a year ago and used it a little. I really liked it, but then it ended up on a shelf of books, as so many books tend to do.
I’m using it again now and reviewing it today for you.
The book is called The Anxiety Journal by Corrine Sweet.
It is based on mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques for treating anxiety.
I’m sure you know a bit about mindfulness, but don’t worry if you have no idea what CBT is because I’m going to give you a bit of information at the end of this post, so if you decide to buy the book, you know what you’re getting into.
Lets get into it.
Corrine Sweet is a therapist, writer, broadcaster and speaker.
According to her website, Corrine Sweet worked on Big Brother as a psychologist and has written episodes of the show Doctors.
What I liked about this is that as a TV writer, she writes for everyone, so the book is engaging and accessible to everyone.
It is full of quotes and illustrations, but it’s very simple in its layout so you can find the exercises you are looking for easily.
It is part workbook.
It approaches anxiety on two levels, the first being an attack of anxiety and it’s filled with breathing exercises and visualizations for when you are in that moment.
The second approach is on the cognitive aspect. It has exercises to challenge thought patterns, and what Sweet calls the “anxiety mindset.”
The book contains templates to create routines for bedtime and waking up, so you start and end your day as relaxed as possible.
It also has information on the causes, function and structure of anxiety, as well as information on CBT and mindfulness, therapy and using medication.
One thing I would say is that if you are looking for in-depth information on any of these topics, this book is not intended for that.
It only gives general overviews because it’s primary function is practical skills to manage anxiety.
I really love the book.
The book is so cute! I wish my anxiety was as cute as this book.
I have been using two exercises in particular, Anxiety Alchemy, which is about turning negative thoughts and language into positive and Five Minute De-stress Exercise which is a visualization.
I have found with anxiety, I can have a heart thumping attack, but more often it’s a constant low hum.
It’s not actually always a bad thing. It gives me focus which is what makes me good at the things I’m good at and helps me to be a hard worker.
But it also overwhelms me.
I’m sure some of you can relate.
This book can teach you strategies to control your anxiety so it doesn’t control you.
I like that it is something you can go to when you need it.
The Science Bit: CBT & Mindfulness
CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Cognitive refers to how we think.
If you study cognitive psychology, you learn about memory, leaning, decision-making, creativity, problem-solving etc.
CBT aims to reduce anxiety by challenging thought patterns and learned behaviors that facilitate anxiety.
It’s a practical Problem-solving approach, which means that it doesn’t necessarily go into detail about your history, but I believe some practitioners use it in conjunction with traditional psychotherapy as part of a more holistic approach.
There has been quite a bit of research done on the effectiveness of CBT with some research claiming it is effective as antidepressants in treating major depressive disorder.
I always like to say when talking about research that just because a finding has been found does not mean it’s scientifically proven. It is really important that when considering these things a wide range of the research is considered before making an informed decision. A qualified professional can help you do that. I would also like to say that CBT is best done with a qualified professional and that books are a good way of practicing but not a replacement.
Most of you will have heard of Mindfulness so I won’t go into too much detail.
For anyone who doesn’t know, Mindfulness is about recognizing your thoughts, but rather than allowing them to overwhelm you, acknowledge them and move on.
I know it sounds vague, but as always, I encourage you to do your own research and learn more, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Mindfulness is used as part of CBT and other therapies like DBT (Dialectal Behavioural Therapy, which makes sense because it too focuses on thoughts and behaviour.
If you have any questions, leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them.
I really love the book.
I think it’s simple, practical and effective.
It gives you exercises to relax when you are feeling anxious, as well as exercises to practice so you can learn to manage your anxiety.
It is however not a replacement for other treatment. Anxiety has a variety of causes like trauma, stress and life events.
No book can help you process what you need to process, so if you need more help, look after yourself and seek it.
That being said, I do recommend the book to anyone who wants to learn new strategies for managing their anxiety.
I’m giving it 5/5 brains 🧠🧠🧠🧠🧠
Too weird? Well I’m a psych student what do you expect? 🤷🏻♀️
Have you read this book? What did you think?
Let me know in the comments if you found this useful, would you like to see more book reviews?
Until next time,
Note: I have not been paid to review this book, I just wanted to.