Stress is part of the human experience. Yet if it becomes disruptive—keeping you awake at night, worried during the day and feeling physically tense, it’s time for a change.
The Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living by Amit Sood, M.D.
“We get so caught up weeding the yard that we completely miss the tulips that nature gives us for a few precious weeks. We postpone joy.” In The Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living, Amit Sood, M.D., M.Sc., a Mayo Clinic specialist in stress and resilience, collected his findings from the past two decades. He shows us how the mind’s instinctive restlessness can generate stress and anxiety and presents strategies for a more peaceful life. Learn skills such as developing deep and sustained attention and practicing gratitude, compassion and acceptance.
Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-to Book by Dan Harris, Jeffrey Warren and Carlye Adler
Meditation can make us smarter emotionally by reducing the negative noise in our heads and giving us mental clarity. Dan Harris, best-selling author of 10% Happier and a Good Morning America anchor, makes meditation more doable with practical with entertaining tips. This book—relating Dan’s journey across the country with meditation expert Jeffrey Warren—addresses the reluctance many people have to meditation and offers ways to get started based on where you are in your life.
Count Your Rainbows: A Gratitude Journal by Jenny Mecher
What’s the key to quieting stress? Switch your mind from the churn of negative thoughts to a sea of gratitude. In this beautifully designed journal, quotes, art and writing prompts will help you establish a regular gratitude practice where you see and savor all the positive aspects of your life. Science indicates that expressing gratitude has numerous health benefits, including reducing stress. “Your thoughts are powerful possessions,” author Jenny Mecher writes. Practice choosing your thoughts wisely with this guided journal.
The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative by Florence Williams
There’s inspiration to be found in trees, rocks and nature, contends Florence Williams, a fellow at the Center for Humans and Nature at George Washington University, a contributing editor to Outside Magazine and a public speaker. Use the setting that inspires artists and philosophers to take you to a calm place. Our connection to nature is more important than you might think. Discover how it can improve your mood and creativity.
10-Minute Mindfulness: 71 Habits for Living in the Present Moment by S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport
In 10-Minute Mindfulness, the authors contend that stress manifests from unconscious living. You can go through life on autopilot, not really connected to who you are and what choices you are making. The authors offer 71 tips to become more conscious about your values, priorities and deep longings. Learn mindfulness habits to experience the present moment rather than be consumed with past regrets or worries about the future. This book aims to improve your focus, productivity, happiness and peace of mind.
Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
Ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching is a guidebook full of wisdom on how to live a life that you will want to turn to again and again. “If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace; you are living in the present.” Discover the power of living from a nonjudgmental place. Be more humble and flexible in your thinking. Practice a mindset of “unattached action,” a peaceful way of being where you don’t fixate on particular outcomes, you simply experience life in the present moment.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: And It’s All Small Stuff: Simple Ways to Keep the Little Things From Taking Over Your Life by Richard Carlson
What if you started looking at the problems in your life as teachers? Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff is a classic self-help book to shift your perspective. Make small daily changes to reduce your stress levels. Begin to trust your intuition. Do one thing at a time. And understand the statement: Wherever you go, there you are.
Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers: The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping by Robert Sapolsky
“Stress is not a state of mind…it’s measurable and dangerous, and humans can’t seem to find the off switch,” writes neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky. Over time, this activation of our stress response “literally makes us sick.” Using research and humor, Robert gives practical advice on what causes stress and how to better control our stress responses. Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers explains how prolonged stress causes or intensifies a range of physical and mental afflictions, including depression, ulcers, colitis, heart disease and more. This third edition features chapters on how stress affects sleep and addiction as well as the impact of spirituality on managing stress.
A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook by Bob Stahl, Ph.D. and Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a clinically tested way to handle stress. “Stress makes people angry, tense, overwhelmed, irritable and tired. It can burn you out, leave you feeling pain and even open your body up to sickness,” Bob writes. The practice teaches you to respond to stress in a mindful and nonjudgmental way before it damages your body and mind. Use the practical ideas and exercises to change how you handle stress.
The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It by Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D.
What if you could get better at stress? Rather than focusing on eliminating stress, Stanford psychologist Kelly McGonigal presents research indicating that stress can make us stronger, smarter and happier if we learn how to embrace it. The Upside of Stress shows the correlations between resilience—the human capacity for stress-related growth—and mindset, the power of beliefs to shape reality. With science, stories and exercises, you can cultivate a mindset to embrace stress and learn from challenging experiences.