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Psychiatry & Psychology--General/recommended books to calm an anxious mind/eliminate negative thinking


QUESTION: Dear Jacquelynn

Are there any books you recommend I can purchase from Amazon that will help me to change my thoughts and reduce anxiety?

Before leaving work I was worried of saying something negative and I think I had said something negative twice shortly  after saying bye to a few workers.

It seems like the more I am worried about saying something negative, the greater the chance I am setting myself up to do so.  I'm not sure if when I feel anxious, I should maybe think of a red stop sign in my head or even just a plain white screen.  The plain white screen may give me the image to remain neutral and not say anything. This may be considered thought stopping.

I do hope there are books out there that will give techniques that will help to calm an anxious mind and to eliminate negative thinking which will prevent the negative muttering of bad words.

Thank you for your help and expert advice.

ANSWER: Hello again, Jeff...

I believe your best help would come from a trusted therapist, with whom you could share these thoughts and feelings. It has been my experience that books can be helpful in the process. Perhaps you might go to and search for books by Tara Brach. She is a gifted therapist and Buddhist who has some very good ideas and guides for accepting yourself and finding the strengths that lie within all of us. Some people have an easier time connecting to those strengths than others, particularly if there has been a history of trauma in those who are convinced they have little strengths to access.

She also has some tapes you might find helpful. Let me know if this was a good suggestion for you. You can also Google 'self-help' books for negative thinking.

Wishing you all the best!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Jacquelynn

Thank you for helping me again.  I did a search for books on Amazon by Tara Brach
and the only book that stood out to me was titled The Here and Now Habit by Hugh G. Byrne and Tara Brach.
I found other books from Amazon that may be able to help me.  I did a search with the words Calm Anxious Mind Self Help and found several interesting titles.

Calming Your Anxious Mind
by Jeffrey Brantley

The Now Effect
by Elisha Goldstein

A Mindfulness based Stress reduction Workbook for Anxiety
by Bob Stahl

Self Talk For a Calmer You
by Beverly Flaxington

Natural Relief for Anxiety
by Bourne

Using the search words on Amazon Self Help Eliminate Negative Thinking I found

Negative Self Talk Destroyed
by Cassandra Slain

A Better Way To Think
by H. Norman Wright

By chance I happened to find Unleash The Power Of Your Mind:How You Think Can Create Happiness Health & Well-being by Susan Marie Hagen.
The topics that caught my interest were Increasing happiness, mindfulness, change your thought patterns, meditation, and positive self talk.
The cover also looks cool.

While searching on Amazon with those key words, those were the books that stood out to me as being the most helpful with my problem of negative thinking, being anxious and negative muttering.
I did not try a google search yet for self help books for negative thinking.  I will also try that search as well to dig even deeper to find some more gems.

I'm not sure if you like the list of books that I found on Amazon.  I may end up purchasing no more than two or three different books to try. One book may not work for someone but may work for another.  It will be hard to narrow it down to two or three.  
The Here and Now Habit book from Tara Brach also has interesting topics such as deal with difficult emotions and learning how to cultivate mindfulness to calm and focus your mind, be aware of your thoughts and more.

If I feel anxious and fear about saying something negative, do you like the technique to use of visualizing a red stop sign in my head and saying out loud Stop!  Or imagining a bright white screen in my head and saying Neutral out loud to remind me there are no negative thoughts, OR are there other techniques I should use?

The books will give me some more techniques to try to change my thought patterns and calm my anxious mind to prevent negative muttering. You're right about me seeing a psychotherapist in my area for the best help.  I would also like to try trustworthy books for even more techniques to try.

Thank you! for your help.

Hello Jeff...

Thank you for your list. It is funny about books...I figured once I gave you a title of someone that I like, you would be able to think of key words that are meaningful to you and become connected to books that might better fit with what you are looking for. Your list sounds good. Follow your instincts and buy one. Then read it and see where you want to go with it.

I am a firm believer that we construct our own reality from our expectations (based on past experiences), our history of relationship, and how we have been made to feel about ourselves in the world. It is not easy to cast off how we have been taught to see ourselves. CBT methods such as visualization and thought change can be helpful. I also feel that if you want to change from the inside out, it is important to work through those early relationships that might have been traumatic to your sense of self and understand yourself with greater compassion.

I wish you well!

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Jacquelynn Cunliffe


I would like to answer under the category of Psychiatry and Psychology. However, I would like to see a separate category for Psychotherapy/Psychoanalysis. I do not answer questions about medications as I do not prescribe. My expertise is in psychotherapeutic treatment.


I am a psychotherapist and psychoanalyst who specializes in the treatment of mental health issues caused by childhood trauma, domestic abuse, eating disorders, relationship difficulties, and a wide variety of psychological disorders. The kind of therapy I do is often referred to as deep therapy, talk therapy, or psychoanalytic therapy. Please note that I am not against medications and when managed well, medication can be an adjunct to psychotherapy intervention. I think it is important for the public to realize that psychodynamic or psychoanalytic psychotherapy DOESmake changes not only in people's minds but those changes can also be detected in their brain structure. Psychotherapy and psychoanalysis are powerful interventions to help people change their lives from the inside out.

American Psychoanalytic Association American Psychiatric Nurse Association Member of Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia Member of National Eating Disorder Association

Ph.D.-University of Pennsylvania, Psychology and Education, Division of Human Development M.S.N. and R.N.-B.C. Board Certified Nurse in Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. 2-Year Adult Psychotherapy Program graduate 2-Year Child Psychotherapy Graduate Current: Candidate in Psychoanalytic Training at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia

Past/Present Clients
I have worked with clients who have experienced significant childhood traumas. These patients come with a variety of mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, suicidal ideations, relationship difficulties and diagnoses such as Personality Disorders, Adjustment Disorders, and, though rarely, Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly multiple Personality Disorder)

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