Best Books for High Functioning Anxiety (15+ List)


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Page last updated: 15/09/2022

Best Books for High Functioning Anxiety (15+ List)

In this sizable list, we are going to discuss the best books for high functioning anxiety. These have been picked out because they work well with people living their daily lives despite crippling anxiety. Our blog will cover book descriptions that explain how each text is helpful.

What are the Best Books for High Functioning Anxiety?

Here are the top books for people with high functioning anxiety:

Books That Help With High Functioning Anxiety

High Functioning Anxiety isn’t a clinical term but it is popularly used today. That’s because there is a growing prevalence of anxiety across the globe. In 2017, 284 million people were reported to have an anxiety disorder. But since the pandemic, this number has only skyrocketed. 

This term basically refers to people who manage to maintain clinically significant levels of functioning despite their anxious thoughts. On the inside, individuals with high functioning anxiety are overwhelmed by maladaptive thought patterns. But on the outside, they are able to carry on with work, school, social obligations, and self care.

We curated a list of books that will help such people with their anxiety. These books will allow them to identify their condition, understand the underlying causes, and find ways to overcome it.

If you feel you could benefit from a book like that, check out the list below:

Best Books for High Functioning Anxiety (15+ List)

The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook by Edmund J. Bourne

This is the seventh edition of this book to celebrate 30 years as a classic in its field. It is a revised, updated, practical, and step-by-step guide to numerous coping techniques that lower anxiety. 

Learn how to use relaxation, exercise, nutrition, medication, and meditation to fight your anxiousness. This book also covers topics like overcoming panic, negative self-talk, mistaken beliefs, specific phobias, worry, and health-related anxiety. Dr. Bourne guides his readers on how to prevent relapses as well.

7 Ancient Rituals to Heal Modern High-Functioning Anxiety by Anne Ruitberg Taylor

Here, Dr. Taylor explains that anxiety is a normal reaction to stress and can serve us in challenging situations. She shows us how  this early warning system leads to a plethora of problems when it is overactive. 

By arguing that new paradigms in healing high-functioning anxiety require more than talk therapy, she introduces these 7 ancient rituals. The book combines them with evidence-based heart rhythm feedback so you know when you’re in the zone of calm and resilience.

Mindfulness by Mark Williams and Danny Penman

These authors have created a life-changing bestseller based on mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). MBCT is recommended by the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence and is as effective as drugs for preventing depression. 

These therapeutic techniques help readers free themselves of anxiety and worry. You’ll find simple yet powerful practices that you can incorporate into daily life to break the cycle of stress, unhappiness, and exhaustion. Reading this guide will provide you with new courage to face your fears and stressors.

The Stress-Proof Brain by Melanie Greenberg

Master your emotional response to stress using mindfulness and neuroplasticity by following this guide. It will give you the tools you need to live a more calm, peaceful, and stress-free life. 

The book describes research that found that the key to coping with stress is simpler than you think—it’s all about how you respond. Develop an original and effective program for mastering your habitual response to stress through understanding your neuroplasticity.

Dare by Barry McDonagh

Stop panic attacks, get rid of anxiety, and put an end to intrusive thoughts with the DARE technique. This book helps readers Defuse, Allow, Run Toward, and Engage to tackle all their anxiety-provoking triggers. 

These techniques can be used by everyone, regardless of age or background, to live free from anxiety or panic attacks. But this is more than just a book, it also has a free app you can access with each purchase. Use this app through your smart device to get helpful tools and audio tracks to support your healing journey.

The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron

A highly sensitive person (HSP) is someone with a keen imagination, vivid dreams, conscientious, and highly empathetic. These individuals need to spend some time alone everyday and get overwhelmed with noise and confusion. Sometimes, high-functioning anxiety can be caused because of this oversensitivity. 

This is the 25th edition of this groundbreaking classic that helps HSPs be more functional. It includes the latest scientific research on the subject. This book is meant to create the sense of self-worth and empowerment every HSP deserves and our planet needs.

Hardcore Self Help: F**k Anxiety by Robert Duff

If you find traditional self help books too boring, this one is perfect for you. It talks to you like a friend and shows you what you need to do to get rid of anxiety. Readers beware, it contains lots of swearing and humour in addition to tonnes of helpful and actionable information. 

Hardcore Self Help will educate you about how anxiety works. Through this explanation, Duff helps you discover the weapons within you to slay anxiety for good.

Getting Over OCD by Jonathan S. Abramowitz

High functioning anxiety often comes linked with obsessive compulsive tendencies. Since these individuals endure long periods of hard work and then experience burnout, they judge themselves during their inactivity. A way to compensate for those negative feelings is a barrage of compulsive behaviour to regain control. 

This 10-step workbook includes the latest research on OCD and ways to overcome it. Abramowitz’s step-by-step program is grounded in cognitive-behavioral therapy. It uses vivid stories and numerous practical tools that are printable to train readers to overcome these tendencies. 

A Liberated Mind by Steven C. Hayes

Break free from your anxiety using this book that will train you to pivot your mind toward what matters. The author is a pioneering researcher into Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). ACT skills have been shown to help even where other approaches have failed. 

They help you develop psychological flexibility, something very useful to tackle established negative patterns of thought. A case of high functioning anxiety can benefit a lot through such flexibility as it makes way for self compassion.

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

This bestseller talks about how our courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent, and lead. Brown understands that most of us try to fight vulnerable feelings or feel guilt for feeling them at all. 

She explains that by doing this, we distance ourselves from the experiences that bring purpose and meaning to our lives. Readers learn to overcome their high functioning anxiety by finding the courage to allow vulnerability. This book is available now on Netflix as ‘The Call to Courage’.

The Perfectionism Workbook by Taylor Newendorp

Common signs of high functioning anxiety are perfectionism, procrastination, and negative self talk. This workbook will use proven strategies to end procrastination, help you accept yourself, and achieve your goals. It offers actionable exercises to help you overcome the barriers created by perfectionism. 

The author is a clinical therapist who relies on CBT to help patients with issues such as OCD, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, or depression. This hand-on guide will change the way you view yourself, set healthy goals, and find contentment in your daily life.

Better than Perfect by Elizabeth Lombardo

Crush your inner critic and quell your high functioning anxiety using the seven strategies given in this book. Lombardo guides readers on how to get the better of their perfectionism and learn to let go. 

These strategies come with easy-to-understand terms, simple assessment tools, and case studies to smoothen your learning curve. Try out the practical exercises and suggestions for behavioral changes to work toward new, fulfilled, and empowered lives.

First, We Make the Beast Beautiful by Sarah Wilson

Wilson’s book is a New York Times Bestseller that is based on a Chinese belief. They say that before you can conquer a beast, you must first make it beautiful. The author herself has been dealing with chronic anxiety for years. 

In her book, she interviews fellow sufferers, mental health experts, philosophers, and even the Dalai Lama. Her newfound knowledge is presented through the lens of her personal experiences that are extremely relatable. This book helps people with anxiety to embrace it as a part of who they are.

The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris

Stress, anxiety, depression and low self-esteem were pretty common even before the pandemic. But in today’s extraordinary times, these issues are universal. According to the author of this book, we’re all stuck in a happiness trap. 

The more we strive for happiness the more we suffer in the long term. Harris demonstrates how ACT and mindfulness can help us break free from this trap. He uses scientifically proven techniques to reduce stress, worry, insecurity, and self-defeating habits. Read this text to stop struggling and start living.

The Anxiety Toolkit by Alice Boyes

This is a toolkit packed with strategies for fine-tuning your mind and moving past your stuck points. High functioning anxiety causes you to always overthink, predict negative outcomes, strive for perfection, and feel bad about yourself. 

Dr. Boyes’ book provides quick, simple, and practical tips that an anxious person can start using immediately. You can learn to successfully manage symptoms like rumination, hesitation, fear of criticism, and paralysing perfection.

Don’t Feed the Monkey Mind by Jennifer Shannon

The idea behind this book is that we reward our anxiety by avoiding the things we fear. The monkey is an analogy to compare how much like other primates, humans too endlessly move from fear to safety. While this strategy may bring us comfort in the short term, it can limit our growth and perpetuate the fears that cause anxiety. 

Shannon uses CBT, mindfulness, ACT techniques, and fun illustrations to guide readers change their ways. Read this to identify your own anxious thoughts, question those thoughts, and uncover the core fears at play.


In this sizable list, we discussed the best books for high functioning anxiety. These have been picked out because they work well with people living their daily lives despite crippling anxiety. Our blog covered book descriptions that explained how each text is helpful.

The books mentioned here included The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook by Edmund J. Bourne, 7 Ancient Rituals to Heal Modern High-Functioning Anxiety by Anne Ruitberg Taylor, Mindfulness by Mark Williams and Danny Penman, The Stress-Proof Brain by Melanie Greenberg, Dare by Barry McDonagh, Getting Over OCD by Jonathan S. Abramowitz, and A Liberated Mind by Steven C. Hayes

We also talked about Daring Greatly by Brené Brown, The Highly Sensitive Person by Elaine Aron, Hardcore Self Help: F**k Anxiety by Robert Duff, The Perfectionism Workbook by Taylor Newendorp, Better than Perfect by Elizabeth Lombardo, First, We Make the Beast Beautiful by Sarah Wilson, The Happiness Trap by Russ Harris, The Anxiety Toolkit by Alice Boyes, and Don’t Feed the Monkey Mind by Jennifer Shannon

FAQs (Best Books for High Functioning Anxiety)

How do you deal with high functioning anxiety?

If you have high functioning anxiety, the first thing you must overcome is denial of your psychological condition. Since you’re able to maintain most of your functionality, it can appear at times that there’s no issue at all.
Only when you come to terms with the constant negativity thinking and the lack of self compassion can things improve. Generally, it helps to consult a therapist for this.

What is the best job for someone with anxiety?

The best jobs for people struggling with anxiety are the ones that involve work from home with flexible hours. These don’t involve a lot of interaction with others in person and if you face an unexpected anxiety attack, you can accommodate the time. Some examples of such jobs are freelance writing, blogging, and editing.

Can reading a book help with anxiety?

To truly recover from anxiety, one usually needs to consult a mental health professional. That’s because only a knowledgeable, unbiased, and therapeutic relationship can help one identify irrational and unhelpful thought patterns. Having said that, reading books can definitely help one become more aware of how anxiety works.