The very things we do to control anxiety can make anxiety worse. This unique guide offers a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)-based approach to help you recognize the constant chatter of your anxious “monkey mind,” stop feeding anxious thoughts, and find the personal peace you crave.
Ancient sages compared the human mind to a monkey: constantly chattering, hopping from branch to branch—endlessly moving from fear to safety. If you are one of the millions of people whose life is affected by anxiety, you are familiar with this process. Unfortunately, you can’t switch off the “monkey mind,” but you can stop feeding the monkey—or stop rewarding it by avoiding the things you fear.
Written by psychotherapist Jennifer Shannon, this book shows you how to stop anxious thoughts from taking over using proven-effective cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and mindfulness techniques, as well as fun illustrations. By following the exercises in this book, you’ll learn to identify your own anxious thoughts, question those thoughts, and uncover the core fears at play.
Once you stop feeding the monkey, there are no limits to how expansive your life can feel. This book will show you how anxiety can only continue as long as you try to avoid it. And, paradoxically, only by seeking out and confronting the things that make you anxious can you reverse the cycle that keeps your fears alive.
Jennifer Shannon, LMFT, is author of The Shyness and Social Anxiety Workbook for Teens, The Anxiety Survival Guide for Teens, and cofounder of the Santa Rosa Center for Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy in Santa Rosa, CA. She is a diplomate of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy.
Doug Shannon is a freelance cartoonist who resides in Santa Rosa, CA.
Foreword writer Michael A. Tompkins, PhD, is founding partner of the San Francisco Bay Area Center for Cognitive Therapy, diplomate of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy, and assistant clinical professor at the University of California, Berkeley. He is author and coauthor of five books, including OCD and Digging Out.
“If you are ready to turn the tables on your anxiety, you can find no better book than Don’t Feed the Monkey Mind. Jennifer Shannon will help you turn away from the enticing tactics of fearful worry and teach you how to return to the life you love.” —Reid Wilson, PhD, author of Stopping the Noise in Your Head
“This book is a gem for people seeking to tame runaway anxiety and upset. Jennifer Shannon takes the simple metaphor of ‘monkey mind’ and fleshes it out with wisdom and simple steps that anyone can follow. Here, in plain language, is a comprehensive set of concrete steps to let your anxiety run its course and then fade. Jennifer Shannon has blended the best of cognitive behavioral methods and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) to produce a great contribution to the self-help literature. Here you can learn to return your energy and attention back to your voyage through life, rather than the worries and fears that have hijacked your focus. Professional psychotherapists will also find it useful. I highly recommend it!” —David Carbonell, PhD, Chicago-based psychologist specializing in treating fears and phobias; author of Panic Attacks Workbook and The Worry Trick; and “coach” at www.anxietycoach.com
“Don’t Feed the Monkey Mind is clear and easy to understand. The book will teach you simple and powerful strategies to harness fear and worry. Jennifer Shannon teaches you how to transform your life by taking the ‘monkey’ out of your mind.” —Dennis Greenberger, PhD, coauthor of Mind Over Mood
“Don’t Feed the Monkey Mind begins with a well-written synopsis of basic attitudes and mental habits that perpetuate anxiety. The book follows with a set of clear, concise changes in mind-set and behavioral strategies to overcome anxiety at its roots. The ‘monkey mind’ concept is an apt, original contribution. Examples of points provided by the author as well as references to her personal story help make the book accessible to readers of all kinds.” —Edmund J. Bourne, PhD, author of The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook and Coping with Anxiety