Worrying Is Optional
Break the Cycle of Anxiety and Rumination That Keeps You Stuck
Published by: New Harbinger Publications
Imprint: New Harbinger Publications
Worry happens. Worrying is optional.
We live in an increasingly uncertain world, and if you struggle with worry, you aren’t alone. You should also know that there’s nothing wrong with worry. Worry happens to all of us—and it can even be helpful at times. But excessive worrying—the kind that keeps us up at night, interferes with our thinking during the day, and hijacks our ability to make decisions—is a big, big problem. The good news is that, while worry is inevitable, worrying is completely optional. This book will show you how to break free from the unhelpful thinking habits that keep you stuck in a loop of rumination and anxiety.
With help from this upbeat guide, you’ll learn to build your own customizable, anti-worrying toolbox using skills and strategies from metacognitive therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). You’ll discover the science behind why you worry, and how to put the brakes on unhelpful rumination and anxious thoughts—before they kick your worry and anxiety into high gear.
With this go-to guide, you will:
- Gain a better understanding of worry
- Learn why worry happens
- Know when to draw the line at disruptive worrying
- Challenge perfectionism and accept uncertainty
There’s no one-size-fits-all treatment for anxiety and worry, but by assembling an arsenal of tools, skills, and strategies, excessive worry can be managed effectively. This book will help you get started now.
“If you have a worrying problem, this book by Ben Eckstein is a great resource for you! He carefully explains the inner workings of worry, and presents a variety of self-help strategies that are derived from research-supported clinical interventions.”
—Jonathan S. Abramowitz, PhD, professor, and director of clinical training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ~Jonathan S. Abramowitz, PhD
“Overflowing with both practical tools and illuminating perspectives on worry and anxiety in general, Worrying Is Optional seamlessly blends cognitive-behavioral with acceptance-based strategies. The book’s unique transdiagnostic approach looks at the role of worry across the spectrum of anxiety disorders. Eckstein’s confident voice guides the reader toward changing their relationship with worry, and cultivating a stronger connection to their core values. A comprehensive, powerful, and flexible guide!”
—Chad LeJeune, PhD, founding fellow of the Academy of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies, and author of The Worry Trap and “Pure O” OCD ~Chad LeJeune, PhD
“I was initially worried I wouldn’t have the time to read this book, but once I picked it up, the author’s relatable and appropriately humorous tone led me to conclude that I did. Worrying Is Optional is a useful contribution to the anxiety-related self-help literature. It aptly makes the case that worrying never gets the job done that it promises to. Eckstein offers genuinely useful alternatives instead. Time well spent.”
—Jon Hershfield, LCMFT, director of the Center for OCD and Anxiety at Sheppard Pratt, and coauthor of The Mindfulness Workbook for OCD ~Jon Hershfield, LCMFT
“Thank you to Ben Eckstein for providing a relatable and easy-to-understand guide to understanding and managing worry. At a time when worrying does NOT seem optional, Ben helps us to see that we have the power to control our worry with the use of clearly described strategies. I know I will be using and recommending this book.”
—Diane Davey, RN, MBA, program director at the OCD Institute at McLean Hospital, and board member of the International OCD Foundation ~Diane Davey, RN, MBA
“While worry can feel like it has a life of its own, the good news is that you can be the one in charge! Ben Eckstein educates us about how our minds work, and expertly weaves multiple ways to approach our worry differently. You don’t have to be along for the ride with your worry. Learn how to get into the driver’s seat and begin living your best life.”
—Jeff Szymanski, PhD, founder of Getting to the Next Level Consulting, LLC; part-time clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School; and clinical associate at McLean Hospital ~Jeff Szymanski, PhD
“Worry is not the enemy, it’s necessary and adaptative. Worry(ing), however, is ineffective and unhealthy. This is foundational to Worrying Is Optional, a thoughtfully crafted book for all anxiety disorders, offering comprehensive, evidence-based strategies and transforming our relationship with worry into a catalyst for personal growth. By addressing processes of worrying, rather than symptoms, Ben Eckstein compassionately teaches us that worrying about worries is truly optional and well within our control.”
—Josh Spitalnick, PhD, ABPP, CEO/owner of Anxiety Specialists of Atlanta; and author of the parenting guide, Raising Resilience ~Josh Spitalnick, PhD, ABPP
“Worrying Is Optional is an exceptional self-help workbook that is valuable to anyone struggling with worry. The gift of this beautiful book is that it teaches you how to accept what you can’t control and live a meaningful life. Eckstein does a superb job exploring the function of worrying and other unhelpful covert mental behaviors. The exercises and tips throughout this book will help the reader be more aware of their unhelpful mental processes and responses, implement concrete strategies, and be more present in their lives. I look forward to sharing this wonderful resource with clients and friends!”
—Marisa T. Mazza, PsyD, psychologist, founder of choicetherapy, IOCDF BTTI faculty, and author of The ACT Workbook for OCD ~Marisa T. Mazza, PsyD
“Want to quiet those persistent worries? Worrying Is Optional is packed full of the powerful strategies we use in treatment, delivered to you in an easy-to-read, practical book. Written by a well-respected anxiety specialist and based on cutting-edge science, you’ll find multiple ways to build your most effective plan. This book is truly an impressive accomplishment.”
—Reid Wilson, PhD, psychologist, and author of Stopping the Noise in Your Head ~Reid Wilson, PhD
“What a delight to read! This metaphor-rich book empowers readers to dismantle worrying using tools from a wide evidence base. Eckstein acknowledges the complexity of how our brains can latch on to worries, and provides compassionate strategies to help people get out of the familiar rut of anxious patterns. Even better, he provides tools to help cultivate new patterns to live a purposeful and valued life.”
—Amy Mariaskin, PhD, founding director of the Nashville OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center, and author of Thriving in Relationships When You Have OCD ~Amy Mariaskin, PhD
“Some people are prone to overthink or think a lot about important things, small matters, or day-to-day interactions. The challenge is that, as much as it feels natural to think and problem-solve things in our head, for some people, that ongoing thinking pattern keeps them stuck in a cycle of worry. Worry is a very common psychological struggle across many presentations and if it goes unchecked, it can be extremely debilitating in a person’s life. In this book, Ben shows skills derived from different evidence-based approaches to tackle worry in a skillful, engaged, and actionable approach. Every chapter includes a specific skill to address different processes that maintain and perpetuate worry. This is a must-read book for anyone dealing with worry that wants to experience a joyful, vibrant, and meaningful life!”
—Patricia E. Zurita Ona, PsyD, author of Acceptance and Commitment Skills for Perfectionism and High-Achieving Behaviors and Living Beyond OCD Using Acceptance and Commitment Therapy ~Patricia E. Zurita Ona, PsyD