The biggest misconception of social anxiety is that it is a singular disorder, ITS NOT! Social anxiety is simply a label that we apply to a range of mental and physical symptoms. So in order to overcome social anxiety, you need to do 1 of 2 things. The first is either learn A LOT and develop a deep and thorough understanding of our mind and paradigm of the world. Or 2 have someone with this knowledge walk you through the process of eliminating social anxiety.
If you want to overcome social anxiety on your own, these are 7 excellent books to help you get started. They cover a wide range of information and if you apply everything you learn in these books, you can certainly become confident and build self-esteem.
I want to point out that you cannot simply read these books once. Most of these books I would recommend reading multiple times and actively applying what you learn. Information is useless unless you can put it into action.
7. How To Train A Wild Elephant
By Jan Chozen Bays, MD
This is a great beginner book to start exploring your mind and training your thoughts. The book is all about simple and practical ways to become more mindful and present. This helps with social anxiety since much of social anxiety is an uncontrolled imagination.
6. The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck
By Mark Manson
This book focuses on how you look at things and your approach to the situations and challenges that life throws at you. Its a fun book to read as its very conversational, but it offers a lot of gold nuggets that will shift the way you view things in your life.
5. Feelings – Our Vital Signs
By William Gaylin
Now we are entering into the more deep sectors of our mind. This is an old book but its very much still relevant. It helps you understand feelings and show you the purpose. Learn to read your own feelings, trust them and embrace them for a better life.
4. Emotional Intelligence
By Daniel Goleman
Often times people are focused on IQ which is your measure of intellectual intelligence, but as you will learn in this book, emotional intelligence is what really defines being smart. Understanding people emotionally is by far one of the most important skills you can have.
3. The Chemistry Of Calm
By Henry Emmons, MD
Much of social anxiety and really any anxiety or stress is entirely mental. But what are thoughts and emotions in the first place? Its all electro-chemical. So a huge part of social anxiety is getting your bodies physical chemistry right so you can get your mind right. This book teaches you how.
By Matthew McKay PhD & Patrick Fanning
One of my favorite books. Self-esteem is all about teaching you the basic functions of your emotions, thoughts and beliefs. It gives an entire approach to various cognitive distortions which cause social anxiety and a mean inner critic. This is definitely a book I recommend you read at least 5 times and apply what you learn daily.
By Maxwell Maltz MD
By far my all time favorite book and the most transformative in my own life and my clients that I work with. This book is dense in wisdom that will reveal one of the most fundamental forces of your mind. I have read multiple versions of this book all about a 12+ times. It is such a powerful book that gives you the lever to the machine that is your mind. This is a book you absolutely MUST read multiples times and apply what you learn.