First We Make the Beast Beautiful: Book on Anxiety

A client recently recommended the book to me “First We Make the Beast Beautiful; A New Journey Through Anxiety” by Sarah Wilson. It is a memoir of Sarah’s own journey; it is refreshing, honest, and packed with information. For anyone who struggles with anxiety or for those whose loved ones have it, you will recognize familiarity in its pages. Here are some tidbits from the book:

  • Sarah put an octopus on the cover because they are beasts that have been made more beautiful through our deeper understanding of them.
  • She refers to her own experience of anxiety as “wobbles” and “spirals.” I quote, “A simple thing you can do, dear-loved-one-of-someone-with-anxiety, is to just be there when we wobble. Just stay.” (Wobbling puts me in mind of the weeble-wobble toys we had as kids. I was always fascinated by their ability to right themselves; I think this is why I loved the term when I read it.)
  • When you grow up in conditions of emotional vulnerability, it can shape how you cope emotionally for the rest of your life.
  • Anxiety is more common in people with autoimmune diseases. (Keep your gut clean.) 
  • There are a number of genetic issues that can play a part in the formation of anxiety.
  • Globally, one in thirteen people suffer with an anxiety-related illness.
  • We can reshape our brains with small movements over a period of time, re-wiring our neural pathways according to the habit you want to form. I quote, “Make your bed. Every day. It’s easier to do something every day without exception than to do something most days.”
  • Massage therapy decreases cortisol levels and increased serotonin and dopamine levels; scalp massages are particularly beneficial.
  • Sarah talks about “certainty anchors” and building them into your morning routine so as to start your day. (You know I’m going to love this one!)
  • And lastly, do the work. She quotes Louise Hay, “Anyone who thinks they can heal without doing the work is missing the point.”

This book was a page turner; I was always finding little moments to dive back into its pages. Consider picking up a copy or gifting it to a loved one who struggles to manage their anxiety. “First We Make the Beast Beautiful” is a worthy read.

Photo credit: Me :)

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4 thoughts on “First We Make the Beast Beautiful: Book on Anxiety”

  1. Just checked out this title and hit the “order” button! I also perused her anti anxiety nutrition recommendations because answers are complicated and rarely just one thing. Can I recommend “The Monster in the Cave” by David Mellinger and Steven Lynn which also looks at living with, acceptance of the human condition of anxiety.


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