This Naked Mind Book Club – The Upside of Stress

I have enjoyed diving back into the books that have been an important part of my journey with you each month. For December’s This Naked Mind Book Club, I am bringing you The Upside of Stress by Kelly McGonigal. This month can be one of the most stressful ones of the year. Triggers like finances and family can wreak havoc on our emotions and willpower. Many people may find themselves drinking to cope. Join us again this month for the This Naked Mind Book Club and see how The Upside of Stress can help you!

the upside of stress

This Naked Mind Book Club – The Upside of Stress – Kelly McGonigal

This is an incredible book. Not only does it provide techniques to deal with stress (which is a primary cause of drinking more than we would like) but it also pulls together so many scientific studies that support how powerful our minds are. For example, Dr. McGonigal goes deep into the science behind the fact that ‘what you expect is what you get’.

It is eye-opening to see this proven as it is a tenant of This Naked Mind. I am certain that if you think you are miserable without drinking you will be, and equally if you come to know that you don’t need alcohol to make you happy, you will be incredibly happy without it.

Seeing the science for this concept, and again supporting the incredible power of the mind, is very cool. The Upside of Stress is not a guide to getting rid of stress, but a guide to getting better at stress, by understanding it, embracing it, and using it.


What are you doing to cultivate a mindset that embraces stress?

It can seem daunting and counter-productive to cultivate a mindset that embraces stress but doing so actually makes us better at dealing with stress. What steps are you taking to embrace stress rather than run from it?


Have you found that stress can provide focus and energy in your life?

We have all found times where we work best under pressure. Are there areas where stress improves your energy and performance?


Stress can help people connect and strengthen close relationships. Can you think of an area where this has been true in your life?


Often it is the most difficult of times that create the strongest bonds in our lives. Are there people in your life with whom you have bonded due to a particularly stressful situation?



More Suggestions from Annie’s Book Club

So many amazing books and resources have been mentioned in our newsletters, podcasts, interviews, and so many other places. If you’re a voracious reader like I am, you could probably use a few more books to place on your list. Here are some bonus features to check out:


More from the Same Author

Kelly McGonigal has also written The Willpower Instinct. This book has so much value in each and every chapter. She cites many of the studies that I reference in This Naked Mind – explaining them very helpfully from a willpower and psychologist’s perspective. She expands on the concept of wanting vs. liking in terms of why (neurologically) we do what we don’t want to do and how we can exercise our willpower muscle to use it to our advantage. This is an excellent read.


Quick Read

Let’s be honest – sometimes we just don’t have time to sit down and read an entire book! I love downloading e-books for those occasions when I just need a quick read and a moment to ponder. If that is what you’re looking for, you should definitely check out “Six Vital Things You Need To Know About Moderation.” This e-book offers tips for those curious about what life might be like with a little less booze in it! Download it here!


Audio Options

I know, I know – not everyone is a reader! If you’re more of a listener – or maybe you enjoy both – there are plenty of great options for you as well. In fact, Kelly McGonigal happens to have an excellent Ted talk on the subject of stress as well! Consider it the Cliff Notes version of reading The Upside of Stress!


For Motivation

journaling challenge

We’ve started something new here at This Naked Mind that you might find to be an excellent companion to our monthly book club. We’re also doing a monthly journaling challenge. Writing things out can be so beneficial to dealing with stress. Check it out here!


Looking Ahead at This Naked Mind Book Club

I hope you are enjoying this journey of living a Naked Life! Continue the conversation and discuss the books featured in our Facebook group. Next month we’ll be reading a book that is what starts many on their journey of living life alcohol-free. I can’t wait to join you again for this read! Make sure to drop me an e-mail if you have any suggestions for future book club reads!