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Written by: Anuka Garza

Can we use mindfulness to heal our anxiety? What does it even mean to feel anxious? I define my moments of anxiety as hard moments that get accumulated in my mind and predisposes me to feeling those same thoughts again and again.

Mindfulness, often touted as a coping strategy for anxiety, prompts us to explore the nature of our anxious moments. A vivid memory I have regarding anxiety is one of my early divorce days, where overwhelming thoughts plagued me: “Who am I without this marriage? Can I manage as a single parent?” I became ensnared in these narratives, losing sight of my true self.


I remember my attention feeling fragmented during my early divorce phase. Feeling lightweight in my body, constantly muttering to myself during my working day, …feeling overwhelmed and acknowledging these thoughts of was I going to fall short in my work and let my children down and in some deep way; feeling rejected and not feeling in control.


This overwhelming experience can be likened to a delayed stress reaction, as explained by Dr. Aditi Nerurkar, a stress expert. What is happening to us physiologically during acute stress, is our psychological defenses weaken and as this happens our nervous systems reveal our true emotions. In our society, we always think we should be doing something else, multitasking or doing more. This social conditioning for me definitely fueled my anxiety and created a sense of personal deficiency. 


How should we feel in moments of difficulty? How should we behave?

We may experience this undercurrent of never feeling “enough”.  Moreover, anxiety manifests differently for individuals, often unrecognized due to societal stigma.


Recognizing the physiological impact of anxiety is crucial, as it can significantly affect both professional and personal aspects of life. Despite high performance, anxiety may subtly erode engagement and strain relationships. It can also extend to how we navigate mindfulness in our life? I share my experience, because if you are experiencing intense anxiety it might be helpful to keep in mind how many of us are breathing that same air and feeling the same experience …this is the beginning of creating a bigger perspective, feeling a shift from “ my stress” to “the stress” which offers you a spaciousness to how you respond whilst acknowledging that society breathes anxiety and stress every day.


In our ever increasingly interconnected world, mindfulness emerges as a tool to address rising anxiety and mental health concerns. Meditation also often includes various breathwork techniques that directly impact our biological states and calm our nervous system. Personally, mindfulness helped me grasp my bodily manifestations of anxiety by releasing emotional tension. For those less attuned to their stress responses, exploring mindfulness-based practices offers insight into the mind-body connection.


At its core, mindfulness offers a pathway to acknowledge and validate diverse experiences of anxiety. By delving into mindfulness practices, individuals can deepen their understanding of their responses to stress, fostering greater self-awareness and resilience as individuals and on teams.


Feeling overwhelmed and lacking motivation is real, and can take a toll on your mental and physical wellbeing. If you need a little support, check out Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute in-person Search Inside Yourself program where we teach practical skills that you can integrate into your daily life and work culture.