Mindful Monday: Anxious?

Anxious about the school week? Brand-new workweek? Or maybe just gearing up to see the family *cough* in-laws *cough* over the holidays?

It can be tough to get a handle on that vague, even sometimes illogical feeling of anxiety. 

Even if there is a logical reason, say like:

  • Stage fright.
  • Nicotine withdrawal– that gnawing feeling in the back of your head that you need a cigarette.
  • Caffeine withdrawal or too much caffeine.
  • Feeling overwhelmed with meeting too many new people at once
  • Feeling like you need that drink to socialize like everyone else
  • The morning after drinking when everything is off


There are ways to control and diminish anxiety instead of ignoring or just “dealing with it”: Mindfulness meditation. I know, I know— but hear me out.


Mindfulness meditation a.k.a. Paying attention to your breath does a whole bunch of MRI_anterior_cingulatethings, but one of the cooler things that happens is the activation of your anterior cingulate cortex shown here:



Anxiety dwells and builds in the posterior cingulate cortex. And when you activate one– say the anterior through meditation– you can calm the other (in a sense). Mindfulness practice has been shown to reduce anxiety this way.


Mindfulness isn’t a miracle cure though. It takes practice and won’t eliminate nicotine or caffeine cravings, or make you a social butterfly, but it can help.   


And, you can do it anytime, anywhere.


Leave a Reply