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Dealing mindfully with worry and anxiety at work – Five positions


“I trust and have confidence in my capability and ability to solve the problems that come up today”


Dear Integral Meditators,

Its good to be specific about developing your applied mindfulness skills, this weeks article focuses on how to use mindfulness to deal with worry and anxiety at work. I hope you enjoy it!

This weeks Tuesday & Wednesday class is on ‘vigilance and presence’, it’s the last one in July, we shall be re-starting third week in August.

In the spirit of thriving,



Dealing mindfully with worry and anxiety at work – Five positions

If you think about your worries and anxieties, the domains of work and family/relationships will definitely be present, and often dominate. This article aims to give some mindful pointers for dealing with worries around work. The principles apply to worry and anxiety in general, but its good to be specific in our understanding of these methods, and really get to know how to apply them to our professional life (if you’re a student, then your student life). Each one of them is a domain in itself, but the idea here is we are putting these positions together into a combination where the sum is greater than the individual parts. Practiced in sequence it is designed to give you deep confidence in dealing with habitual worry at work.

Position 1– Understanding what worry is: If we define worry and anxiety here as “Thinking about your problems without confidence or trust in yourself” this means that underlying the symptom of worrying about work, there is often an implicit lack of fundamental trust in yourself and your capability to solve problems that come up. “I trust and have confidence in my capability and ability to solve the problems that come up today” is a great starting mantra for worrying less.

Position 2 – Sitting, standing and walking with confidence: How you hold your body sends messages to your brain about your situation and world. Don’t let your shoulders slope and your chest cave in. Hold your body as if you were confident, and you will find your mindset changes for the better around your work worries.

Position 3 – Support your worried self: Direct warmth, understanding and support to the part of you that worries and is anxious, and in particular the part of you that get worries about issues relating to work. Don’t let this part of you feel alone, rejected or abandoned.

Position 4 – Be specific: Bringing to mind particular situations at work that you find worrying and would like to experience differently. Think and plan about what can be done on a practical level. Identify things that you can do today to move forward positively. If there is nothing that can be done today, then accept that, and identify when you are next going to be pro-active. Until then be conscious around accepting and keeping relaxed around waiting. Letting go of what cannot be done for now

Position 5 – Create context: Balancing your problem shooting with appreciation for what’s good at work and excitement about the present and future possibilities for you there. Don’t let worry dominate your perception and experience of work, there is plenty going on there that is not that!

I hope you have enjoyed reading about these four positions. If you can now keep them in mind and focus on applying them in your daily life, then you will start to notice your worry and anxiety going down, and your self confidence and trust going up around your challenges at work.

Related articleHow to Mindfully Develop Your Self-Confidence

© Toby Ouvry 2022, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website

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One Minute Mindfulness

The Anxiety of Freedom

Normally when we think about anxiety and its causes things such as money, relationships, negative emotions and the like come to mind as primary causes of our mental anxt. However what about freedom?

Søren Kierkegaard said “Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom”, and the existential philosophers and therapists have pointed out very clearly that as often as not it is the challenge of dealing with our individual inner freedom and inner power that is as much a cause of stress for us in our life as anything else (see Rollo Mays’ ‘The Discovery of Being’ for a good exposition of this).

When we are really exercising our power of choice and freedom to choose our future fully, we are also saying “I am in control of my life and in control of my destiny”. Relatively few people seem ready to take on this responsibility and the burden of anxiety that we anticipate will come with it.

However I think probably that the lengths we go to to avoid really taking responsibility for our life and stepping into our personal freedom cause much more anxiety than actually having the balls to step into our own power fully!

At any rate being mindful of our inner response to choices and personal opportunities for inner freedom in our day to day life is definitely a good daily object of meditation!

© Toby Ouvry 2011, you are welcome to use or share this article, but please cite Toby as the source and include reference to his website

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