Navigating Anxiety in Your Thirties

In her early twenties, Josie Overmyer picked up and moved across the country. That influential move was the first time she remembers the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique playing a role in mitigating stress in her life, helping to launch her into a particularly creative period of songwriting.

Today, her creative endeavors are focused in a new direction: entrepreneurship.

Josie talks to us about the role that anxiety plays in her life while pursuing a new career, and how she maximizes her productivity with the help of TM.

Josie says, “I know that meditating has a big pay-off for me. Because of that, I can say without a doubt, it’s a priority in my life.

“Just knowing I’m going to do it when I get home from work makes me feel better. I’m not turning on the TV, or immediately going out to meet friends – it’s just this time for myself, free from distractions.  I need that balance and that grounding; otherwise, I have too much anxiety.”

There’s a reason “anxiety” is a household term. Anxiety disorders are extremely common in the US, affecting over 18% of the adult population. That’s 40 million people. They’re also highly treatable, and the TM technique has been shown to help reduce the detrimental impact that anxiety has on us.


While anxiety comes in a lot of different forms, for Josie, it can make her feel like she wants “to kind of disappear.” She describes getting into a negative self-critical spiral. She says, “I can’t shut my mind off. It can feel really scary and heavy.”  In those moments she feels a need to escape, perhaps by staying in bed and watching movies. Like others, she finds it hard to be productive when debilitated by anxiety.

But Josie has found positive ways of working with it.

“TM helps me make good decisions for myself. I think I’m in an important part of my life right now, and it’s helping me navigate being 31. I see things moving very slowly in the direction that I want, which is definitely exciting, but it also gives me a lot of anxiety. Meditating is really, really important for me to balance that. I can say that without a doubt.”

Meditating regularly, calming anxiety, and connecting with a deeper part of herself has given Josie the clarity to move forward in an exciting new area of her life – becoming an entrepreneur.

“A few months ago I had the feeling that I was just floating and not moving progressively in one direction. At one point I thought that music was the only direction I wanted to go in.”  But now that’s shifting. “Someone asked me this summer, ‘If you could do anything, what’s the most fun thing that you could think of for a career path?’” For Josie it was opening her own tea shop. “I used to think of it as off-limits, as a pipe-dream, but I realized in that moment that all it takes is going for it.” And so she is.

Now residing in the Midwest, Josie has been steadily working with advisers to become an entrepreneur in the town where she lives. It’s a slow process that takes patience and motivation. She says, “Staying grounded is really important for me right now. Otherwise anxiety can keep me from being productive. I need to sit with myself and stay in a good state of mind.”

In this active time of working, starting a new business, and continuing to perform her music, she says, “Meditating has helped me get back to myself.” And with that, Josie is moving forward into the life that she knows she wants.