Sometimes, life can seem overwhelming and negative thoughts can get in the way of your progress and peace of mind.
It’s okay to fall out of place in these moments, but in order to get by smoothly, you need to find ways that work for you to bring yourself back on a positive track.
The following is a compilation of short mantras that you can turn to for guidance. Select a mantra that resonates with you and repeat them (in a way of silent chanting) during times of stress and uncertainty.
These mantras will give you inner strength and shift your vibration from fearful thoughts to empowering thoughts.
1. Feelings are not facts.
You should not attach your feelings to your worth, or allow your feelings to define you.
When stress and negative feelings are tearing you down, use this mantra to must remind yourself that negative thoughts can sure make you feel weak, but you are not a weak person.
Feelings are normal, even the uncomfortable ones. But they are not a representation of who you are.
2. Let go of the “what ifs”.
Any anxious mind, or those with self-doubt, desires to feel a sense of preparedness. By this you may allow your worries to jump too far into the past, or too far into the future and prepare yourself for your own made up scenarios.
Not only is this draining, but in a way you are literally betting against yourself.
It is important to live in the moment as it is, trust that no matter what happens you will be okay, and to not let your mind wander towards negativity.
When “what if” thoughts get in the way of your focus, it is best to keep yourself busy in the present moment.
3. Worry is a misuse of the imagination. (Dan Zadra)
As humans, we are blessed with the wonderful gift of ‘imagination’. There are no limits to our imagination and it can take us to wonderful places when used in the right way.
But just like any other gift, imagination is a two edged sword. It’s easy to start misusing this powerful tool by indulging in imaginary thoughts of fear and worry.
Not only is worrying a misuse of imagination, it steals away precious time we have to enjoy (or acknowledge) the good in our lives.
This mantra will help you stay conscious of where your imagination is taking you, so you can divert or refocus it on constructive or positive thoughts.
4. I am stronger than this challenge, and this challenge is making me even stronger.
If you look back at the past struggles in your life, you will realize that they made you a stronger, more mature person. They helped you in your inner growth.
When you are tackling something in your life that seems to be a challenge for you, use this mantra to remind yourself that the difficulty is temporary, and the result will bring you strength.
5. Log out, shut down; do yoga, drink wine.
This simple mantra is a reminder that it is okay to have a lot on your plate, but it is not okay to allow yourself to get overwhelmed. It’s not okay to forget yourself and let the external situation get the better of you.
Whenever you feel stressed out, give yourself permission to take a break, check in with yourself, ease your mind – before you get back to work.
6. Be gentle with yourself, you’re doing the best you can.
Sometimes, we are our worst critics. This short yet powerful mantra is a reminder that you need to learn to be easy on yourself and focus on your wonderful strengths instead of the weaknesses.
Use this mantra to train yourself to reflect on the little things you do that make a big difference instead of guiding your focus towards all that you are unable to do or have yet to accomplish.
Remember to celebrate tiny victories. Trust yourself and believe you are doing the best you can (at this point in your life) as the weight comes off your shoulders a bit.
7. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.
It is a gift to be able to offer your support to others, but it is a significant part of self-care that you make sure your needs are met first for your own mental health.
Remember this mantra whenever you feel stressed out. Your needs are as important as others and you should never forget that.
In a unique way this mantra is a reminder that, “you can not love another until you learn to love yourself.”
8. I am enough. I don’t need anyone’s approval.
Are you constantly seeking other people’s approval? If so, realize that you are complete as you are; you don’t need to add anything to yourself or get anyone’s approval to become complete. This realization frees you mind up so you can shift your focus to what really matters.
When you seek someone’s approval, you essentially give your power away to them. You become a people pleaser. By reciting this mantra, you can come out of this habit and regain your power that you can invest in productive activities that really matter.
9. This too shall pass.
Nothing in this universe is permanent except change. Change is happening every second whether you realize it or not.
When you are stuck in a situation, it’s easy to get into negative rumination, thinking that this is going to last forever. But in reality, it’s not going to. To find proof, you just need to look back at your life and realize how things have passed before.
So whenever you feel stuck, use this short yet powerful mantra to remind yourself that nothing is permanent and this will always pass away. This mantra will motivate you and give your energy to push forward.
10. Now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good. (John Steinbeck)
This quote reminds us that aiming for constant perfection is at best futile, and at worst harmful.
When we expect ourselves to constantly perform perfectly, in every area of our lives, we set ourselves up for disappointment and self-criticism. This, in turn, can leave us feeling paralyzed– unable to take a step or make any decision, because we’re terrified of “messing up”.
In truth, we know deep down that we WILL mess up eventually– but this doesn’t have to terrify us. We can remind ourselves that perfection is a myth, and that we don’t need to aim for it. Rather, we can allow ourselves to be imperfectly perfect.
11. Sunshine all the time makes a desert. (Arab proverb)
When we’re stressed or going through a tough time, we can sometimes look back to more joyful moments and long to return to them, to make them last forever. However – if that joyful moment lasted forever, would it still be special anymore?
The idea behind this Arab proverb is that we need darkness to make the light shine; we need rain to make us appreciate the sunshine. Remind yourself, if you’re feeling less than amazing about your life right now, that once the sunshine comes again, it’ll feel that much sweeter.
12. A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor. (Franklin D. Roosevelt)
Following from the quote above, this famous quote by FDR echoes the sentiment that it can’t be smooth sailing all the time.
These words remind us that we need difficult moments to spur our growth. We need challenges, we need stress, we need difficulty, so that we can learn how strong we truly are, so that we can grow roots into our everlasting power and come out rock-solid on the other side.
If life seems to be throwing hardship after hardship at you, remind yourself that you will emerge stronger than you’ve ever felt before – and then, the next time life gets stressful, it’ll feel like a tiny wave rather than a monstrous tsunami.
13. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. (Shaun T.)
Shaun T. created the Insanity workouts, which are known for their intensity and difficulty – much like any challenge you may face in your life right now. It’s only human to want to run from discomfort and difficulty. However, this quote can help you to sit with any stress you’re feeling, rather than running from or numbing it.
When we’re stressed, we may want to numb our feelings with food or TV – but how much more empowering would it feel to know that you don’t need anything to get rid of the stress, that you can face that stress with courage?
Of course, it’s absolutely okay and necessary to practice self-care. As you practice your self-care, though, remind yourself: “I am learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.” Notice, as a result, how much more prepared you feel to take on the next challenge that life throws your way.
14. It’s okay to take a step forward, even if I’m not 100% sure it’s the “right” step.
Again, this mantra hits on our human tendency to expect constant perfection of ourselves. As we mentioned earlier, extreme perfectionism can leave us feeling paralyzed – unable to take a step or make a decision.
What if you reminded yourself that, even if you’re not one hundred percent sure of every single decision you make, it’s still okay to move forward?
After all, if you had to be completely sure of every single decision, you’d hardly make any decisions at all – in fact, you’d feel stuck! Remind yourself that it is okay to stumble forward imperfectly. It is better to move forward, making mistakes here and there, than to never take a step in any direction at all.
15. I can look inside of myself – rather than outside – to determine what I should or shouldn’t do.
When we’re feeling stressed, we may look to others for advice, and this is perfectly okay. On the other hand, though, notice how often you depend on direction from other people to tell you what to do.
Do you ignore your own internal guidance, your own wants and needs, when somebody else tells you that you “should” do or not do something? It’s easy to believe that the answers are all outside of us, but relying too much on external guidance can cause us to abandon our wants, our needs, and our truth.
Next time you feel stressed about a decision, worrying about what other people will think if you do something “wrong”, ask yourself what you want. What you need. What is your inner guidance telling you to do? Remind yourself that it’s okay to follow this inner wisdom, even if it goes against what others tell you to do.
16. If you don’t achieve your dreams, you can still get a lot by trying for it. (Randy Pausch)
Let’s be honest, stress often arises from your job – whether you’re in a job you despise, or you’re striving to reach your career goals, afraid of how you’ll feel if you fall short.
This quote reminds us that, yes, it’s wonderful to shoot for the moon, to go for your dream career, your dream life. But, at the same time, you can often get hung up on achieving that lofty dream, and trick yourself into thinking that if you don’t achieve it, your life will feel desolate as a result.
What if you knew that, even if you didn’t “get there”, you’ll still receive so much goodness in your life by shooting for the moon, anyway? Perhaps you’ll even receive something better than what you thought you wanted in the first place.
17. I alone get to choose how I feel.
We take on other people’s stress. If our boss is stressed, we stress ourselves out. If our spouse is stressed, we stress ourselves out. This is human. Does it really help the situation, though?
Couldn’t we perform that much better at our jobs if we didn’t let everybody else’s stress pile on top of ours? Couldn’t we be there to support and encourage our loved ones even better if we felt whole and calm within ourselves?
Remind yourself that you alone get to choose how you feel. You don’t have to feel the same way that your boss, your coworkers, your spouse, or your family members feel. You get to decide how you’re going to feel today – and stressing yourself out in an effort to “help” those around you will likely leave you spinning your tires, anyway.
18. I deserve rest.
Last but certainly not least, remind yourself that you deserve rest. Every single day.
Our culture unfortunately worships stress and exhaustion, placing these false status symbols on an undeserved pedestal. Being exhausted, however, does not make you a better or more worthy human being. Being well-rested and taken care of doesn’t make you less worthy, “productive”, or successful, either.
You deserve rest, and you need rest. You still deserve rest if you didn’t finish everything on your to-do list, if you rested all day yesterday, or if you feel like you haven’t been “productive” at all today. Rest, practice self-care, and keep yourself healthy.
Which is your go to mantra during stressful times? Do let us know in the comments.