It's normal to feel anxious from time to time, but anxiety that starts affecting your everyday life is harmful. Unfortunately, anxiety is a universal feeling. The American Psychological Association defines this feeling as “an emotion characterized by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes like increased blood pressure.” Millions of people suffer from anxiety and depression globally, and now, during the coronavirus pandemic, these numbers are only getting higher.
Many people consider anxiety a normal part of their lives and tend to ignore it. However, if left untreated, these feelings can lead to many physical and mental health issues, such as panic attacks, lightheadedness, nausea, headaches, stomach pains, and more. Sometimes, anxiety can be so crippling that a person becomes completely incapable of performing simple everyday tasks.
Fortunately, there are various healthy and natural ways to combat anxiety and panic attacks. While therapy and medication are needed in many cases, experts also recommend relaxation techniques, like mantras, for instant results.
What are mantras and how can they help you?
A mantra is a form of meditation. It is a motivating chant, a sound, a certain utterance, or a phrase that, when used properly, will calm you down and ease your mind. According to the famous spiritual leader Sadhguru, “If you use them (mantras) in a certain way, they become a key to open up a different dimension of life and experience within you.”
Mantras have a rich history, and the earliest ones were used by Hindus more than 3,000 years ago. Buddhists, Christians, Taoists, and many other ancient cultures of the world also use mantras, even if they don't necessarily call them as such. Mantra meditation is used to enhance personal and spiritual growth. They are also known to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
It was proven scientifically that forced repetition of a soothing word (like a mantra) or phrase - a technique called autogenic training - can relax the body and helps control breathing, blood pressure, heartbeat, and body temperature.
While mantras aren’t a substitute for mental health treatment, they can certainly help you deal with anxiety. What’s more, you can create your own mantras that make you feel safe and peaceful. Here are 10 potent mantras for anxiety we can wholeheartedly recommend.
1. “One day at a time”
Our anxieties can be triggered when we feel overwhelmed by certain things that are happening around us. It can be something as simple as that to-do list you need to complete or an upcoming appointment with your doctor. Whenever you feel something similar, just remind yourself that you have to get through this day and that you should focus your energies on giving this day your best shot. Keep repeating “one day at a time” to yourself and remember that regardless of whatever you have to face in the future, what you have right now is this day. Make the most of it.
2. “Be here now”
This is a simple but powerful mantra that helps break you out of the chain of anxiety and fear. Repeat to yourself “Be here now” whenever you feel yourself worrying or losing sleep over what is to come or what has happened in the past. You can’t change what has happened and you shouldn’t waste this present moment worrying about things that might happen in the future. So, instead of looking back or focusing forward, allow yourself to completely sink into this present space. Tell yourself: “Here I am. Right here, right now. And this moment is all I have.”
3. “This too shall pass”
It’s very common for us to feel suffocated and overwhelmed by a certain unpleasant and unfortunate situation in our life. It can be particularly difficult to shake that feeling off when there appears to be no end to that situation. Remind yourself “This too shall pass” or “This will pass” under such circumstances. It will make you understand that even though things may seem gloomy now, there will be an end in sight soon, no matter what. These words will comfort you and help you reach the other side.
4. “I will feel good again”
Sometimes, you may feel that all the happiness has been sucked out of your life. That doesn’t just affect your mood, it has a negative impact on everything in your life. However, as uncomfortable and scary as they can be, these unpleasant feelings come and go. And there is hope just around the corner. Tell yourself “I will feel good again” to get a sense of relief and perspective.
5. “All is well”
This mantra is effective for anxiety and helpful when you need to overcome a panic-filled moment. Close your eyes for a few seconds and repeat "All is well" in sync with your breath. It will help calm your mind and remind you that things are going to be okay in the end.
6. “I am not my thoughts”
When you are feeling low, do you often tend to say things like “I can’t do anything right” or “I’m not worth it” to yourself? Negative self-talk limits your ability to believe in yourself and to look ahead and gain perspective. However, even when you are in the middle of your negative self-talk, you need to tell yourself that you are not your thoughts and feelings, and they don’t have to bring you down. Choose your words wisely and discard the ones that make you question your self-worth. Negative thoughts take away your power. Don’t let them win.
7. “Let this be easy”
This mantra is particularly useful when you are feeling stressed out or overwhelmed by a certain task. It might feel too daunting and you may feel you are letting yourself and everyone else down. That is the time to lighten your load with the mantra, “Let this be easy.” Once you start believing that you’re, in fact, more than capable of doing the task you’ve taken, things become that much easier. As Susan Jeffers, an American psychologist and author, writes in her book Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway: “Remember that underlying all our fears is a lack of trust in ourselves.”
8. “This is a moment of suffering”
In her book Self-Compassion, Kristin Neff, Ph.D. offers a wonderful mantra that helps us cope with negative emotions. “This is a moment of suffering. Suffering is part of life. May I be kind to myself at this moment. May I give myself the compassion I need,” she writes. Indeed, the first line of this quote can be used as a reminder for all of us to treat ourselves with compassion when dealing with a troubling situation in life. Acknowledge what you are going through, but don’t forget to be kind to yourself. This suffering won't last forever, after all.
9. “I am breathing in, I am breathing out”
In his book You Are Here, Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanhasks teaches us to say, “Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in” with each breath in, “Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out,” with each breath out. Mindful breathing like this helps us unify the body with the mind and puts our anxieties to rest. As you concentrate on each breath and keep repeating these words, you will generate peace and calmness.
10. “There is no danger”
This is a great mantra when you are facing an anxious period in life, and you may be overcome with panic attacks. Such a situation can make you feel fearful. It can also make you feel as if you are in some kind of danger. To keep your fears in check, keep repeating “There is no danger” to yourself quietly. It will calm your mind and make you realize that you’re not actually in danger.
Share these mantras with your loved ones!