7 simple mantras to repeat during difficult times

7 mantras simples para repetir durante os tempos difíceis. Foto: pexels
7 simple mantras to repeat during difficult times. Photo: pexels

Do not confuse mantras with something as banal as “Live. Laugh. Love.” painted on a piece of reclaimed logs. A mantra is not a piece of marketing. Instead, it’s a personal philosophy that expresses who you are, what you believe and, most importantly, what you are capable of. When repeated, the specific phrase or word can help you focus your intentions and calm your mind.

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In fact, a study from the Brain and Behavior journal found that repeating a mantra helps to lower the volume in your head, preventing the mind from wandering, planning, or worrying about the past.

An effective mantra consists of equal parts logic, encouragement, meaning, and assurance, and the right mantras can be of great help when you are going through a difficult period or just having a bad day.

“Everyone has unique sources of stress, anxiety, and difficulties, and the consistent use of mantras can help overcome them,” says Danielle Turner, a self-care coach and LCSW at Inner You Clinical Services, who regularly helps her clients create mantras. It’s always a good idea to have something to keep you focused on the positive things you have around you, rather than being hyper-focused on the negative situation at hand. And, all you need is a few seconds here and there to regroup.

Write your mantra on a post-it or in your mobile’s notes app and practice saying it out loud. “If you start your day with your mantras while getting dressed, brushing your teeth or driving to work, you can set the tone for a productive day,” advises Turner.

With the help of Turner, here are eight simple mantras to try – and why they’re helpful to repeat. When reading them, we hope you recognize the overall theme: you can do it.

7 mantras simples para repetir durante os tempos difíceis
7 simple mantras to repeat during difficult times. Photo: pexels

1 – “I will honor the positive.”

In times of crisis, it’s often difficult to see your world objectively. Instead, the power of negativity obscures the good things in your life, making it hard to use them as a viable anchor to keep yourself from losing control. When this happens, a simple and observational mindset can be crucial for moving forward. “When we go through tough times, we tend to focus on things we can’t control,” says Turner. “These things are often negative. A simple mantra encouraging you to focus on the positive things—especially the positive things you can control—is helpful in reminding yourself that they exist.”

2 – “My negative emotions are temporary.”

Negative emotions are inevitable. Regret, worry, and disappointment will always be a part of your life. The keyword is “part.” Allowing your negative emotions to exist is the first step, while the second step involves recognizing them as transient. “Emotions are like waves,” says Turner. “They come and go. Dealing with difficult situations will likely create negative emotions. They won’t last forever.” According to Turner, self-awareness is crucial in growing to realize that these negative feelings will happen, and they will pass.

3 – “Sometimes I feel good about myself.”

We humans tend to hold on to negative emotions and experiences more than positive ones, thanks to an embedded evolutionary instinct of survival and danger recognition. In other words, it’s easy to fall into a cycle of self-criticism when you make a mistake. “Stress can cause self-bullying and low self-esteem,” says Turner. “This mantra gives you a sense of ownership, reminding yourself that you do know how to feel good about yourself, and that you can do it despite all the negatives happening in your life.” Giving yourself the grace to feel down while reminding yourself that you are still worthwhile is essential in rediscovering your best qualities.

4 – “I will not be defined by this difficult moment.”

We tend to define ourselves by everything from our careers to our circumstances. As Turner points out, however, defining who we are as individuals has little to do with the challenges we face and everything to do with how we respond. “This mantra will help you recognize that certain situations don’t define or dictate your life,” she says. “Wrongly, we allow stress and negative experiences to determine who we are when, in reality, stress is just something we face, not what makes us who we are.” So, instead of seeing tough times as reflections of yourself, use them as reminders that your worth far exceeds the difficult circumstances.

5 – “I have patience and self-compassion.”

Being patient and compassionate with yourself is a true challenge. As we exist within our own heads, we are constantly reminded of the things we could have done differently or more effectively in retrospect. That’s why, according to Turner, patience and self-compassion are essential for navigating tough times with the future in mind, rather than the past. “Being patient with your situation—giving yourself grace and showing yourself compassion—will reduce stress related to your difficulties.” Sometimes, we forget that we are capable of showing ourselves the same mercy and forgiveness that we show others, and this mantra is a direct and effective reminder.

6 – “I will overcome this challenge.”

Sometimes, you need a simple reminder that you’ve got this. In the midst of a tough moment, many challenges may seem insurmountable. However, challenges are designed to be overcome. The road to victory may be tough and challenging, but a simple mantra to remind you that you will get there eventually can light the way at the end of the tunnel. “This mantra is based on hope,” says Turner. “When we are able to remind ourselves that the challenges in our lives can be overcome, it gives us a greater sense of confidence.” We can be sure that the difficulty will diminish, and we will come out on the other side with undeniable positive outcomes.

7 – “I will not blame myself for things I can’t control.”

Let’s be honest: most things are things you can’t control. Acknowledging such futility may feel like waving a white flag, but it’s the best way to start freeing yourself from unnecessary stress. “Our inner critic can allow us to stay in a negative space for much longer than necessary,” says Turner. “Learning to give yourself a bit of empathy can be very powerful when dealing with tough times.” By evaluating which parts of a situation you can influence or change, this mantra can also help you reassess where you are dedicating your time, energy, and emotions in a way that will allow you to breathe, recalibrate, and move forward.

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