How do you get through tough moments?
What are the thoughts you have that bring you out of the deep pit of hopelessness, anxiety, anger or other emotions?
It helps to have a reserve of thoughts to remind yourself that things will be okay.
A mantra is a thought or phrase that you can repeat to yourself in tough moments. It is meant to reassure yourself, help you feel strong and capable.
Five Simple Words
I kind of fell into my mantra. It is five simple words- “One Day at a Time”.
These words are ingrained into my blog and even tattooed on the inside of my left wrist. It reminds me that I can only move so fast. It is a short statement of how I live my life now- I refuse to make long term plans because I am terrified of them falling apart.
This is a result of the plans I had for a divorce, which fell apart, along with the rest of my life, after Jake’s death. Watching those plans shatter and trying to get through the days after was painful.
I don’t want to go through that again. I struggle to plan vacations a couple of months in advance because I’m worried something will happen to ruin it.
The phrase also helps me with sobriety. I can only stay sober one day at a time, even though I plan to never have a drink again. I am fully aware that relapses happen- I’ve worked with plenty of people that have done so and it can be a crushing experience.
Sometimes it can push a person to work even harder to stay sober, but it can also push someone the other way back into active addiction.
I can say that I won’t drink today, but I can’t say that about tomorrow. Anyone who is in recovery can understand that. This isn’t saying that I don’t believe in myself, but that I know that it’s a fact.
Lastly, it helps me be patient with myself. Anxiety is a rough beast to live with. This phrase reminds me that today might entirely suck but tomorrow has the possibility to be better, even if a little.
If you go back a bit in time and read 5 Ways to Conquer Self-Kindness there are tips on how to be nicer to yourself. This can go a long way in developing a mantra, being kinder to yourself and improving your mental health.
The words you say to yourself, especially when you are upset, sad, stressed or angry, can make a difference between things being better or worse.
The mantra you choose can depend on what you struggle with. If your main issue is wanting to be more positive, find a quote on positivity. If you need a boost of strength, there are many quotes to be found. Pinterest and Google are full of quotes for this purpose.
Keep the mantra short so you remember it. It won’t help if you can’t remember it. I have a terrible memory, so five words are perfect for me. The shorter the mantra is, the better.
The first may not be the best. I went through a couple of mantras before I found one that fit. Otherwise, it would not have become a tattoo. Everyone has different needs and mindsets, find what you need and not what someone else thinks you need.
Pair your thoughts with deep breathing. Calm thoughts and deep breaths can be soothing in difficult moments. A helpful breathing exercise: breathe in while counting to four, hold for four breaths, then slowly let out while counting to seven. Do this while repeating your mantra.
After the Moment Has Passed
When your mind clears, think about how you felt during and after breathing and thinking with your mantra. Did you feel better? Would you try it in the future? This doesn’t always produce great feelings on the first, second or even third try. If it doesn’t, it’s okay.
Keep the progress up and you will see results. The power of a mantra is there, it’s just waiting to come out.
Do you have a mantra? Does it help?
Pics courtesy of Pinterest