Do You Need A Mantra?

The details are fuzzy but on a particularly anxious day years ago, I just needed to get the courage to get out of bed. I needed to care for my kids and do my job. I said to myself, “Left foot, right foot, breathe”.  I said it over and over again throughout my day. 

That’s all I had to do, just put one foot in front of the other. Then do it again. 

Left foot. Right Foot. Breathe. 

What Is A Mantra?

I lean on those words when life gets hard, but is it a mantra? Mantra is a combination of two Sanskrit words that means, “tool for the mind”. My close friend, a devoted yogi who practices transcendental meditation, has a mantra so sacred she wouldn’t even tell me what it is. She told me, “A mantra can be a word or syllables or that can be repeated during a meditation or any other time that works to calm and focus the mind.” 

The continuous pulse of the syllables works to calm her mind in powerful ways. I believe her when she talks about the power of this practice. 

So if a mantra, by definition, is a tool of the mind, can I take some extreme liberties and call my little combination of words a mantra? 

Finding Your Phrase 

During tough seasons in my life the phrases may change, but having a set of words that are easy to access have been a tremendous comfort to me. 

I was curious if anyone else used words to motivate or calm themselves. I asked my friends on Instagram (and whew, you guys sent me some good ones.) Because these can be a private matter, I told everyone I’d keep their names private. A close friend in the season of life with little kids shared this one: I wanted this. 

She wrote, “On days when the dirty dishes are piled in the sink and the kids’ toys are everywhere and I have a mountain of work to finish, but I have to stop to make my kids dinner, I’ve started a new mantra… I wanted this. I don’t mean it sarcastically, I say it wholeheartedly. This life was my dream not too long ago. Saying this to myself brings me a lot of calm. It helps me feel grounded, grateful, and present. It doesn’t that there’s days I don’t struggle. It just means that I try to look at the bigger picture.” 

A List Of My Favorites 

Like I said, you all shared so many good mantras with me that I’ve compiled a list below in case you need to fell inspired. Some are a simple word, a set of syllables, or phrases from a favorite song or movie. Scroll this list and tell me if any words speak to you.

Short and Sweet

I can. I will. I must. 

I can do hard things.

Faith over Fear

This too shall pass.

Take up space.

Space and Grace 

This makes you better.

Be in the moment!

Fail with Glory

One day at a time.

All will be well.

Forward is a pace.

Embrace the suck.

I am healthy. I am strong. 

Extend Grace

You are stronger than you know. 

Embrace the adventure.

Just show up.

Life is good!

Always forward.

Progress not perfection.

I am enough.

I’m safe.

This is temporary. 

Peace begins with me.

Everything will be okay. 

Strong never small. 

Stand to the wind.

Be here now.

Don’t think, just do!

Peace begins with me.

Strong never small. 

Be here now.

Inhale hope, exhale expectations.

Choose joy.

Let go and let God.

There’s a reason.

Learn from this.

Words of Affirmation

Everything will be okay. 

You didn’t come this far to only come this far.

It’s uncomfortable, but it’s not harming me.

Failure is not falling down, it’s staying down.

Everything I’m feeling is valid and okay.

Fall down seven times, get up eight.

I control my body, my body does not control me.

I am exactly where I need to be, and I don’t have to stay here.

I trust that I’ll figure this out.

A kind word can change someone’s day.

I attract what belongs to me.

You already made it through all of your bad days.

Future me will thank me for this. 

It’s okay to have a bad day, just don’t camp there.

If everyone’s doing it, it would be easy.

What’s the BEST that could happen? 

From Pop Culture

“Do the next right thing,” from Frozen 2.

“I’m way too fine to be this stressed, yeah,” from “About Damn Time” by Lizzo 

“Pobody’s Nerfect,” from The Good Place

“Just keep swimming,” Dory from Finding Nemo

Do you have a mantra? How do you use it? I’d love to learn more. Be well, friends.