Updated: Dec 3, 2021
Whenever you notice that your chest is tight and you're breathing fast and furiously, take a minute to pause, and then repeat one of these calm-inducing mantras to yourself. Here are some of our favorite sayings for reducing stress from Tanaaz Chubb's new book, My Pocket Mantras.
Stress-Relief Mantra #1: With every breath, I feel myself relaxing.
How and when to recite this mantra: State the mantra in your mind as you inhale, and then once the mantra is complete, exhale. For added benefits, as you exhale, visualize any tension you have melting away with the breath. Repeat this three times.
How this mantra can help you: Your breath is an extremely powerful tool that can instantly evoke feelings of relaxation. This mantra is perfect to use when you need to release pent-up tension. You can use it while meditating or even when doing your daily chores. Even though stress is something you feel on an emotional level, it can impact your body as well. Over time, stress and tension can build up in your shoulders, neck, and stomach and make you feel as if you are tied in knots. When you feel tense, it reflects in your attitude and can make it very difficult to let go, relax, and surrender to the flow of life.
This mantra will help to relieve any physical or emotional tension you may be feeling as a result of extreme stress, and it can also help you to get “out of your mind.” What does that mean? Very often it is your overactive mind or thoughts that make you feel stressed and anxious, but by focusing on the words and on your breath as you chant this mantra, you can give your mind a much-needed rest.
Stress-Relief Mantra #2: I have control over how I feel, and I choose to feel at peace.
How and when to recite this mantra: For best results, place your hand over your heart as you recite these words three times out loud or to yourself. This will help to instill peace in your heart and your body.
How this mantra can help you: This mantra is very powerful and helps to remind you that you may not be in control of everything in life, but that you are in control of how you feel. In fact, the only thing that you really have control over is how you respond to the situations that come your way. Your thoughts are often responsible for dictating how you feel, and if you learn to manage your thoughts, in turn you can also learn to manage your feelings. You can manage your thoughts by allowing yourself to recognize them, then encouraging yourself to let go of them. Experiencing and then releasing your thoughts is a healthy way of processing what you’re going through without getting stuck.
While expressing your feelings is important, this mantra also allows you to feel in control and calm and balanced when your emotions start to feel out of control. We all go through times in our lives when stress or anxiety can get the better of us, but this mantra reminds us to operate from a place of peace instead. This mantra is also perfect to use when you are feeling overwhelmed emotionally and are unsure of how to deal with whatever life has thrown your way. If you are still struggling with uncontrollable emotions, physical exercise can be a great way to let off excess steam. Simply taking a brisk walk in nature can be extremely therapeutic.
Stress-Relief Mantra #3: All experiences are helping me grow.
How and when to recite this mantra: Recite this mantra four times either out loud or quietly to yourself as often as needed.
How this mantra can help you: This mantra is perfect to use when you are searching for answers to challenges that have come your way. Life is a journey of growth, and by acknowledging this, you can see the higher purpose in everything that happens. It may not always be easy to see exactly how you’ll grow from a particular situation, but understanding that all experiences are contributing to your growth and development can be reassuring and can help you tackle things from a place of curiosity rather than despair.
Viewing all experiences as opportunities to grow allows you to focus on the bigger picture and helps you avoid getting caught up in all the details. You’ll be able to take a step back and not put so much pressure on yourself to have everything figured out. You are here to learn, and part of that process requires you to go through experiences that are indeed challenging and confusing—but also ultimately joyful. The more you can approach life as a learning experience that you simply cannot fail at, the freer you will feel to explore things with a sense of adventure.
Stress-Relief Mantra #4: I give myself permission to let go of what no longer serves me.
How and when to recite this mantra: Recite this mantra five times either out loud or quietly to yourself. For added benefits, you can also write down a list of things that you need to release from your life.
How this mantra can help you: How much old and worn-out baggage are you carrying around? It’s a good idea to check in with all areas of your life so that you can make an inventory of what needs to go and what can stay. Simply stating your intention to release things that no longer serve you (as you do when you say this mantra) can set the wheels in motion. Take a few minutes to identify what’s holding you back and weighing you down. Life is a continuous process of letting go of old things and welcoming in new things. When you release the old and worn out from your life, you provide space for a brighter beginning. Saying this mantra gives you permission to let go of things, people, and situations that are no longer serving your highest good so you can make room for new and better things.