Almost 10 years ago I began my first professional job as a music therapist. Every Friday morning I had to assert myself to a specific senior staff member in order to advocate for the residents’ needs. I quickly noticed how much anxiety this kicked up for me – I had been a very shy child and teenager, and speaking up was still really hard for me. After a few sleepless, anxiety-filled Thursday nights, I knew something had to change.
So I developed a mantra. At the time I didn’t know a whole lot about mantras – I just knew I wanted to feel different than I did when having to assert myself. I knew I could act differently, and be seen differently.
The mantra that came to me was “I am calm, confident, and collected”. I said this to myself every single day that I went to work – in the shower, as I was driving there, as I was clocking in, whenever I had to speak up or assert myself. I said it over and over. Every time I said it I noticed I instinctively stood up a little taller, and was able to pause the anxious chatter in my head. After almost a year, I realized one day that I hadn’t said my mantra in a while. I had so integrated that belief of being able to be calm, confident, and collected that it had become a part of me. Since then I’ve used many other mantras, both for myself and with my clients.
A mantra, sometimes known as a slogan or catchphrase, can be really calming when you find yourself spiraling down into negative self-talk or overcome with anxiety. Try to make it something short that you can remember easily. Try taking a mindful and gentle breath in and out and reciting it out loud (or silently) to yourself. You can also post it around your home or office, or make it the wallpaper on your phone.
Don’t know what your mantra can be? I’ve listed some ideas below. It can be really empowering to come up with your own (as I did in the story above). Find what works for you – make it simple but meaningful. Repeat it a few times and notice if anything shifts – physically, mentally, or emotionally – for you.
- This too shall pass.
- I am strong.
- Inhale, exhale.
- Slow down.
- I am good enough.
- I love myself.
- Everything is okay.
If you’re ready to soothe your anxiety and step into being a powerful, creative woman, I’d love to speak with you.Schedule your free phone consultation today!