The brain is just like any other muscle in the body: what you do regularly is what it will become good at. And if you’re constantly telling your neurons to be anxious, negative, and worried about the seemingly impossible problem you need to solve, they’re going to become expert at making you feel like crap.
The good thing is, your brain is elastic, and you can teach it new tricks. Mantras are easy ways to distract your brain from its negative spiral and to get it on a more positive track. If trying a mantra seems cheesy to you, give me the benefit of the doubt and at least give it a try. You don’t even have to believe the mantra for it to stop your mind in its self-defeating tracks.
I’ve Gotten Through Way More Than This
It’s easy to get down on yourself and forget all the incredible things you’ve accomplished in your life, especially if you’re facing hardship. This mantra is great because it forces you to think of the past and all the obstacles you’ve surmounted, some of them certainly bigger than what you’re facing now. If you’re unemployed, think about that time you and your new spouse lived in your mice-infested apartment and ate dried beans for two months straight.
Because the truth is, you have gotten through more than what you’re facing now, and in all likelihood, you’ll get through this.
I Have the Strength to Make it Through, and Time Will Always Bring Change
When you’re dealing with a big life problem, the future beyond it is often a blank. The problem appears so big to you that you can’t see around it or past it. Instead of thinking about how you’ll never be able to solve it, think about how in the past, change has always accommodated you and made things solvable. This mantra lets you focus on how
possibilities in the future will alter your situation and provide a solution.
I Have So Many Good Things in My Life
This one’s simple, but powerful. If you’re constantly thinking about your problem, say, you’re struggling with retirement, everything else in your life becomes tinged in a negative light. Take some time to focus on all your blessings: your skills, your home, your children, your lover. It won’t solve your problem, but it will help you recoup so that you can face life with a productive, positive attitude.
I Work Every Day to Improve Myself and My Skills
Take a second to get your mind off the idea that your skills are undervalued or unseen by employers or others. If your self-esteem is based on your job or your boss’s approval, it’s bound to take a beating at some point or another in your life. Focus instead on your skills for the daily joy they bring you, and how honing them is a fulfilling end in itself.
I Am Kind to Myself and Others, and the Benefits are Great
You’ve worked hard your entire life, and you’re not used to giving yourself any breaks. But guess what? You need them. You don’t have the ability to solve your problems through sheer will and putting your shoulder to the grindstone for ungodly amounts of time. Remember to give yourself a kind word from time to time, and to relax and enjoy yourself.
Joy Paley is a guest blogger for Pounding the Pavement and a writer on call center management for Guide to Career Education.