You may be wondering if mantras for anxiety can actually help when your anxiety creeps in.
And when anxiety is affecting around 40 million people in the US alone, it can seem like an endless uphill struggle.
The truth is, if we’re reliant on external forces to keep us calm and happy, we’re always in a vulnerable place. Achieving lasting tranquility and emotional stability has to be an inside job, independent of the outside world raging on around us.
Mantras are certainly not a cure-all for anxiety, but they can help you create a strong and healthy foundation for coping, processing, and moving forward.
How do we start? For those times when you need to calm your nervous system, remind yourself you’re safe, and find a general sense of relief, mantras for anxiety are a simple and effective tool to help bring you back to center.
While mantras are certainly not a cure-all for anxiety, they can help you create a strong and healthy foundation for coping, processing, and moving forward.
What Is a Mantra for Anxiety and How Does It Work?
Both mantras and affirmations can assist in reaching a calmer, healthier mental state, and both can also be used during meditation or anytime to reduce anxiety.
I wrote an article about the power of affirmations too! Read: This Is Why You Need Positive Affirmations
The basic difference between the two tools is that mantras tend to be shorter phrases or even just one word, whereas affirmations can be longer statements.
Why are mantras for anxiety relief so beneficial? For one, anyone can use a mantra – no skill level is needed, they’re free, available to us all, and something we can tap into anytime and anywhere.
Not a total believer in the power of “woo woo” mantras? Try to keep an open mind! Studies have found significant changes in brain activity after silent repetition of a simple mantra over and over.
Specifically, repeating mantras turned the dial down on the default mode network of the brain, an area responsible for wandering thoughts and self-judgment.
The brain waves don’t lie – but don’t take my word for it – try these mantras for anxiety relief for yourself!
Turn to These 5 Mantras for Anxiety Anytime You Need Them:
Take from this list what speaks to you. When using the right mantra for you, you should feel a powerful and almost immediate shift and a sense of relief and lightness, especially when repeated often and consistently.
Undoubtedly the most well-known and repeated mantra of all time, “OM” is a simple yet incredibly powerful mantra with an undeniable calming and grounding effect.
OM is known as the oldest mantra – and sound – in existence. It has a powerful ability to tune us into a Universal vibration, so when your anxiety is sending you into spirals of worry or future tripping, considering simply chanting “OM.”
Use this mantra for anxiety during your walks, your meditations, your yoga practice, or even as you do dishes or go about your day. Chanting or simply repeating this mantra out loud or in your head will help reduce your stress and anxiety, and rein in your negative thoughts.
Want to learn more about the fascinating background and power of “OM”? Read: The Meaning Behind the Sacred Chant
2. “I Am Enough”
If you find yourself feeling anxious, it likely stems from questioning your worthiness or ability. And that more than likely comes from old wounds or feelings of inadequacy that you may have picked up as a young child.
Many therapists hone in on this inherent lack of belief in your own “enoughness” as the catalyst for much of our anxiety and stress.
Instead of turning to overeating, overdrinking, excessive shopping, scrolling, or any other unhealthy habits, try repeating to yourself, “I am enough” whenever you feel uneasy.
Bonus tip: Record an audio message of yourself saying “I am enough” repeatedly (for 1-2 minutes) and start each day by listening to it as you stretch or just sit in silence. There’s power in hearing our own voices saying a mantra back to us, and it can help us rewrite old limiting beliefs.
3. “Let This Be Easy”
This is a particularly useful mantra for anxiety to whip out whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressed out by tasks and deadlines.
Does your anxiety make even simple tasks feeling daunting? As Susan Jeffers points out in her classic book Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway, much of our worry in life traces back to an inherent belief that we’re not cut out to handle things.
When you trust that you’re in fact more than capable, life becomes so much easier.
A great way to bulk up this belief in your ability and further lighten the load is with the mantra, “Let this be easy.” This mantra for anxiety can instantly lighten the energy, shift the intention around a task, and remind you that life doesn’t always have to be taken quite so seriously.
4. “Be Here Now”
Another short and sweet and super effective reminder, “Be here now” helps us break out of cycles of worry and anxiety, much of which is rooted in future tripping or projecting.
Be like Ram Dass and repeat to yourself “Be Here Now” whenever you find your mind obsessing and worrying over what’s to come.
This mantra for anxiety can instantly ground you in the moment and gently reminds us not to waste this present moment by worrying about things in the future. Because after all, none of us know what that will hold.
5. Bonus! Try a Breath Mantra
What is a breath mantra, you ask? It’s when you use your inhale to say the first half of the mantra, and your exhale for the second half. Typically, we use the inhale to focus on what we want and the exhale to let go of what we don’t.
Here are a few examples: Inhale calm and exhale stress. Inhale courage and exhale fear.
You can also switch the order and start with the exhale: Exhale anxiety and inhale peace. Exhale negativity and inhale love.
Challenge yourself to take a full, deep round of breathing with each breath mantra.
Most of us tend to go through our daily lives breathing shallow breaths that don’t get oxygen all the way down into our lungs, thus exacerbating anxiety. The simple act of taking a full deep breath can be profound in easing your nerves and relaxing your body.
Belly breathing or diaphragmatic breathing, is at the center of meditation and many yoga practices thanks to a cascade of positive effects like lowering blood pressure, heart rate, and massive improvements in our stress levels.
Breath mantras are good ones to repeat or even keep posted on a note to remind yourself throughout the day to stop, breathe, and re-center when stress starts piling up.
While you’re noticing your breath, check in with your physical body too. Are your shoulders tensed or jaw clenched? Practice This Radically Calming 30-Second Body Scan
Mantras Are a Simple Yet Powerful Tool for Easing Anxiety
As much as we’d like to, we can’t control what happens in the world around us. There will always be upsetting news, stressful situations, and unexpected headaches in our lives. These are facts.
The good news is, by using tools such as mantras for anxiety relief, you can build a stronger defense to the inevitable stresses in life and play an active role in the creation of your own internal equilibrium.