It sounds too good (and too simple) to be true, but saying a mantra could set a positive tone for your day and help you return to a sense of balance when things feel a little out of whack.
"Research tells us that every thought and emotion creates a chemcial reaction because it immediately changes our neurochemcicals that affect our mental, physical and spiritual health," Kathleen Hall, Ph.D., stress expert and CEO and founder of both The Stress Institute and the Mindful Living Network, told The Huffington Post in an interview. When a stressful thought fires up, you have the power to cancel it out with a positive one.
Saying a mantra or affirmation first thing in the morning is a good idea because it "affects your decision-making for the day and you'll also remember it," says Hall, who personally commits to reciting a mantra each morning. But don't stress if it doesn't come naturally the moment your alarm goes off: When you're in a strained situation, an affirmation could help prevent you from entering panic mode and bring you back to balance. "It brings you back home," she says.
Your mantra should be your own -- something that resonates with you and helps you recenter in the moment. Keep in mind that what de-stresses one person may not be calming for another. So stick with what works, even if it's something as silly as "Hakuna Matata." Check out 10 of our favorite de-stressing mantras below, then let us know what words help you chill out in the comments section.
"This Too Shall Pass."
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While it's important to live in the present moment, it's also comforting to remind yourself the stress you're enduring now is temporary -- clear skies are on the horizon.
"Keep Calm And Carry On."
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This phrase has proven to be a timeless morale-booster: It was designed during World War II by the Ministry of Information as propaganda to keep British worries at bay. It has since resurfaced and can be found mounted on the walls of college dorm rooms nationwide.
"Don't Cry Because It's Over, Smile Because It Happened."
Dr. Seuss' softening words put a positive spin on the idea that "All good things must come to an end." We've got to remember how lucky we are for all for the experiences we've had, even when they're over.
"Every Little Thing Gonna Be All Right"
We're not sure if it's the actual words or the calming melody that make our worries disappear: Bob Marley's song is one that helps us see past frustrating little things.
"Don't Sweat The Small Stuff"
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These five words help us put life into perspective. Another good one? "You've got bigger fish to fry."
"Don't Worry, Be Happy"
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Bobby McFerrin's boppy beat reminds us that worrying is only going to add to our stress. As he puts it, "In every life we have some trouble, when you worry you make it double."
"I Will Accept The Things I Cannot Change."
Giving yourself the permission to accept the inevitable -- and move on -- is a productive choice. Choose to let go.