Before depression medications like Xanax and Prozac were introduced and became the norm for depression treatment, people relied on phrases or mantras to help calm their system and relieve anxiety. The practice of repeating phrases until you feel better has been done for centuries among those who believe in various faith traditions. These phrases are like hymns and chants that implore spiritual and psychological healing, but you can still use these phrases to repeat under your breath as a remedy for when you’re feeling depressed.
“Do not brood over your past mistakes and failures as this will only fill your mind with grief, regret, and depression. Do not repeat them in the future.” – Swami Sivananda
Here Are 12 Phrases to Repeat to Yourself if You’re Feeling Depressed
1. I am strong.
It’s a misconception that only the weak and the needy suffer from depression. It’s also a myth that those who ask for help are actually the weakest because they depend on someone else. On the contrary, many depressed people who ask for help show self-awareness, and that’s a sign of strength. It shows that they want to change their situation.
2. I will get better.
Depression triggers hopelessness. Saying these words over and over promotes positive thoughts despite your emotionally stormy state. The reality is, eventually you will get better because the dark clouds hanging over you won’t be there forever.
3. I am still breathing.
Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh believes in mindful breathing and shared a similar phrase in his book “You Are Here.” The practice of concentrating on the breaths you take, while chanting this phrase, helps the mind to unite with the body, thus bringing a sense of calmness.
4. Let it go.
There is a lot of wisdom in the famous words from Elsa, the animated Disney character from “Frozen.” If you find yourself in an obsessive state of anxiety, where you worry about things that haven’t happen or won’t likely happen or conflicts that might arise, then simply say these three words over and over.
5. Be not afraid.
This phrase, and its variation, “Fear not,” is repeated over a hundred times in the Scriptures. Many people, including the non-religious, find comfort in it. There seems to be a healing power in meditating on the words of a Higher Being and repeating the phrase could pacify anxieties. While the fear is still there, uttering the phrase gives you control over it.
6. There’s no danger.
Depression can trigger thoughts and feelings that might make you feel your life is under a threat. Saying these words repeatedly should appease your thoughts and open your eyes to the reality that the danger is all in your mind. This phrase goes hand in hand with, “Be not afraid. “
7. I have inner peace.
“Om Shanti Om” means inner peace and it is the simplest mantra that Tibetan monks often chant. Invite inner peace into your mind and body to relieve depression and its physical symptoms. You will start feeling your tensed chest loosening up by repeating to yourself that you have inner peace.
8. My thoughts, words, and actions contribute to my happiness and freedom.
This phrase encourages a life of positivity, compassion, and empathy. It implores a person to live as a servant of life who is in harmony with other beings, including nature and the environment. It has its roots in the tenets of Jivamukti Yoga, which shows the path to enlightenment.
9. Someday this pain will make sense.
People who haven’t experienced sadness or pain aren’t interesting because there’s no depth and growth in them. While it seems like life is full of misfortunes now and it’s causing a wave of depression in you, be assured that one day you’ll see the purpose in your pain. By repeating the phrase over and over, you will find your strength, resilience, and maturity.
10. I need to be kind to myself in my suffering.
Kristin Neff in her book “Self-Compassion” had a similar mantra for handling negative emotions. She said that it’s important to acknowledge your pain and suffering, so you can treat yourself with compassion in moments of difficulty. It follows the same advice as famed teacher Pema Chödrön in the book “When Things Fall Apart,” where she instructs followers to face their problems, not run away from them. Feeling depressed should help you see what’s vital to your life and it should trigger your drive to overcome it. After all, life is about surviving.
11. One step at a time.
Depression may spike because you feel a loss of control over a situation that’s causing stress. This phrase helps to remind yourself to beat that depressed feeling slowly but surely. When life drags you down, your best choice is to take a moment to help lessen the weight of your burden. One day, nothing will hold you back.
12. Trust in the process.
Obstacles are part of life, but depression sometimes leads you to ask questions like, “Why me?” or, “Why does this keep happening to me?” or, “Why is my life so challenging?” It’s hard to see the right path clearly during your most troubled times, but with this phrase, you can condition your mind to see obstacles as part of a learning opportunity. They’re not there to make a victim out of you. You have to trust in the process.
Depression can be crippling but it’s an emotion you can help control with positive thinking. The choice is yours – you can either let this pain hold you back or let this feeling enlighten you. Hopefully, one of these suggested phrases will help you find peace.