Using Mantras to Defeat the Mean Girl in Your Head
It happens to me all the time. I get a new task or request and the mean girl in my head starts talking *ish. You don’t have time for that! There’s no way you can get that done on time! OMG now you will have to work through lunch! There goes that walk you wanted to take, guess you have to do this instead… and the panic starts to set in.
I have suffered with anxiety most of my life and sad thing I’m realizing is that the mean girl in my head is the cause of most of it. Ugh! Really??? But the flip side of that uncomfortable truth is that a little bit of mindfulness and redirection is all it takes to change the conversation and I’ve learned to significantly lower my anxiety in a natural, healthier way.
Through meditation, journaling and prayer I am hearing more clearly what the mean girl is saying to me and by taking the time to unpack the conversation I have made it easier and easier for myself to shut her down quickly and permanently.
I love mantras as a way to remind myself of lessons learned, but I’ll be honest - I’m not someone who starts the day with them (yet). For now I’ve taken some of my most common trigger statements and worked through them until I end up with a resolution that I believe and can quickly repeat back to myself when that mean girl starts in.
How did I do it? I began by writing out the things that were stressing me out the most. Then I asked myself questions like A. Is this true? B. if not, what IS true? C. What can I do about it?
For instance, one of the things that mean girl likes to tell me is that I have way too much stuff to do and I’ll never get it all done. That’s a simple statement but it is loaded with stress inducing innuendo. By having so much to do, I have people that I care about counting on me that I’m going to fail. That’s clients, kids, my husband, and myself. Letting people down really bothers me. It’s important to me to be dependable to the people in my life, so this raises my anxiety. But she doesn’t stop there - not only will I fail people I care about, I will still have all that stuff to do tomorrow which means the cycle of failure will continue on and on - so basically I’m just an incredible loser. And not just a loser but a poser, and not just a poser but a waste of space and valuable resources. On top of that everything I’m doing becomes painful so that I don’t enjoy any of it - this makes the entirety of my life miserable and the tunnel gets deeper and deeper.
None of that is ok. And the worst part is - none of it is even true!! By asking myself questions about what I am hearing I start to see those lies and am able to recognize how disturbing and nonsensical that thought pattern really is. The truth of the matter is I do have a lot of things to do - and not any more than 24 hours in a day to do them all. BUT I am also the Grand Master of my own life and I get to choose what I do, what I delegate, and what I say NO to. I’m not a victim by any means! So my mantras are basically my response to the mean girl when she shows up. Her nonsense is easily refuted by reminding myself of what I discovered and decided.
Here are a few examples:
OMG I’m never going to get all this done!!!
I get to choose how I spend my time so how can I do what I need to do and how can I delegate what I don’t - or does this even actually need to get done?
I hate this nonsense! Why the heck am I even doing this?!!
I’m so fortunate to have a job I love! Is this really a big deal? Does this need to be handled by me? Does this even need a response?
This sucks! I hate being in charge!
I love what I do! I always have and I’m so blessed to have my own company where I can design my own life! One of the perks of being the boss is freedom to choose so now I get to choose how I deal with this!
I’m so exhausted! My life is so stressful!
I got a full nights sleep last night and I am well rested. The only things that are stressful are the ones I let be - I choose this situation to be NOT stressful.
The crazy thing is these thoughts are the majority of things that would get me so riled up and completely ruin my day SO OFTEN. Four little nonsensical thoughts had the power to make me so unhappy I was overwhelmed and anxious all the time. By refusing to accept the destructive chatter, changing the dialogue and moving forward with the way I choose to live my life I breathe easier and experience so much more joy and peace in my life. These are a few of my mantras and they are full of power, truth and strength.
I love what I do
I am so blessed
I am positioned to do everything that I need to do
There is nothing I can’t accomplish that needs to be done
I have as much time as I need
I have a healthy, well nourished and rested body
I am strong and capable
I am the designer of my life
Life is wonderful
I am so happy
I am so excited to be alive
I love my family
I am a good mother, wife, employer, friend, sister, daughter
If you are experiencing overwhelming stress I encourage you to take the time to listen to what is going on inside your head. Is your own mean girl lying to you? If so you can change the conversation and start experiencing peace, happiness and joy yourself.